Yesterday morning, while preparing my Thanksgiving feast, I made a list of things I'm thankful for. Here it is (in no particular order):

Strong willpower
Gaining perspective
Honest opinions
My parents
My loving boyfriend
New friends
Old friends
Tri-colored Nikes
Mix tapes
Genuine curiosity
Never having had to go hungry
Homemade gifts
Good people
Having a stable job with room to grow
My home
Tiffany's jewelery
Family recipes
Curling up on the couch with my favorite blanket
Good books
Lazy afternoons
Fine wine
Fine cheese
House music
Dancing as if no one's watching


Rainbows and Kittens

Yesterday I learned that the world really is all rainbows and kittens.....rainbows with face-eating elves at the other end and sick, starving kittens.

I went to meet Mary with MAS Rescue at Academy Animal Hospital. She was bringing two kittens--Lucy and Ethel--for me to meet and choose one to adopt. The kittens were emaciated and had breathing problems and runny eyes and noses. They barely moved. It was really depressing. Worst of all, the woman tried to con me into taking one of the kittens even though it would likely die or infect my current kitty. Sick kittens and a face-eating elves.

After that horrible experience, I spent four hours contacting shelters about adopting a kitten. Finally, we decided to drive out to the SPCA on Falls Road. There was one kitten left, eight weeks old and healthy. We took him home on the spot. Meet the new member of our family.


Help! I need career advice

I am in desperate need of career advice. HELP!!!!!

I have the opportunity to move into a new position within my office. I would serve as the liaison between my department and the IT department on the reorganization of our intranet and would work on new social media initiatives. It's a high profile position and would look great on my resume. Besides, I'm bored with what I've been doing and have been looking for a way to add blogging, podcasting, etc. to my repertoire.

Just one problem.

My would-be supervisor and I don't get along that well. Also, I am really independent (read: I do what I want!) at work now and may have to give some of that up.

What to do?


Would you dare?

'Tis the season of over-eating.

My friend had this fun, food-related list-game on her blog Jakezilla, so I thought I'd take a crack at it. The only thing I would never eat is the Big Mac meal--sounds like a dirty old trucker. Besides, I've tasted the double cheeseburger and won't go back for more. There are some things I've had that aren't on the list that I have eaten: guinnea pig, llama, coca tea, pisco, octopus, chicharron, meat from the sack off the back of a poor bolivian woman, maranon, tepesquinlte, and tacos from the sketchiest shack in Honduras (yes, I got sick.)

So, anyway, here's my list. Bolded items are things I have eaten; italicized items are things I would never eat.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue (can’t go wrong with melted cheese)
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich

14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries

23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava

30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar

37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin

51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine

60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads

63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini

73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers

89. Hors
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano (One of my specialtie
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake


Gay Marriage

Just when I finally felt like I could be proud of the U.S. population, citizens of California, Arizona and Florida go and eff it up.

When will gays be treated equally in our society? If the government tried to ban marriages between people based on race, religion, age, class, etc., there would be riots across the country.
We have affirmative action for racial minorities and women. Meanwhile, there is no law to specifically forbid firing someone for being gay. I have more than one gay friend who is afraid of admitting to being homosexual for fear of backlash from the community and repercussion at the workplace.

Laws against hate crimes protect criminal offenses committed against a person or property motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender's bias against a racial group, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual preference or disability. Gender identity is not protected, because, apparently, beating cross-dressers with baseball bats isn’t a crime…law enforcement agencies don’t even bother keeping stats on these crimes. Just last year, President Bush rejected efforts to expand federal "hate crimes" laws to include sexual orientation.

I am proud that this country has finally progressed to a point where a black family can occupy the white house and a woman can be considered as a presidential nominee. Unfortunately, we have not come far enough to allow gays to be treated as equals.

My theory? People are scared to accept gays because they just might have to acknowledge their own homo-erotic thoughts. Get over it.


Election Day

In anticipation of the much-talked-about long lines at the polls, I prepared a thermos full of piping hot, motor-oil coffee, threw a banana in my purse—along with my crisp, new voter registration card—and bundled up in my black fleece pullover and royal blue gloves to make the three block walk to my polling place at 7:30 this morning.

Side note: I was supposed to have been at work at 7:30 a.m.—the original plan was to work until lunch time and hit the polls before the mad after-work rush. My plans changed when my alarm went off at 5:15 a.m., just two hours after I had gotten home from the Bassnectar show at Bedrock. I turned the screeching alarm off and went back to sleep for a couple of hours before dragging myself out of bed and to the polls.

Expecting hundreds of people to be waiting in a line wrapped around the Canton Middle School, my designated polling place, I was shocked at the silence on the streets. Just two small signs—one advocating slots and one supporting Obama—lined the chain link fence near the school’s entrance. I guess Maryland is so blue, that we don’t need pushy campaigners to persuade us to vote for their candidate. The dems know we belong to them, and the republicans consider us a lost cause.

I joined the line, which was spilling out just beyond the doors. There were maybe 25 people ahead of me. Some old timers were grumbling. I’m not sure what for. I was in and out in 15 minutes…barely even had a chance to sip my coffee, much less eat my banana.

I voted for Obama-Biden, like a good MD dem should. I said “yes” to slots and yes to early voting. I didn’t vote for the district court judges, because I know nothing about them. I figure no vote is better than uninformed voting. I also said “yes” to increased funding for schools, arts and culture.