Girl Power

March 8, 2017 at 3:45 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

On this International Women’s Day…

I’m working today and I’m proudly wearing my red alongside my “Celebrate Diversity” and “Another Woman for Peace” buttons. I’m still writing my postcards and making my phone calls and I’m so glad Paul Ryan’s voicemail is finally working again. I’m volunteering at the food pantry tonight but that’s because it’s my regularly scheduled volunteer night and it’s what I would be doing regardless of the holiday.

I endure. I resist.

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International Women’s Day

March 8, 2013 at 1:28 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Women are pretty awesome.  We’re strong, tough, feminine, masculine, soft, tender, funny, strict, wild, beautiful, imaginative, intelligent and so, so much more – and often all at the same time.  We’ve come a long way from the times when it was assumed we’d stay at home and do nothing but pop out babies and cook meal after meal and we now live in a day and age where we can do just about anything we want – including staying at home to pop out babies and cook meal after meal.  Feminism is a word that often has negative connotations but any person (male or female) who believes women should be treated as fairly as men is a feminist.  Just about every woman I know is a feminist and many of the men in my life are too, whether they realize it or not!

Yes we can!

Apparently International Women’s Day has been a thing since the early 1900’s, which was a time when the equality of women needed a little more attention.  I’d like to think that by now the need for this has become obsolete because everyone just knows that women should have the same basic rights that men do, but unfortunately that’s not the case.  Things like honor killings, genital mutilation, misogyny, pay disparity and Chris Brown still exist so obviously we have a way to go.  I think education is one great way that we can move forward in many of the areas that currently constrain us and a day highlighting some of this stuff is a step in the right direction.

Here’s a little more information about International Women’s Day, in case you’re interested.  Also, maybe take the time today to think about and appreciate some of the women in your life – you literally wouldn’t be here without at least one of them.  And if you’re a woman yourself, think of some of your own accomplishments and pat yourself on the back.  We deserve it!

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August Book Club

August 30, 2011 at 9:12 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

It’s been a while since we had our book club outing, mostly because summer is a hard time to track down such busy ladies.  We managed to get together for a couple of hours last Thursday and it was an evening of food, wine and literary talk that was more than a little needed.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to talk much about the actual book.  Our club is in dire need of new members since a couple moved and a few quit showing up, so it was just going to be the four of us as it was.  Then one lady got stuck at work and myself and another showed up incredibly late (stupid buses during rush hour that have to stop every two seconds) but the three of us eventually found each other and caught up over a glass of wine.  By the time we got around to discussing the book, it was clear that one girl hadn’t finished and the other had barely gotten started.  Eh, it’s what happens when the weather turns nice.

I never did figure out what the rose had to do with it

Now I read this months ago when we first tried to plan our summer meeting and since then my brain has been fried by Moby Dick so I barely even remembered it myself.  I do remember that we read The Postmistress by Sarah Blake, which is a novel that tells the stories of a handful of women right before WWII broke out.  One woman is reporting on the war from the trenches of Europe, one discovers she’s pregnant right as she sends her doctor husband to London to help with bomb victims and one woman is in charge of a post office in a small town where all three women somehow manage to connect.  I thought it was interesting, especially because the characters have no idea of the depth of the atrocities going on in the war and it really shows the confusion and ignorance that was probably evident in the Americans on the brink of war.  The book wasn’t exactly an upper but it did make me think and I was glad I read it.  And there was no giant white and evil whale so that was nice.

We ate at Crust, a pizza place that was ironically where we met on my very first night of book club ever, more than two years ago.  I had a spinach and goat cheese calzone that went nicely with my glass of Pinot Grigio and the pizzas that the other gals got looked equally delicious.  We sat on the patio and enjoyed the fresh air while I was reminded that the time to do so is dwindling (I had to wear a sweater last night.  Not okay).  Even though we didn’t get much chatter in revolving around the book, we had good conversations anyway and even had a brief photo shoot because one of the girls needed a new pic for her online dating profile (this was after I disclosed that the new bf and I met on the ‘net).  I left the restaurant full and looking forward to our next book and even managed to get home before some rain hit.  I’m glad we got back in the book club groove and I’m bringing a friend to the next meeting so we’ll have another member soon.

But really, I’m just glad to be reading anything other than Moby Dick.  Like the back of a shampoo bottle or the ads on the train.

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Dinner Party

August 18, 2011 at 9:04 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

Last night, I had two lovely lady friends over for dinner and drinks.  My picture of the meal didn’t turn out how I wanted but I’m going to describe it here anyway because it was quick, easy and delicious.  We had:

That's what I did

  • Pita bread with two types of hummus (pesto/basil and sun-dried tomato for the extremely curious)
  • Vegetables roasted with a balsamic vinaigrette
  • Mashed potatoes with garlic, red pepper, Parmesan cheese, basil and oregano
  • Veggie burgers with spinach and pepper-jack cheese

This dinner was brought to you by Trader Joe’s.  Seriously, everything we wound up with came from there in one way or another.  And while the vegetables was/are amazing and seemingly fancy, I should admit that I simply heated them up out of the frozen bag they came in.  Still totally worth it.  The veggie burgers were tossed on the George Foreman to perfectly toast the bread and melt the cheese and then we sat down to feast.  Paired with a couple of bottles of wine and some entertaining conversation, our dinner was a great way to end a Wednesday night.  I was excited for some leftovers today but sadly, nothing made it out of my kitchen uneaten.  I guess that’s a sign they liked it?

I’ve said this before but I really enjoy this whole having-a-kitchen-with-counter-space thing!

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You’ll Put You Eye Out!

June 24, 2011 at 10:02 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

This morning, I watched a woman seated across from me on the train attempt to apply her eye make-up.  Don’t worry, I wasn’t a creepy stalker – this picture is not of her and is from the more anonymous  internet instead.

Not. Safe.

I see this surprisingly often and I just don’t understand it.  Every day, countless men and women lose their balance and dangerous bodily collisions are made all over the trains.  People drop their groceries, bags and children in attempts to stay upright and yet these brazen women are poking at their eyeballs with sharp little sticks covered in goo.  How can they possibly think this is a good idea?

I’m not saying they shouldn’t be wearing make-up.  But maybe they should consider waking up 2 minutes earlier and applying it before leaving the house.  I get all anxious watching them try to paint their faces because I’m just waiting for a catastrophic injury to occur.  As in, poking out an eyeball.  If this happened I suppose I could save the day by donating the Tupperware I carry my lunch in to house the poked out eye until the woman could be taken to the hospital but in reality I’d probably freeze with horror and forget to make that an option.

I mean, I know how often I poke myself with my mascara while I’m standing completely still in the bathroom and concentrating with all my might.  Perhaps other women are born with inherent ninja moves that allow them to apply make-up with efficiency and ease – but if that’s the case, why am I lacking that gene?  I was actually told this week by a male friend that I’m a “bad woman” because I had to Google the term “romcom”.  It means romantic comedy but I thought it had something to do with video games or the internet.  He said this in the nicest way possible but now I’m thinking that I’m missing part of an X chromosome.

Oh well.  I’m not putting my own eyesight and health at risk so I guess I shouldn’t really worry about it.  But if I have to rescue some hapless woman on the train and I won’t be able to keep from saying “Eye I told you so”.

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Mother’s Day Thanks

May 9, 2011 at 12:02 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

There were many things for me to be thankful during Mother’s Day.  I’m lucky enough to have the absolute best mom of all time and she’s been proving that to me on a daily basis for nearly 30 years.  She has always encouraged me in everything I’ve ever wanted to do (well, except for ballet lessons…) and I know that she has my back if when I screw things up.  She was strict enough while I was growing up that I thought she was a horribly oppressive tyrant but as I’ve aged, I’ve realized she was pretty much always right.  And if you know me, you know it’s not easy for me to admit that.  My mom is awesome and my only regret on Mother’s Day was that I couldn’t say that to her face.  Though there’s always next year!

Hi Mom!

Something else  was thankful for yesterday is the fact that I’ve got plenty of other amazing mother-type figures in my life.  My aunts, grandmothers, even cousins and sister are all beautiful, strong and empowering women that have helped me through thick and thin.  Same goes for my fabulous lady friends, some of whom are now mothers themselves.  Which is weird, but seems to be happening with more regularity.  This brings me to the final thing I was thankful for this most recent maternal holiday:

The fact that I’m not a mother myself.  I’m pretty sure I’d be fairly decent at having a kiddo of my own but it’s just not something I’m ready for yet.  Maybe ever?  I don’t know that but I do know that I’m extremely happy to have a uterus that’s never been used.  I think motherhood is a beautiful and wonderful thing but so is staying up until 2am watching cartoons and eating candy.  Wait – perhaps having children won’t be so different from my everyday life after all?  Though I think throwing dirty diapers and breastfeeding into this mix would alter things a bit.  So until I’m ready to spend my free time thinking about cribs and crusty snot, I’ll continue to marvel at the astonishing things that the mothe’s I know have done and continue to do.  Thanks for being such an inspiration and if I ever need a babysitter I’ll know who to call!

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Girls Are a Girl’s Best Friend

March 9, 2011 at 3:51 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

So yesterday was International Womens Day and it got me thinking about the amazing women I have in my life.  There are quite a few and I decided to pay an anonymous sort of homage to them here today (you may or may not recognize yourself here…if not, please forgive my lack of time and inability to remember every super cool person I know off the top of my head).

My female friends are awesome.  They’re not the giggly type of girls who act vapid to get a free drink at a bar and they certainly don’t live at the mall (not that there’s anything wrong with that).  While it may be true that my friends don’t run in the same little clique like the Sex and the City gals, they each bring something special to my life (not to mention the lives of countless others) and I would be incomplete without them.  They’re very different and many of them don’t even know each other but they all hold an important place in my heart (cue awww here).  Besides, who wants to be like the Sex and the City women anyway?  We have better things to spend our money on than ugly high-heeled shoes.

My friends are intelligent, successful and inspiring.  One is the Executive Director of  a non-profit and another runs more programs and sports activities for at-risk young girls than you can imagine.  One is in grad school and preparing to embark on a career that will help those with auditory and speech issues.  A different one researches and teaches at a downtown Chicago university and yet another is a librarian for the Chicago Public Libraries.  There’s the woman who’s in grad school for animation and hoping to intern with Pixar and the woman who is getting her clinical psychology doctorate while serving the GLBT community.  Not to mention my friend the copywriter who volunteers with the homeless or my pal who is working as hard as she can to support her husband while he goes back to school; then they’re going to switch off so she can finish her degree as well.  I also have a friend who make incredible jewelry from scratch and teach art at a high school, one who does social work to ensure children are being properly taken care of and rocks my socks off with her ability to rage at appropriate protests, one is a culinary genius with her own food blog and one that travels the world and lives wherever she wants.  One woman in particular is a recovering addict with one year clean (and of this I am SO proud) and another is a businesswoman ready to take on New York.

That doesn’t even touch on the women in my family – they are smart, savvy, caring and always there for one another.  They are great mothers, grandmothers, cousins, aunts, daughters and sisters.  The women in my family are the ones that taught me what it was to be a woman and they always make sure I knew I could do and be whatever I wanted.  They encourage me to do the things I imagine, even if they’re laughing or shaking their heads in puzzlement while I do them.

The women in my life are scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, leaders, feminists and all around amazing human beings.  They have taught me more about the world and myself than I could ever learn on my own and they have been there for me through some of the roughest and darkest parts of my life.  I am thankful for each and every one of them and if it were up to me, every day would be a day to celebrate the accomplishments of women such as these.  I know how lucky I am to have such great friends and family and I only hope they get as much from my friendship as I do from theirs – I would be nowhere without these ladies.  So thank you to the people in my life with two x chromosomes and I hope you have a few wonderful women in your life like I have in mine!

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