Monthly Archives: August, 2012

The New Normal

“The New Normal” has been banned in Utah before it even had a chance to premier.  While watching the Olympics, I was bombarded with a million commercials for NBC’s Fall lineup, and one of the new shows coming out is “The New Normal” from “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy. “The New Normal” is about a woman who offers to act as a surrogate for a gay couple wanting to have a baby.   She, in turn, will receive money to go to law school to improve her life and the life of her daughter.  The show also includes a Sue Sylvester-esque character who is openly bigoted and clichéd, I’m assuming to provide a caricature of how crazy bigotry can be.

I was a little surprised that a show that focuses so heavily on a gay couple was picked up by a major network, but I am so pleased.  I think it’s fantastic.  I do have my doubts that the show is going to last on the air.  I’m worried that controversy and low viewership will force NBC to cancel the show.  But I hope that I am very wrong and the show will have a good run.  I think that it is a huge step in the right direction to introduce another loving gay couple to the American populace, especially coming from the point of view that it is perfectly normal.

NBC Utah affiliate KSL-TV has pulled “The New Normal” from its fall lineup, calling the series “inappropriate on several dimensions.”  KSL-TV is owned by the Mormon church.  Utah’s ban, though not exactly surprising, seems a little desperate to me.  It feels like they are trying to shut their eyes or hide their heads in the sand and pretend that homosexuals aren’t out there.  Denying reality doesn’t make it go away, it just makes you look like a fool.  The ban just shows how out of touch the decision makers at KSL-TV are. These days, same-sex families are becoming an established part of American television.  KSL-TV may feel like they are “protecting” their viewers, but really this sheltering attitude is too little too late.  They must know that.  They may be trying to stem the gay pride tide, but I believe that ultimately they are on the losing side.  I hope that this show is a yet another sign that more and more people are realizing that there is no place for prejudice and ignorance in today’s society.

Here’s the thing, I want to support a show that features an alternate lifestyle, if for no other reason than to celebrate that a major network like NBC was willing to pick it up and put it on the air.  Times, they are a-changin’, praise the Lord.   The dictionary definition of evolution is “any process of formation or growth; development.”  I certainly hope that “the New Normal” is a sign that society is growing and evolving, and not choosing to stay stuck in an archaic mindset.

“The New Normal” is set to debut on Sept. 11 on NBC at 9:30 p.m. ET.

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Not Just Another Salad

I am currently attempting to eat healthier and lose some weight, and we all know that the best way to do that is to eat more veggies.  In recent years, I have become a big fan of salads, but my favorite dressing is  blue cheese, which is definitely not good for weight loss.  I use some low fat, reduced calorie dressings, but sometimes I’m just not interested in dressings.  So I have found some salad dressing alternatives that I really enjoy to beak up the monotony and provide a different taste.

Cottage Cheese

Low fat or fat free cottage cheese is a great way to add a little protein and calcium along with flavor to your greens.  I love a spinach or mixed green salad with cucumbers, red peppers, a chopped hard boiled egg, and the cottage cheese.  It tastes great and is a refreshing change.  If you can afford the extra fat and calories, add some sunflower seeds or sliced almonds for crunch.

Salsa

Salsa is fat free and super low in calories, so it is a great way to add flavor to food with little down side.  Add a southwest flare to food by making a salad out of iceburg lettuce, black beans, red bell peppers, and sliced grilled chicken topped with salsa.  For extra flavor add some shredded cheese.  Sargento makes a great Reduced fat, four cheese Mexican blend.

Avocado

I am half Mexican and was raised in southern California, so I grew up eating avocados.  I can’t get enough of them.  Avocados are somewhat high in fat, but it is the healthy kind.  As long as you use some self control and don’t eat too much, avocados are very healthy for you. Luckily, they are full of flavor, so a little goes a long way.  A ripe avocado has super dark green or black, wrinkly skin.  When cut in half, the flesh is a bright yellow-green near the skin, and gets more yellow toward the nut.  Ripe avocado is soft and buttery, with a fresh, slight nutty flavor.  The easiest way to remove the nut is to hit is with a knife and then (carefully) twist it loose.  You can always slice or chop them to add to your salad, but my preferred way to eat them is to mash up the avocado with a fork and add a tiny bit of salt.  (Never puree it.)  Use the avocado spread instead of mayo or salad dressing on chicken or veggie wraps.  It tastes awesome!

Hummus

Not exactly ground breaking I know, but hummus is a great dip instead of ranch or blue cheese.  If you don’t know what hummus is, it’s basically ground up chick peas.  Hummus comes in a variety of flavors, but my favorite is roasted red pepper.  I tend to eat more veggies, simply as a vessel for the hummus.  It’s especially good with baby carrots.  Hummus is also very good on wraps if you can’t get a hold of avocados.

This list is obviously not exhaustive, but these are my favorite alternatives to salad dressing.  With the different flavors that they provide, I never feel like I’m having “just another salad”.  I hope that you give them a try.

Signs of Summer Going


I am so excited to see signs of Summer departing from this world once more.  Yes, it is still hot and humid and unbearable, but Summer is definitely on its way OUT.  It’s back to school season and along with the scent of freshly sharpened pencils and the fumes of magic markers, there something else in the air: blessed relief.

I’m going to say it, I HATE SUMMER.  There, it’s out.  I can not stand the heat.  Whenever it starts to creep past 75 degrees I start to get nervous.  Once the temp hits 80, I am certainly uncomfortable and unhappy.  When it hits 90 or higher, I am flat out miserable.  My husband says that I wilt in the heat like a dying flower.  I tell him to throw on an extra blanket as I crank the AC down some more.  It works for us.

While out shopping yesterday, I went to Rite-Aid to peruse the beauty isles and spotted not one, but two Halloween themed displays.  My heart went pitter-patter and a huge grin lit up my face.  A Halloween supply store is being stocked two minutes from my apartment, and its “Now Hiring” sign fills me with delight.  I don’t care that it is still only the middle of August.  Summer, you are going down.  Come to me September, and your gorgeous first day of Fall.  I’m waiting, so please hurry.

 

Princess Bride Teesha Moore Bag

I recently made this Princess Bride themed Teesha Moore bag for a swap on craftster.org.  Teesha Moore is credited with the concept of these “pillow” patches and the distinctive way of putting them together.  You can click on my images to enlarge and get a closer look.

Front of the bag

Back of the bag

I was very nervous about attempting the Teesha Moore style because I have never embroidered anything before.  I am really in love with the way it turned out, though.  The stitches may not have been done in the proper fashion, but I am really pleased.  This project was so much fun!  The patches are a mix of painting, applique, beading, and embroidery.  I like all of the patches that I made, but here are several of my favorites.

I survived the Fire Swamp

Hello my name is…

Plato, Aristotle, Socrates… Morons!

R.O.U.S. They do exist

Anybody want a Peanut?

I really love the beading on this one.

I’m so proud of the bag, and I can not wait to make more of them.  I am absolutely going to make myself a Harry Potter themed bag.  Wouldn’t that be awesome?  The patches are actually really fun to make.  They are a great way to keep my hands busy while I am watching TV at night.

 

Why I Love the Olympics

I really enjoy watching the Olympics.  I didn’t always enjoy them.  In fact, when I was a child I rather resented them.  My parents always watched them, so there was nothing on the “big TV” for weeks until they were over.  However, as a teenager and certainly as an adult, I have grown to enjoy the Olympics very much.  It wasn’t until this year, though, that I finally figured out why.

It’s not because I like to watch sports.  Though I enjoy playing sports (or at least I did when I was younger), I have never enjoyed watching sports on television.  So why then?  There is a certain amount of joy watching others fulfill their life-long dreams.  And, though it probably makes me a little bit evil inside, it can be entertaining to watch a few of them totally eat it.  But none of these reasons are why I really love the Olympics.  I love the Olympics because for brief moments I actually feel proud to be an American.

I am not a political person, and I don’t often get into the politics of this country.  I can say, however, that America does not often give me reasons to feel proud or patriotic.  There are many reasons that I am glad to live in America, and I would never leave the country to live somewhere else, but in general, we are total assholes.  There have been many times in our recent history that have made me ashamed of our government and the actions of the people.

But the Olympics is a place where we really shine.  The Olympics provides us with heros, with people who we want to see succeed.  Michael Phelps, the Fab 5, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, Missy Franklin… the list goes on and on.  The Olympics is a time where we come together as a country to support our representatives with good will and respect.  I get a thrill to see an athlete up on that medal stand, tearing up at the National Anthem.  The Olympics have the same effect on me that a great Fourth of July fireworks show has.  I feel a moment of pride and gratitude to be an American.

Especially in an election year where politics get ugly and people get angry, it can really feel like this country has gone to the dogs.  Elections bring out the hate in people.  There is so much vitriol being spat out in every direction that it seems impossible to escape.  The summer Olympics come at a good time here in America, because we certainly need the boost.  Despite being bombarded with campaign commercials, (which I could really do without, thanks) I love watching the Olympics to get at least a few fleeting moments to feel proud to be an American.

Welcome to My Blog

Welcome to my world.  I realize that this first post should be an attempt to explain exactly what I’m doing here and why I thought this blog needed to exist.  The irony of trying to sum up a blog entitled “Defies Description” is not lost on me.  The fact is, I don’t know how to sum up what I want to do with this blog.  I don’t have a theme.  I don’t technically have a purpose.

What I do have, is an overly analytical mind that needs to occasionally unload.  I do have another WordPress blog which is centered on budget beauty.  I’ve been at it for a year, and I am really enjoying it.  However, since there is a strict theme over there, I am not free to share everything that I would like to.  That, in essence, is why I am here.  I want a place to share.  I have a lot of hobbies, and a couple of them are photography and crafting.  I just got a new DSLR camera for my birthday, and I want to share my photos as I learn how to use it.  I want to share my new craft projects, and the random ways that I explore my creative side.  And of course, I want a place to share my thoughts and observations with the world.

So, again I say welcome, and I hope that you enjoy the ride.