28 February 2008

my new slogan.

As heard in class tonight, in a discussion about the sixties:

Discussion leader: So let's talk about the women's rights movement.
Guy: Burning bras?
Professor: Nobody burned bras in the women's rights movement.
Me: You'd have to be wearing a bra to burn one.

[And the moral of the story is:]

Discussion Leader, in authoritative voice:
"No bras were burned in the making of this feminist."

I'm pretty sure that should be on a bumper sticker on my car or a t-shirt (sans bra, of course).

26 February 2008

a little tuesday love.

Tuesdays are inherently rough. This makes it all better:

video comes from here.

25 February 2008

best of the weekend.

In honor of the Oscars, here are some of the best things offered up by last weekend:

Best Oscars Dress: Katherine Heigl
Runners Up: Amy Adams and Helen Mirren

Best Example of What a Career in the Academy Does to You: Crotchety retired professor secretly builds cottage in back yard.

Best Answer to Concerns I Already Had but Got in Trouble for Expressing: The Paper reassures me Obama probably won't get shot.

Best Book I Read Over the Weekend: Michel Foucault's History of Sexuality, Vol. 1 (sexuality is a discourse of power! yeah!)

Best Cheap Entertainment in the SLC: Pioneer Theatre's Midsummer Night's Dream for only 5 clamshells ("student rush" 1 hour before to fill seats, suckas)

Best Drug Store Eye Makeup Ever: Revlon Powder Liner

Best Thing to Tide Me Over Until 30 Rock is Back On: Tiny Fey on SNL saying "Bitch is the New Black" and advertising birth control that "may cause you to grow a second vagina."*

and lastly,

Best Thing that Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time, that I am Now Suffering For: sleeping for 13 hours last night. At least you're getting a blog post out of it.

*hopefully you'll have better luck with the nbc website than I did... I watched the clips on youtube but they take that copyrighted stuff down really, really fast.

24 February 2008

loaf love.

Given some sad news in our family and my own exhaustion from the past few weeks (you know it, I know it: grad school is hard), I turned to food for comfort.

Here's what I made:

As usual, it turned out to be amazing. I know everybody has their own favorite banana bread recipe, but this is mine, slightly revised from Bridget Haney's contribution to the epic 2006 collaborative cookbook Callison Cuisine. I count this recipe as one of the best things I took away from my time there (right behind my 401k and a desire to make something of myself, but ahead of my nameplate magnet and a passion for sustainability).

Kona Banana Bread

cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar (I swap out a couple of tablespoons of white for brown)
2 large eggs
5 bananas, overripe and mashed
1 and 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon of salt

Cream shortening and sugar until light. Add eggs, beating well. Stir in bananas. Add dry ingredients all at once. Mix until just blended. Pour into a greased loaf pan (I use generous quantities of Crisco). Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes (or, if your oven is a loser like mine-- for which I blame Mitt Romney-- it may take closer to 50).

Yields 1 loaf of beautifully caramelized crunchy crust and soft banana empowered innerloafness.

23 February 2008


Cheers to my favorite brother who is taking his creative skills city wide and naming restaurants. You rock, man.

20 February 2008


So I went to buy milk tonight and of course got incredibly sidetracked. I don't buy cosmetics that often, and when I do it's something that I really can't live without (like this). But I could not resist Maybelline's VolumeXLSeduction Lip Plumper-- it is the most amazing lip gloss ever. Why?

-The tube is gadget-y-- you click the bottom of the tube and it magically pushes out little droplets out the top. As a historian I seldom get to use gadgets (oooo staplers!)
, so this is a very important feature.

-The color ("born with it"... gotta love branding) is a
lovely mix of natural and shiny. Perfect for plumping your lips, for you know, everyday seductions, without looking hooker-y.

-The texture is totally smooths out and covers any imperfections in the lips, ideal for those of us living in arid mountain climates who's lips are completely trashed from the long dry winter, despite all of the efforts of Burt's Bees.

- The gloss goes on tingly! They say it's because it is making your lips bigger, and while it's possible that my lips could be morphing into Angelina Jolie's as I type, I like the vintage Carmex sensation without the nastiness.
As you can see, I think my lips are now artificially plumped enough for me to legitimately start adopting children from third world countries and starring in bad action films (Tomb Raider was probs the worst movie I ever slept through at a drive-in, ever)

*p.s. the lips picture totally weirds me out, but it's catchy, eh?

a special category of bicycles.

"But there is a special category of bicycles that appeal far more to white women, the European city bike. White women have a lot of fantasies about idealized lives, and one of them is living in Europe and riding around an old city on one of these bikes. They dream about waking up and riding to a little cafe, then visiting bakeries and cheese shops and finally riding home to prepare a fancy meal for their friends who will all eat under a canopy with white Christmas lights."

-Stuff White People Like blog, "Bicycles"

It made be a little embarrassed that they are on to me. But then, I suppose you have to be pretty cool to be satirized. ;)

Hat tip to Will for the link.

19 February 2008

message from...

I found the following on the rear rack of my bike after German class today. I was feeling a little sickish so it was definitely well timed. Here's who it was addressed to:

It took me a while to figure out who it was from (as it turns out, the message to me was on the back, not the inside) but I was genuinely honored to be identified as such. I mean, my bike is totally my calling card, but it always feels good to have these moments of validation and identity affirmation and acknowledgement, because it's hard work spreading the gospel of bicycle chic. May the good news of the granny bike continue to roll forth!

(and thanks for the note!)


I live for stuff like this. I googled myself this evening (vain, but I like to keep things real). Usually it brings up the activities of an eminent microbiologist and old lacrosse schedules and of course, our Danish cousin's extensive family tree. I had never noticed that Vagn had any pictures up, but alas, here's my 2nd great-grand-dad, Christen Christensen:

Aside from being in great condition, this picture is stunning for another reason:

You see, aside from the webbed toes, this is perhaps our most cherished and most pervasive family trait-- all cousins from my mom's side have it, all the kids in our family have it, even my brother's kids have it! Seriously, it's like the first thing we look for when we inspect our new babies. Now we know that the nose groove is
indeed an enduring mark of our Danishness.

Our people weren't in Copenhagen at this time, but lovely, no?

18 February 2008

happy president's day.

Take a White House mini-tour.

I love slide 14-- the cream colored paint looks absolutely heavenly, especially with the pink and 60's bouffant accents!

everybody's gonna be happy.

Ok, so I'm feeling a little grumptastic on this blessed holiday Monday. As luck would have it, The Paper comes at me with another attempt to change my attitude with a barrage of subliminal pictorial messages:

Fluffy puppies!

Musical magical garden gnomes!

Chocolate game pieces! After playing you could lick the melty off your fingers!

Another puppy! In sunglasses!

Why don't we?

16 February 2008

basil bern basket review.

So here it is, the long awaited basket review. As you can see, it looks pretty nice on the bike:

Overall, I'd say it's a great basket. The install was easy and I love that if I'm just going out to cruise around, I can take it off and ride a little lighter. The problem of it not being fixed to the bike by hardware is that it has a tendency to swing around a bit when one is headed downhill with a load. As you can see (kind of) from the picture, that can mean that the bike can swing into the cords and one of them has come loose a couple times, which is scary shit. So you definitely have to be careful in how you balance your load. I've found that putting my fat bastard lock on the rear rack generally cuts down on the interference with the cables and allows me to have more control over the bike.

This is what a typical load looks like-- bag filled with books, water bottle, snacks, standard purse paraphernalia and the newest addition to my security system. The
bag is definitely ideal because it scrunches down so you don't loose headlight visibility. Ultimately I love just being able to drop my stuff in and ride, instead of all the hassle with bungee cords and whatnot on the rear rack. And the styling is nice enough that it doesn't take too much away from the design of the bike-- though I admit I wish the basket came in chrome because that would be awesome. What the pictures don't show is how nicely reinforced it is on the bottom-- the underside of the basket has three bars similar to what you'd see on a cargo bike, but not as huge.Here you can see how it hooks on at the top and then there's a curved piece of metal to grip onto the stem at the bottom.

14 February 2008

loVe yourself day.

I love Valentine's Day. I admit, my love for it is primarily commercial-- I love the pink and red, the hearts, the focus on chocolate. And in recent history-beginning last year, anyways- I have turned it into a celebration of self-love that I find quite fulfilling (not that I don't like to spread the love-- I did send my fair share of Valentines). Last year I made myself an amazing steak dinner complete with ingredients from Pike Place Market:

And this year I showered myself with modest gifts:

and will soon be settling down with a lovely bottle of Columbia Crest Chardonnay (not the whole bottle, I do have a job to go to tomorrow) and a pint of Ben & Jerry's Half Baked ice cream. I tell you all this because it is, for better or for worse, an embodiment of my philosophy: that being single is not a limitation, and for whatever reason it is a gift that I've been given for this time in my life. I could ask why, I could reject it and settle (the linked article is not for the drunk or faint of heart-- it will make you cry) or I could even fail to acknowledge the holiday at all, but alas, the fact of the matter is, I know I have value, I know I have worth, I know I have something to contribute to society, and by golly (cheesy, I know), that's a good thing. I confess, my confidence has been bolstered by positive feedback from a professor and that this post would not have been possible earlier in the day, but let me tell you what I realized after I got that feedback (which Mom, meant that you are not the only one who likes my writing!) (though it wouldn't be a bad thing if you were the only one who did-- love ya Mom!).

I was sitting at the Trax station, freezing, waiting for the train to come because I have not had the energy to work the bike commute in my usual fashion. But, as I partook of the cold night air, sitting in quiet reverie of my own book review genius that I had miraculously and aptly demonstrated, I watched couple after couple get off the train headed downhill (I was headed up). As they made a promenade of love along the platform, I thought, "This should make me sad" and then I realized, as perhaps I could only in my beaten down (by the week) yet euphoric state (by the feedback) that I am married to my work! I have become one of those women whom I was warned against becoming! Ha! I realized almost all of my waking hours have been devoted to my field-- whether transcribing oral histories or going to class or reading book after book after article after article-- and I
do.not.want for anything!* Glorious moment of fulfillment indeed! So the moral of the story is (other than don't drink and post): (in the epic paraphrased words of Thoreau):
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life that you've imagined. Build your castles in the air, and then build foundations under them!
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go watch The Notebook.** <3

*except to see my family, but hey, that's only natural and I'm pretty used to it. And perhaps money, but hey, I work with what I've got and I do ok. Especially with the new jobbie-job!

**because despite all of this self-love and career driven effulgence of feminism, and whatever I may say, for all the cheese, that movie is damn sincere.

13 February 2008


So this week is off to a really intense start. The euphoria of gloriouslastweek has given way to the tiredness of difficultthisweek. But I'm keeping my head up, because I fly home in a month, and hell, summer is coming! Anyways, here's a little bit of joy and here's a little bit of inspiration to keep you me going.

07 February 2008


I love
This guy's art is amazing.

That is all.


I was sitting in class this afternoon... bored. I was writing things in my composition book like "This makes me want to poke my eye out" and "This is so painful" in pretty decorative little scripts along the margin. And then it hits me-- I'm listening to an informed intellectual discussion on the various circumstances surrounding the dropping of the atomic bombs and this is the worst part of my day? Needless to say I checked back in so my peers could entertain me with their knowledge and many endearing traits.

It made me think a little more, as I rode up the hill, and by the time I got to the reception for the conference and was watching this great Polynesian singing and dancing, I felt so satisfied! It was like nothing in my world was out of line, it was completely natural to be. here. now. It's been an exhausting week-- I've been able to throw myself into my new job, I've been immersed in books and articles and writing, and everything, but my gosh, I wouldn't change a thing. I have the perfect winter hat and a fab new bike basket. The snow makes everything look kind of magical and I am finally used to the cold, I am surrounded by bright and brilliant people-- good, caring, wonderful people, no less, and I am doing what I love. And in less than six weeks I get to meet my new little niece and play with my older little niece and see my family and friends back home! I wonder if life couldn't get any better... but I know it will. I know it can because I used to be a receptionist.

05 February 2008

super tuesday. super history. super everything.

Happy Super Tuesday! Voting felt so good! I made my decision yesterday morning and was happy to take it to the polls today. I have never been to an actual polling station, as we are big time absentee voters back in Washington. I loved the feeling of community and American-ness-- it felt so good to participate in the democratic process (and for that matter, the democratic primary). I got a big ole patriotic lump in my throat as I left, which is funny, because as an American historian you'd think I'd get those kum-by-a kinds of feelings more often. John Edwards summed up how I feel in his "so history can blaze its path" speech:

"We do not know who will take the final steps to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but what we do know is that our Democratic Party will make history. We will be strong, we will be unified, and with our convictions and a little backbone we will take back the White House in November and we'll create hope and opportunity for this country."

And now I wait.

01 February 2008


As fate would have it, I'm not getting a whole lot done here on my last day of work (my boss already gave me a present AND said if I ever want to work here again she would hire me back... I'm golden, right?). So I took to the interwebs in procrastination and unexpectedly found myself a present:
Isn't it just the thing!? I needed a basket to accommodate my headlight and didn't want a basket that required a shit ton of hardware to keep it attached. Done and done. Cheers to the good people at Velo Orange for making it happen! And happy new job to me!