B.L.U.E. - Photo Scavenger Hunt

Today's Scavenger Hunt is both personal and local. I am featured in all of the shots, for starters, so this is an autobiographical scavenger hunt. Secondly, these pictures, which span the last four years of my life, were all taken in Cleveland, Ohio. Enjoy.

And it's my turn to pick a word! that word is ONE

'B' IS FOR BELONGING. Being a part of a larger whole. Technically this picture doesn't 'belong' here, though. It was actually taken in PA, not Ohio, but I'm wearing a blue sari, so what do you want from me?:

'L' IS FOR LOOKING.Wanting something different. Like a blue wig, maybe? or longer pants?:

'U' IS FOR UNDEFEATED. Ten wins, as of today! [ed note; and then they lost the the Mariners. idiots.] Go Indians!:

'E' IS FOR ELF. He may drive a small sports car, but he has a big bodyguard...and a tall wife. Who is not me, by the way:

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Young Me - Now Me

[editor's note: these pictures are not of me or my husband] Still in love with this idea. Thanks, Ze Frank, wherever you are.

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How To Be The Best Husband

Send your wife flowers on the third anniversary of your first date. Genius.

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The artwork of Beijing-based artist Liu Bolin, must be seen to be believed. He carefully erases his human subjects into backdrops of a culturally dominant Chinese landscape. Love his impressions of the world as well as his near-seamless presentation. Gallery here. More pics and Liu's take on his own work here.

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Just Say No To Abstinence

Ohio did just that.

The abstinence-until-marriage programs in the state of Ohio recently came under heavy fire. The AIDS taskforce of Ohio asked that state funding for the no-sex-till-marriage programs be withheld until proof for their efficacy can be shown. The programs, which began under Pres. Clinton, took on added steam and additional funding under Bush (no surprise there). Ohio law requires sex ed to promote and "emphasize" that abstinence from sexual activity is the only 100% effective means of protecting oneself from STD's and unwanted pregnancy (ORC 3313.60). Whereas most non-profit organizations must match their government funds with their own funding, the state of Ohio matches the funds for the abstinence-only programs. The US government doesn't care who matches it, just so long as it's matched. But the Ohio AIDS taskforce does care. You see, the AIDS taskforce has to match their own funds and would much rather see state funds go directly to AIDS patients than to be 'thrown down the drain' in an attempt to rally Ohio teens around the no-nookie flagpole. You can't blame them. The abstinence only programs are not only syphoning off large amounts of state funding, they also blatantly advertise hetero-monogamy as "God's plan for our lives." As it turns out federal funding may not be used for religious purposes, don't you know, which gives the AIDS taskforce a nice little platform on which to launch an assault.

It's not the only platform though. Studies show that whereas the no-sex-till-wed programs muster a lot of enthusiasm, the numbers of STD's and pregnancies among the students who signed up to "keep themselves pure" were just as high as teens exposed to (no pun intended) "safe-sex" programs. In other words, it wasn't necessarily working.

I find this interesting; this battle raging over what to tell the kids. What will work best. What will make those pesky numbers of chlamydia and gonorrhea cases drop. How to get the number of teen pregnancies down, etc. It is already and has been for some time a wild, overgrown weed patch in our national psyche. A word to the wise is no longer sufficient. The world is dangerous and ignorance is anything but bliss.

But as for the notion that a child equipped with a condom is "safer" than a child without is a total crock. It does hurt a thirteen year old girl's feelings to get plowed under by some boy or man in their pursuit of the national past time. I remain unconvinced that there is any thirteen year old in this country who would benefit by having sex.

So... is Cheryl Biddle, executive director of Abstinence the Better Choice, justified in saying "we want to balance the scale" by continuing a message of abstinence only in Ohio and is that "balance" worth $455,000 in state funding? Or is the idea of preaching abstinence worth the government's money only if you also hand out cherry-flavored condoms?

One last thought before I descend my soap box:

Learning to put on a condom without also learning to protect your heart seems an ass-backwards way to protect the young of this country.

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ANIMAL: Photo Scavenger Hunt

OK, so I'm new to the Scavenger Shot herd, but as a newcomer, I figured I'd better come up with something pronto! I found this horse whose image I took from the car window on my trip to Lake Tahoe last fall with my then-boyfriend, when we got engaged. I was not yet engaged when I snapped this photo, but that horse just looks like he knows something...

(See Evil E's page for detailios on the Scavenger game)

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Advice To New Wives

Don't say you're coming to your husband's softball game and then run errands through the whole thing.


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Driving My Husband To Work...

...makes my car smell nice. Makes the air feel softer. Makes me smile and feel like I'm still in bed.

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Dancing Queen

My friend Tara over at Eclectic Spaghetti just posted this Elaine (Seinfeld) dance tribute. It was too good not to post on my own blog. She's even dressed like Elaine. She's killing me with the funnies!

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Advice To New Husbands

Don't tell your wife that her cabbage rolls are good and then tell her how they could be more like your mother's.

I'm just saying.... :P

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Road Rage

Saw two men in a knock down drag out fist fight on my way to work this morning. Both of them in their business attire. I always have to assume that one or both are having a hard life somewhere else. Fist fights so rarely occur during morning rush hour.

Here is a transcription of my internal monologue:

"Wow, there's a lot of traffic onto the highway this morning. Darnit, I hope I'm not late. Hey, did that car just swerve violently in front of those cars up ahead? Crazy! WHOA, the guy behind him pulled out and around him and then slammed on his brakes. He's getting out of the car! He's opening the other guy's door!! He's dragging the other guy out of HIS CAR!!! This is nuts (laying on my horn as cars start to go around the fighters). They're obviously neither of them very good fighters, because they both still have their sunglasses on their faces (more honking). Oh, now they're just yelling and looking like asses. (speeding past) Stupid. Now I feel bad for my attitude on the road..."

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How to Make Cabbage Rolls

It was my mother's fault really. She suggested I try making cabbage rolls and that got me looking up recipes and buying ingredients. I've never made cabbage rolls before.

When you are first married (if you did it right) you are in possession of a great deal of brand new equipment and accoutrements for your kitchen. It's like being an antique car enthusiast who is suddenly given a key to Jay Leno's garage.

So, I started right in with a bit of a grin and cooked it... and cooked more, and then cooked some more and then cooked other things.... Cabbage rolls are very involved! Across town my sister was making cabbage roll soup, a simple recipe with none of the craziness and all of the flavor. By nine o'clock I was jealous.

A few notes from my experience:
Don't use the outer cabbage leaves (too tough)
Add more spices if the recipe calls for none
Use wild rice for a little crunch (or celery or both)
Drink riesling while cooking, but only after you've removed the hot pans from the oven and let them cool... : )

I would have taken a picture of my own cabbage rolls if I had had a camera handy. As is, I include a professional shot:

Recipe k_sra used for cabbage rolls

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Seeing the Indians on a Budget

Step one: win a work-sponsored singing contest; prize is two free tickets to the Indians.

Step two:
bring your best friend from high school who's loaded and ready to party.

Step three: have supper at your sister's house before hand.

Step four: take a minor set-back at the concession stand when you end up with a lemon-ice, a water, a hotdog, waffle fries, and a beer.

Step five: conveniently forget about step four.

Step six: resist urge to stop in for the last showing of "Dark Knight" at movie theater on the way home.

This is a tried and true method for enjoying the Indians baseball Team at a home game on a budget. Hope that helps you enjoy a fiscal, Cleveland Summer!

(Some great pics Tara took at the Ballpark)

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The Last Lunch

Second grade class at St. Ann's were inspired by their studies of Da Vinci. See Neatorama's for the full story. Reminds me of the time I was the proud recipient of the Balloon Last Supper.

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Married People Are Happy

Just in case you were wondering... we're doing great! We still have to figure out some of the intricacies of living in the same house (read: pack rat + possession-purger = frustration), but we're working it out. Ah, the magic of marriage! Photo is from our reception. Obviously. Just an amateur shot from a friend. We haven't gotten our pro shots yet. Oh, but when we do!
The smiles are genuine, grade-A real. makes my cheeks hurt a little just thinking about it... : )

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