Saturday, August 30, 2008

McCain's Dangerous Choice

Anybody see Obama's acceptance speech the other night? I thought it was amazing. I was riveted to that tv taking in every word he spoke.

Friday morning, I was shaking my head in disgust when McCain introduced his running mate.

Today I got this email from Move On which I found to be very informative. I'm cutting and pasting the info below.

Dear MoveOn member,

Yesterday was John McCain's 72nd birthday. If elected, he'd be the oldest president ever inaugurated. And after months of slamming Barack Obama for "inexperience," here's who John McCain has chosen to be one heartbeat away from the presidency: a right-wing religious conservative with no foreign policy experience, who until recently was mayor of a town of 9,000 people.


Who is Sarah Palin? Here's some basic background:

  • She was elected Alaska's governor a little over a year and a half ago. Her previous office was mayor of Wasilla, a small town outside Anchorage. She has no foreign policy experience.1
  • Palin is strongly anti-choice, opposing abortion even in the case of rape or incest.2
  • She supported right-wing extremist Pat Buchanan for president in 2000. 3
  • Palin thinks creationism should be taught in public schools.4
  • She's doesn't think humans are the cause of climate change.5
  • She's solidly in line with John McCain's "Big Oil first" energy policy. She's pushed hard for more oil drilling and says renewables won't be ready for years. She also sued the Bush administration for listing polar bears as an endangered species—she was worried it would interfere with more oil drilling in Alaska.6
  • How closely did John McCain vet this choice? He met Sarah Palin once at a meeting. They spoke a second time, last Sunday, when he called her about being vice-president. Then he offered her the position.7

This is information the American people need to see. Please take a moment to forward this email to your friends and family.

We also asked Alaska MoveOn members what the rest of us should know about their governor. The response was striking. Here's a sample:

She is really just a mayor from a small town outside Anchorage who has been a governor for only 1.5 years, and has ZERO national and international experience. I shudder to think that she could be the person taking that 3AM call on the White House hotline, and the one who could potentially be charged with leading the US in the volatile international scene that exists today. —Rose M., Fairbanks, AK

She is VERY, VERY conservative, and far from perfect. She's a hunter and fisherwoman, but votes against the environment again and again. She ran on ethics reform, but is currently under investigation for several charges involving hiring and firing of state officials. She has NO experience beyond Alaska. —Christine B., Denali Park, AK

As an Alaskan and a feminist, I am beyond words at this announcement. Palin is not a feminist, and she is not the reformer she claims to be. —Karen L., Anchorage, AK

Alaskans, collectively, are just as stunned as the rest of the nation. She is doing well running our State, but is totally inexperienced on the national level, and very much unequipped to run the nation, if it came to that. She is as far right as one can get, which has already been communicated on the news. In our office of thirty employees (dems, republicans, and nonpartisans), not one person feels she is ready for the V.P. position.—Sherry C., Anchorage, AK

She's vehemently anti-choice and doesn't care about protecting our natural resources, even though she has worked as a fisherman. McCain chose her to pick up the Hillary voters, but Palin is no Hillary. —Marina L., Juneau, AK

I think she's far too inexperienced to be in this position. I'm all for a woman in the White House, but not one who hasn't done anything to deserve it. There are far many other women who have worked their way up and have much more experience that would have been better choices. This is a patronizing decision on John McCain's part- and insulting to females everywhere that he would assume he'll get our vote by putting "A Woman" in that position.—Jennifer M., Anchorage, AK

So Governor Palin is a staunch anti-choice religious conservative. She's a global warming denier who shares John McCain's commitment to Big Oil. And she's dramatically inexperienced.

In picking Sarah Palin, John McCain has made the religious right very happy. And he's made a very dangerous decision for our country.

In the next few days, many Americans will be wondering what McCain's vice-presidential choice means. Please pass this information along to your friends and family.

Thanks for all you do.

–Ilyse, Noah, Justin, Karin and the rest of the team


1. "Sarah Palin," Wikipedia, Accessed August 29, 2008

2. "McCain Selects Anti-Choice Sarah Palin as Running Mate," NARAL Pro-Choice America, August 29, 2008

3. "Sarah Palin, Buchananite," The Nation, August 29, 2008

4. "'Creation science' enters the race," Anchorage Daily News, October 27, 2006

5. "Palin buys climate denial PR spin—ignores science," Huffington Post, August 29, 2008

6. "McCain VP Pick Completes Shift to Bush Energy Policy," Sierra Club, August 29, 2008

"Choice of Palin Promises Failed Energy Policies of the Past," League of Conservation Voters, August 29, 2008

"Protecting polar bears gets in way of drilling for oil, says governor," The Times of London, May 23, 2008

7 "McCain met Palin once before yesterday," MSNBC, August 29, 2008

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Today, I spent the morning getting my classroom organized for next week and the afternoon trying to organize my house. Norton's girlfriend Zoe also spent the afternoon at our house. See?

They spent the afternoon wrestling, drinking water and playing tug of war with Norton's stuffed squirrel (which they later destroyed).

Dinner had to be something easy so I could keep an eye on the pups. So I decided to be creative and throw together a casserole. I tossed some fresh green beans with a can of whole tomatoes and some spices--garlic, oregano, basil and parsley. I added an onion cut into wedges. Unfortunately I had no fresh herbs--and am all out of fresh garlic! Boo! Everything went in the toaster oven on 400 degrees. I added the lentils when they were done and some leftover brown rice from the other day. I realized my casserole had too much liquid so I scooped some of the tomato juice out. A little sugar in the raw to sweeten the sauce came next, then a generous splash of ricemilk to lighten the sauce. Lastly, I added some shredded Follow Your Heart mozzerella and upped the temp to 450. I guess everything cooked all in all for about an hour. It was tasty! I think my casserole would have been awesome with some roasted garlic, maybe some mushrooms too. Trust me, it tasted a lot better than it looks in the photo!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Vegan's Hundred

Hannah came up with this list of 100 things that a vegan (or nonvegan!) should eat in his or her lifetime. It's a pretty cool concept and it is based on The Omnivore's Hundred. So here are the instructions if you'd like to participate. However, each of these food items needs to be the vegan version.

1) Copy this list into your own blog, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Post a comment here once you’ve finished and link your post back to this one.
5) Pass it on!

1. Natto
2. Green Smoothie
3. Tofu Scramble
4. Haggis
5. Mangosteen
6. Creme brulee
7. Fondue
8. Marmite/Vegemite
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Nachos
12. Authentic soba noodles
13. PB&J sandwich (can't figure out how to cross out on blogger, but NEVER, not a fan of PB)
14. Aloo gobi
15. Taco from a street cart
16. Boba Tea
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Gyoza
20. Vanilla ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Ceviche
24. Rice and beans
25. Knish
26. Raw scotch bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Caviar
29. Baklava
30. Pate
31. Wasabi peas
32. Chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Mango lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Mulled cider
37. Scones with buttery spread and jam
38. Vodka jelly
39. Gumbo
40. Fast food french fries
41. Raw Brownies
42. Fresh Garbanzo Beans
43. Dahl
44. Homemade Soymilk
45. Wine from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Stroopwafle
47. Samosas
48. Vegetable Sushi
49. Glazed doughnut
50. Seaweed
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Tofurkey
54. Sheese
55. Cotton candy
56. Gnocchi
57. PiƱa colada
58. Birch beer
59. Scrapple
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Soy curls
63. Chickpea cutlets
64. Curry
65. Durian
66. Homemade Sausages
67. Churros, elephant ears, or funnel cake
68. Smoked tofu
69. Fried plantain
70. Mochi
71. Gazpacho
72. Warm chocolate chip cookies
73. Absinthe
74. Corn on the cob
75. Whipped cream, straight from the can
76. Pomegranate
77. Fauxstess Cupcake
78. Mashed potatoes with gravy
79. Jerky
80. Croissants
81. French onion soup
82. Savory crepes
83. Tings
84. A meal at Candle 79
85. Moussaka
86. Sprouted grains or seeds
87. Macaroni and “cheese”
88. Flowers
89. Matzoh ball soup
90. White chocolate
91. Seitan
92. Kimchi
93. Butterscotch chips
94. Yellow watermelon
95. Chili with chocolate
96. Bagel and Tofutti
97. Potato milk
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Raw cookie dough

Veg Honeymoon Awesomeness

So Eric decided that for the length of our honeymoon, he would keep vegetarian. I don't think he really looked at it as a sacrifice even though he is an omnivore. After all, the Northwest is very vegetarian-friendly and we ate at some amazing vegetarian/vegan restaurants! So I didn't take photos of them all but here were the highlights of where we ate.

First stop was Portland, Oregon. What a great city! We loved it here. Portland is a compact and really friendly city, a town that attracts all sorts of people from hikers to bikers to dog lovers to vegans! Yes, a vegan-friendly city. Portland is the home of the world's first vegan mini-mall. This mini-mall is home to Food Fight, an all vegan grocery, along with Herbivore, a vegan clothing store, a tattoo artist who only uses vegan inks, and Sweet Pea, a yummy vegan bakery. We visited all of the above (with the exception of the tattoo artist). We shared a yummy cookie at Sweet Pea and bought a couple things at Food Fight. Would have bought most of the store if we didn't need to worry about stuffing it all into already-overstuffed suitcases! I thought their sign was so funny! Can you read what it says on the door?

We had dinner at Blossoming Lotus on our first day in Portland. Though it just looks like a tiny cafe in a yoga center, they actually have amazing food! All vegan and lots of it is raw too. Even vegan soft-serve! We had some amazing raw chilled avocado soup here.

Lunch on day #2 was at Karam, a Lebanese restaurant. We had lunch here with Eric's former coworker who moved out to Portland a couple years ago. This was a good place to eat and veg. friendly.

We had to make reservations to get a table at Andina, a lively Peruvian restaurant. Neither one of us had ever eaten Peruvian before and we were eager to try it. The food was amazing! Plus the restaurant has a separate vegetarian menu with several vegan options.

Another Portland favorite was the Vita Cafe, a mostly vegetarian diner-like restaurant. Here we had some awesome "buffalo wings," and I had a tempeh reuben. I think Eric had the seitan cheesesteak. Oh, and their vegan caesar salad rocked too.

We stopped into Veganopolis for a vegan milkshake. Veganopolis is a vegan cafeteria/restaurant. Unfortunately, we didn't get to try anything else there though.

Next stop: Seattle! Our first night here, we walked 1 mile (uphill!) to Carmelita's , a great vegetarian Mediterranean restaurant. Food here was great and they had a lovely patio which we ate on.

The next day we had dinner at Vegetarian Bistro, an Asian restaurant in Chinatown. We very much enjoyed the food here. The "Mongolian beef" reminded me of pepper steak, an old favorite from my pre-vegetarian days (many, many years ago)! Tofu with mushrooms was tasty and how often can a vegetarian/vegan order the won ton soup at a Chinese restaurant?

Our favorite Seattle restaurant, hands-down, had to be Cafe Flora. According to their website, "Cafe Flora's award winning menu features modern and sophisticated vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free cuisine that is inspired by international culinary traditions and created with local, organic and sustainable ingredients." In fact, we liked it here so much that we ate here twice! Loved the vegan caesar salad and the vegan portobella french dip. The Thai skewers were pretty good too. Eric had some tacos that he really liked here and some tasty coconut tofu with lime sauce.

Before heading North to the Cascades, we had lunch with Betty Tisdale at Tamarind Tree, a Vietnamese restaurant. I haven't eaten a whole lot of Vietnamese food before, but boy, was it tasty!

I'm skipping ahead to Vancouver now because there isn't much to say for anything we ate on the road or in the Cascades region. However, we did stop at a farm stand for some fresh berries. Ever hear of Cascadian Farm? You've probably seen their organic products in the supermarket. We had some fresh blueberries and I had a soy smoothie from their stand.

We loved Vancouver, but I can't say the restaurants we ate at were all that remarkable. We had some good Indian food and enjoyed Hell's Kitchen. The Szechuan green beans were tasty and we liked their thin crust pizzas (mine was without cheese) and beer selection.

Our last stop, Victoria, had a great selection of vegetarian restaurants. We ate at Rebar on our first night here. This was a delicious choice!

After our whale watching excursion the next day, we ate lunch at Green Cuisine's extensive and all-vegan buffet! Wow! Of course, when you are paying by the pound, it comes out to be tres expensive too! But worth it!

We decided to do take-out for dinner after a long, exhausting day! Vegan pizza from The Joint Pizzeria!

Be sure to check Eric's blog for his writeup of wine and beer tasting!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Honeymoon Pics!

A mere five miles from Mount St. Helen's

Okay, so I took most of the photos, and then Eric made the nifty slideshow on his laptop...then I spent hours uploading everything to Snapfish...well, these aren't all of them. We DID take 1000 photos or so. Here's 100 of our favorites from Portland to Seattle to Vancouver and Victoria. Enjoy!

Monday, August 18, 2008

We're home!

We're home from our honeymoon! Had an amazing time! I have lots to blog about but in the meantime, here's a couple more wedding pics...

Mr. and Mrs. Strauss!!!

Eric and the Oakland Raiders garter!

With my cousins--Laurie, Kirsten (girlfriend of cousin) and Andrea, one of my bridesmaids

Monday, August 11, 2008

Day One of Honeymoon

Here's a photo of us from the first day of our honeymoon. We drove the historic Columbia River Gorge Byway and saw lots of cool falls and Mount Hood too! We've got tons to blog about like amazing sites and wonderful restaurants but here's a teaser for now...

One Week Anniversary

Well, today is our one week anniversary. Yup, we're officially married. Everything went wonderfully and almost all as planned! We're enjoying our honeymoon and will be posting pics when we have time! Portland was wonderful and tonight is our last night in Seattle.

Anyway, here's a photo from Josh Lynn, our amazing photographer. There's a few more here. Jenn posted some photos on her blog too...