Monday, March 30, 2009

WAM! Movies

One of the joys at WAM! was seeing all but 2 of the 5 free independent films, 4 of which were documentaries. All were made by women.

Friday night I saw The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo. One fact that has stuck with me: The "Special Victims Unit" which handles Child Protection and Sex Crimes is a one room shack with a typewriter and only one police officer. The officer is a female who, when asked how she does all of this by herself, says "I work with the heart of a mother." Sadly, though laws are in place around child welfare and sex crimes, it is very difficult to enforce them.

At 10:00 Friday night they showed "Who's Afraid of Kathy Acker?", but I decided that I didn't want to travel home on the subway and bus too late at night. So, I skipped it.

On Saturday afternoon they showed Girl Inside. It was about the three year journey of one transgender from male to female. Very interesting. Very humanizing. Definitely deepened my understanding and compassion.

At 6:00 Saturday night filmmaker Deborah Kampmeier showed her film "Hounddog" starring Dakota Fanning and Robin Wright Penn (among other great actors). It has been talked about in the media somewhat because of the controversial rape scene. It took Kampmeier 13 years to get it made and released. I'm glad she did.

Sunday afternoon "Club Native" was shown, but I decided to go home before it started.

Really wonderful, intense, provocative films.

You Are the Cure

Thank you all for your get well wishes and cure-alls.
I tried them all and am feeling much better.
Guess I no longer have an excuse to eat ice cream for every meal (slight exaggeration).
Also no excuse for a shot of Limoncello before bed.
Thanks for all the love<3


Dare to venture along the sidewalks
and backstreets of your consciousness
Dark and Twisty
Void of landmarks
Loose and Unhinged
Linger in the doorways
of chasms
Deep and aching
for you to find the forgotten
Central to your person
The gold and burning core
Not to be extinguished
but felt
Not to be fought
but embraced
Wave your white flag and fly

Sunday, March 29, 2009

WAM! 2009

Hello All!
I have spent my weekend at the conference, Women, Action, and the Media and it has been exhausting and amazing. I have 2 sessions, a meeting with a genius, and a movie today before the conference wraps up, but I will be writing about it more in depth when I get home.
Hope you are having a great weekend!

Friday, March 27, 2009

It's Official

No matter my best intentions and the many nights on the couch, I am sick.

Sore throat.
Snuffly nose.

I slept all day yesterday.
I got up and went back to bed this morning.

It is only mild, but I am sick.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Flowers Tickle My Fancy

Loving these new measuring cups from Anthropologie.

To Sleep

And if tonight my soul may find her peace
in sleep, and sink in good oblivion,
and in the morning wake like a new-opened flower
then I have been dipped again in God, and new-created.
~D.H. Lawrence

Mixing It Up

Sometimes recipes are great, but usually I just play with whatever ingredients are lying around the kitchen. I like to get creative whenever possible.

Last night I sauteed one onion and one clove of garlic in olive oil.
I sliced a slab of Firm Tofu horizontally into four pieces.
I then cut each of the four pieces into cubes.
I tossed the cubes into the pan.
I made a peanut sauce with peanut butter, olive oil, water, & a shake of red pepper
I added the sauce to the pan.
I chopped up a head of broccoli and added it to the pan.

In a separate pan, I cooked whole wheat couscous with sliced tomato added to it.

I put the couscous on a plate and spooned the tofu mixture over it. Delish!

Bonus: It only took about 25 minutes.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cry in the Night

I woke up this morning to a stuffy nose, sore throat and headache.
I got Mr. B&B out the door.
Then I slept pretty much all day.
5:30 P.M. I awoke.
Made dinner.
Hung out with Mr. B&B.
Did dishes.
Went to bed at 9:40.
11:00 P.M. A cry in the night.
Kitty cat cry.
I bolt out of bed to find her wild with her stuffed mouse.
Running away from me.
And now I am without a doubt.
Awake, but soon to be
chasing dreams.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sunday Dinner

Last Monday Mr. B&B told me he wanted a boiled dinner for St. Patrick's Day. He said maybe we could go out to dinner. I told him that probably wasn't a good idea with the sinus infection he was fighting. "How about inviting your parents over for a belated St. Patrick's Day celebration?" I found myself saying. "O.K. That'd be fun!" my husband replied. I called to invite the in-laws who eagerly accepted.

During the week I looked up dessert recipes and settled on Irish Tea Cake, Potato Candies and Dessert Soda Bread (minus the Caraway Seeds).

Fast Forward to Friday. I went to Target for photo frames to hang up some things that have been sitting in a box too long, 2 nine inch round pans, and four beer mugs. Then I stopped at Russo's Market for fruits and vegis. Lemons for lemonade, strawberries to top the tea cake, potatoes and carrots and cabbage and onions were among the most important. Russo's is this vegan's mecca and the prices can't be beat. They have the most amazing varieties of mushrooms (Black Truffles anyone?), but even at the rock bottom prices I haven't yet been able to justify the cost. Some day. Finally, Stop & Shop for the corned beef and everything else. Normally I am a Trader Joe's girl, but the Stop and Shop is right next to Russo's and I doubted Trader Joe's would have corned beef.
Three hours later, I arrived home with my spoils.

Saturday I did all of my baking and prep. of the vegi's while Mr. B&B did a deep cleaning of the bathroom and picked up other odds and ends.

Sunday I got up, cleaned the kitchen, and began boiling the meat. Then I scurried from room to room making the bed, dusting, and sorting piles of my stuff that had accumulated over the week. Mr. B&B and I went through the box of art that has been sitting in our office for the past year. We decided where things should be hung, framed what needed framing, and Mr. B&B kindly hung them up. The last of the Christmas things and a couple of well-sorted, organized bins of things were brought to the basement for storage. I set the table and went outside to gather items for a Spring'y' centerpiece. Half an hour before in-law arrival, the vegi's were put on to boil. Just as I was transferring the vegi's from the pan to the Corningware for serving, the in-laws arrived.

It was a really nice afternoon. Good conversation. Good food. Good people. I'm so grateful for family.

But isn't amazing how three days of preparation is over in three hours?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Darling DeLaune

A few summers ago I took a literature class. One of the books we read was by a burgeoning new author named DeLaune Michel. Her debut novel, Aftermath of Dreaming, was by far my favorite book all semester. As an additional treat, we had a group phone chat with DeLaune about her book. She did not disappoint.

After the phone chat, I emailed DeLaune to thank her. We have continued to email intermittently ever since. She is the sweetest, most thoughtful, lovely person. She is super busy with family and career, but always makes time for little old me, a mere acquaintance. Her encouraging words keep the aspiring author in me going.

DeLaune's second novel, The Safety of Secrets, was released last summer. When she came to Jabberwocky Books in Newburyport for a reading and signing, I went to meet her in person. It was a thrill! Her cousin, the talented & charming & alarmingly handsome Andre Dubus III, was there signing his book The Garden of Last Days. Newburyport is his hometown. Translation: The reading and signing were a mob scene, but meeting DeLaune was well worth the wait.

DeLaune Michel, Sue of Jabberwocky Books, and Andre Dubus III
via DeLaune Michel

Shortly after that, I began following DeLaune's blog, Scribble Interludes. A candid peek into the person behind the books and the life of a professional author.

A few days ago I got an email from my dear writer friend. She has been traveling around the country to different literary festivals. In April she will be at the Newburyport Literary Festival and would like to see me. I have already booked a room and roped my best friend into accompanying me.

I can't wait!

If you live in Arizona, meet DeLaune at the Tucson Festival of Books this weekend.

Everyone should read at least one of DeLaune's books. They are a great escape and a quick read. Just be sure to set aside a whole day or at least an afternoon because you will no doubt be sucked in and unable to put the book down. For Aftermath of Dreaming, I suggest a bubble bath, candles, and wine. For The Safety of Secrets, a rocking chair and lemonade on your front porch will do. For either/or, I suggest a comfy chair, blanket, and tea. Enjoy!

Finding My Place

Things have changed since I started my Editorial Internship at Teen Voices in January. The other editorial interns I was originally working with are no longer interning. I am now the veteran. I have trained my fellow interns, Jaime and Lizzy. We all work really well collaboratively and play off each others strengths. As they have become more comfortable and come into their own, I no longer feel "the veteran" and I find myself trying to figure out my place.

I guess we are always adjusting. Our roles vary depending on the day, depending on the assignments we are given.

We are all very strong personalities. We laugh a lot and seek advice from each other and get along well. I sometimes feel lost in the mix though. Maybe it is because they are closer in age and having similar experiences where I am nearly six years older than Jaime and even further away in age from Lizzy. Six years may not sound like a lot, but think back to all of that growing and changing you did in your twenties. Six years is an eternity.

Often I wonder if I am doing enough, if I am keeping up. The editor of the magazine tells us all we are "rockstars!" So, she has no complaints which means I have no reason to be wondering or worrying. I just can't help myself.

I move forward doing what I am asked to do and more. I keep up with email, schedule interviews with artists and activists, fact check, keep sending out materials (books and cd's) for our teen reviewers to review, collaborate with my fellow interns on larger projects, process submissions, put together articles, and smile. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy every minute! Making that list, I guess I am doing enough.

Why do I feel a little lost? Maybe it is because my role is undefined. I am used to having a set standard, set responsibilities, set guidelines for achievement. As an intern, that is not the case. Our roles are shifting, moving, changing every day. I would bet that this is the case because the editor wants each of us to have a go at every task, a well-rounded experience. I respect and admire that and am grateful for every experience. It also helps me and Lizzy and Jaime to work well collaboratively because no one is "the star", collectively we are Becca's "rockstars".

Where do I belong? I'm thinking...right where I am.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

On the Couch

That is where I have been sleeping since my husband returned on Saturday.


I don't want to catch his nasty germs.


I can't afford to get sick right now.


I feel different. I'm more sluggish. I'm less productive. I feel less rested.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

I miss my soft sheets, fluffy pillows, the light peering through the blinds.

I miss the weight of the comforter, stretching my limbs along its length, the slow roll out of bed.

What do you love about your bed?
If you share your bed with someone, where do you sleep when they are sick?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

View from Here

With the husband home sick and the Liz Funk interview I could work on transcribing and editing from home, I decided not to go in to Teen Voices today. I opted to work at my desk with my sleeping husband in the next room.

The view from my desk. Note the fresh squeezed, homemade lemonade.

Perfect Lemonade Recipe
The kitty came from here.

St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I had Irish Breakfast Tea and oatmeal to start my day.

Happy Birthday to my Auntie (Pa)Tricia, too! I am Irish on my dad's side and, from what I hear, her parents were just tickled when she was born on THE Irish holiday.

Via National Geographic

More Irish Landscapes here.


Mr. B&B has been sick with congestion, coughing, fever, headache since last Thursday. So sick that he actually didn't go to work on Friday when he was on his business trip in New Mexico.

So, he flew home to me sick and it has been tissues, cold compresses, tea, and basically waiting on him hand and foot ever since. Yesterday I brought him to the Dr. who gave him meds (Praise be!)and to grocery store to pick out his own tea and juice and nasal spray.

After much tea making and errand doing and chore completing, I collapsed on the couch last evening. With a deep sigh, I closed my eyes just for a minute reveling in the act of doing nothing.

And thus spoke a nasally voice from the other end of the couch,
"You are beautiful...with your hair spilling out all around you."

And I gave thanks for the small moments and the little gestures.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Great Dog Debate

After hurt feelings and much talk, Mr. B&B is willing to consider a puppy, maybe.

I told him it is awfully hard when he is away either working during the day (sometimes long into the night) or on business travel for anything from 3 days to a week. A puppy would be a great companion.

I told him I will be home over the summer and into next spring writing my thesis. Good time to train a puppy.

I told him I never lived without dogs until he came into my life and though I intend to be with him forever, I don't intend to live without a dog forever.

I told him that though he may not know anything about dogs (he has never lived with one), I do and I can teach him and we can work together.

I told him that on Saturday night when he said that "dogs are annoying", being a woman and being me my mind went to many places including the place when it began to think "If he thinks a dog is annoying because it wants to know the rules, it wants to eat, it wants a place to sleep, and it asks for a little attention every now and then... How is he ever going to be a father?"

I told him that as much as I love our cat and the time she does choose to spend with me, she is not the same as a dog.

I asked him to be open-minded and, at some point, give it a chance.

He said, "O.K. We'll see."


Saturday, March 14, 2009


Remember the Seinfeld episode where Jerry tried to convince Kramer he wasn't Anti-Dentite?
Jerry: So you won't believe what happened with Whatley today. It got back to him that I made this little dentist joke and he got all offended. Those people can be so touchy.
Kramer: Those people, listen to yourself.
Jerry: What?
Kramer: You think that dentists are so different from me and you? They came to this country just like everybody else, in search of a dream.
Jerry: Kramer, he's just a dentist.
Kramer: Yeah, and you're an anti-dentite.
Jerry: I am not an anti-dentite!
Kramer: You're a rabid anti-dentite! Oh, it starts with a few jokes and some slurs. "Hey, denty!" Next thing you know you're saying they should have their own schools.
Jerry: They do have their own schools!
Kramer: Yeah!

I seems I have married an Anti-Dogite and right now I am not happy about it.
I am Anti-Anti (translation: anti being anti).

What Matters

Found Adventures in Babywearing through Marvelous Kiddo. She had this wonderful post with the wisdom of Charles Schultz of Peanuts Comic fame to share:

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the "Peanuts" comic strip.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.

3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.

4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.

5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.

"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia ." (Charles Schultz)

Signs Husband Is Home

1. Sports on the T.V.

2. Dirty Dishes on the Counter

3. Luggage left in the middle of the floor

4. Big hugs and soft kisses

5. Words that are music to your soul - "I love you", "I missed you", "Thank you for x,y,z"

6. Dancing around the silent house to the rhythm of your hearts

After Mr. B&B being away for 17 days over the past four weeks, I am so glad to have him home!

Questions and Answers

I interviewed Liz Funk on Thursday! She is incredible and extremely articulate. It was forty minutes of fun that passed in a flash.

I will now spend my Saturday transcribing the recorded interview. The interview won't come out in Teen Voices Online until May 2009, but I will give you all a sneak preview once it has gone from tape to type.

In the mean time check out Liz's book, Supergirls Speak Out. It is a must read for parents and daughters! It is also a quick read due to Liz's masterful mix of firsthand accounts, colloquial banter, and expert advice and opinions.

Also, check out a younger Liz as Teen Voices Activist of the Month for September 2006.

Secret to Surprise

Not long ago I mentioned a secret I was bursting to share. It is more exciting to some than others, but...

Mr. B&B and I are going to San Francisco in May! This is very exciting because many of my blog friends live in San Francisco. I have also wanted to go to California for a very long time and it will soon be a wish fulfilled.

There are other secrets to be revealed in the near future concerning career path, potential publishing of materials, and even perhaps new members of the family.

San Francisco is a good start though!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Genuine Happiness

Signs of Spring

I just heard the ice cream man's song and looked out to see his truck roll by which was rather odd with some snow still on the ground. It's gotta be Spring, right?

What's your favorite ice cream truck treat?

Oh, and peeps are blasting their music in their cars loudly with their windows open. That has got to count towards Spring, too.

What music do you blast loudly while driving around in your hoopdie with the windows open on nice days?

Yes, I did say "peeps" and "hoopdie"... a pathetic attempt to appear cool, hip, youthful...

Flight of the Firefly

As part of my class, Changing Views of Nature in American Literature, we have to find an event to participate in on Earth Day, April 22. In my internet searching, I decided to check out what was happening at The Museum of Science. They seem to be all about making it Earth Day every day. I found info. on ways they are "greening" the museum which was interesting, but not helpful in my quest for an Earth Day activity to participate in.

"A little light is going by, is going up to see the sky..." -Elizabeth Madox Roberts

While looking through their Special Programs list, I came across "Firefly Day" and "Firefly Watch" which peaked my interest. It seems that fireflies are disappearing. Alarming and sad to say the least. On Saturday, April 11, the museum will host Firefly Day, a day to celebrate fireflies, learn more about them, talk to scientist studying fireflies, and participate in Firefly activities.

While at the museum on Firefly Day, there will be an opportunity to sign-up to participate in Firefly Watch. You may also sign-up for Firefly Watch online. Firefly Watch is a Nation Wide effort, not limited to Massachusetts.

I never could have thought of it,
To have a little bug all lit
And made to go on wings.
~Elizabeth Madox Roberts, "Firefly"

I don't want to have to imagine a world without fireflies. One of my favorite songs when I was little had the refrain... "would you like to swing on a star, carry moonbeams home in a jar, and be better off than you are... or would you rather be a pig?" I always thought of the moonbeams in a jar as fireflies and I NEVER wanted to be a pig.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Blasted Busy-ness

I am so busy this semester! I had no idea how much interning at Teen Voices two full days a week was going to impact my leisure time. I miss blogging every day. I miss having the free time to devote to it, to just thinking about what is going on in my life, in my mind and writing it all out.

Instead I am writing papers, editing articles, fact-checking, interviewing magazine writers and authors, and reading lots of books (currently: Little House on the Prairie and Where the Girls Are). Plus that whole having a husband and keeping up with the housework thing.

I miss you all so much and I refuse to give up on finding the time to write and interact with all of you. Please don't give up on me. xoxo

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sweet Secrets

"We dance around in a ring and suppose while the secret sits in the middle and knows." - Robert Frost

Ever had a secret? A really big one? and really wanted to share it? with one or two people? with everyone who'll listen?

I have one, but it isn't set in stone yet so I can't go running off at the mouth about it. It is in the works though and I am super excited!!!!

Sometimes half the excitement is in keeping the secret all to yourself, feeling it all bottled up inside, roiling around, waiting for the right moment to burst forth.

"Secrets are made to be found out in time." - Charles Sanford

Slowly my secret is growing into a surprise...

While you're waiting, learn other peoples secrets here.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Stars in My Mind's Eye

In response to this post by Ruth at Synch-ro-niz-ing.

Dear Ruth,
Amazing... Living so close to the city now I am happy to see a couple of stars and recently Orion's Belt, but you brought me back to days growing up in a small town where the only bright lights I knew were the stars blanketing the sky.
The first poem I wrote when I was 5 or 6: Under the dark are the stars, under the stars is a tree, under the tree is a blanket, and under the blanket is me.

The other place you brought me back to is last summer in Maine where I lay in the grass with my nieces and nephews staring up at the twinkling sky.

Thank you, Ruth<3

Work From Home

With all the crazy snow, Mr. B&B will be working from home today. Side by side in the office we will toil together which will either be motivating or completely distracting. It will be nice to have him home, but I do have a routine and it bugs me a bit to have it messed with. Selfish, I know and I can't believe I'm feeling it.

Mondays and Fridays are my "Work from Home" days. Fridays are the days when I get the big house chores done like laundry and sweeping and dusting in addition to the normal light housework. When those things are done, it is homework time. Mondays are the normal light housework like bed-making and dishes before sitting down to homework with near zero distractions all day. This particular Monday I have one paper that needs to be completed and two papers that need editing before I can turn them in tomorrow and Wednesday. That makes today an intense homework day. I just hope Mr. B&B is more of a motivator than a distraction.

Wait a minute... I think Mr. BandB feels the same way about me. He just asked me where I will be working today. "Why?" I asked. "Because if you are working in the office, I will find another place to work." Too funny...

Sunday, March 1, 2009


In like a lion...
Yes, it is snowing here today. 8-12 inches expected by the time it stops tomorrow night. Really, it has been known to snow in April so none of this should come as a surprise AND I am grateful for "normal" weather because really we should not have sundress weather in late February/early March in Massachusetts, BUT I think I am a little weather weary. The weariness sets in around this time every year. Soft and feathery snow, while lovely, is less welcome when my heart has had a taste of Spring and is more than longing for strings of lustrous, languid, steamy, sunshiney days.

Speaking of sunshine, my sunshine has returned from his week long business trip to New Mexico. Iris the MeowMeow and I could not be happier! I think he is pretty thrilled to be home, too. Last night he came home to a choice of two meals for dinner. Option One: Turkey meatloaf with roasted sweet potato rounds and broccoli. Option Two: Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage cooked in a broth of onions, garlic, tomatoes, and peppers over whole wheat rotini. He went with the sausage. He also came home to a clean house and an exceedingly happy, doting wife. Gotta keep him coming home :-)

Happy March! Let us hope it goes out like a lamb...