Books, History, Food, Politics, and Life

Books, History, Food, Politics, and Life
Things through a different light...

Sunday, July 28, 2013


This weekend, which is one of the few remaining weekends of my Summer break, I have done a bit of cooking, or attempting to cook.
I am one of those people who love food and who attempt to cook food I like in a fancy manner...

First, English Muffins...
I love English Muffins, have some butter and Jam on them in the mornings and there is nothing better....

My first attempt was imperfect, they were a bit small and thicker than I would like, but for a first time out... I'm Pretty Pleased...

Second, I am attempting Fondant Potatoes...which is a fancy way of saying roasted potatoes in stock...but... there is also a lot of butter and thyme...

Friday, July 26, 2013

First World Problems

I am going to take a moment today to complain about a very non-important first world problem that enraged me to the point of tossing computers last night.
I play a video game, one that I have honestly invested a great deal of time and money into (more than I would like to admit) is the only video game I play, I play about twenty minutes at a time and in my world of raising an infant and going to graduate school, this is truly the mindless relax part of my day (twenty minutes).

I am of course talking about World of Warcraft (WoW), the MMORPG (massive multi-player online role playing game).  I started playing WoW in 2004 and have consistently played it (give or take a few months off) since its launch.  The game costs 15 dollars a month so multiply that by almost ten years and we won't even get into how much I've spent...because there are in game items like mounts and pets I've purchased over the years as well...
It is my little frivolity and my only expectation is that I have the ability to log on when I want to play...

Me playing WoW
Go back in time 48 hours.... 

Wednesday, Adam found a pretty good deal at Best Buy where we would essentially get to trade in our current cellphones for new ones without any out of pocket expense and so I ended up with a new Iphone 5 and he opted for the Samsung S4, both pretty pleased with ourselves...we got home late Wednesday night and reveled in the sweet deal.
Thursday night, after we'd put Aiden to bed and I had a few moments to myself, I decided to log in Wow and play a bit before bed (I played earlier in the day with no problem).  WoW has a history of accounts getting hacked by people who want to steal ingame money and resell it to players.  Because of this security issue, they have a "authenticator" that is attached to your account and generates a random code you put in before you start your game session in order to ensure no one is trying to hack your account.  My authenticator is downloaded onto my phone...and thus the drama begins.

When I started the authenticator up and put the code in my account, it did not work and the app is not designed in a way for you as the player to reset it when you say...get a new phone and have to re-download the app.  So... in order for me to even have a chance to log back into my account I had to answer more security questions than I do to get into my bank account and... SEND a copy of my DRIVERS LICENSE to Blizzard to prove I am who I say I am just to get into the game that I pay for because the company's app does not have a way for the owner of the account to reset the authenticator when they have to redownload the app for whatever reason...

It was pretty dumb, it took almost half an hour, and I didn't really get to play the game I have spent who knows how much money on just to play.

Now... this is all pretty insubstantial and not important in the grand scheme of things, like I said... First World problems... but I was pretty annoyed just the same.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


A little over two months, fifty miles, and I've lost a whopping two pounds.  I'm not frustrated at all...really.  On the plus side, I do *feel* better and I know that eating healthy and exercising are good things, but I think I get a bit discouraged when I do not see much in the realm of visible results.  Adam says he can tell... I cannot.

In other news, school starts back in a month and part of me welcomes it.  Not only would I like to actually finish grad school before I am 40, but I realize that I enjoy the research, I enjoy studying, its probably why I want to be a professor.

I am totally not coherent right now, I've had no sleep

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


1. Wanting to limit CHILDREN's access to pornography through a filter system that can be easily opted out of by anyone over 18 is not a bad thing.

2. Limiting the access to pornography that depicts children or rape is pretty important seeing that rape is illegal and disgusting and child abuse is illegal and disgusting, anyone wanting to watch "simulated" rape or child porn is a sick person and has mental problems...  this stuff SHOULD be illegal.

3. Comparing the UK's (proposed)  restrictions on children's access to porn on the internet and the proposed banning of child pornography and simulated rape porn has absolutely nothing to do with the royal birth, it has nothing to do with two people who are married and have a baby, it has nothing to do with the process of bringing a child into the world... and to compare the two is daft.

anger over.  

Monday, July 22, 2013


At the Wilson house, we've worked pretty hard to become a more healthy family.  I think part of that motivation came with the birth of seven month Aiden Brann, but in all honesty, I like eating well and living a healthy lifestyle.  
We also love food.  When we travel, we go to try different foods and tasting, experiencing and immersing in a culture through food is important.  
My grandfather (I called him Peepaw) was born in Baton Rouge, LA and he was sooo Louisiana native that he had a french tinge to his accent and he could cook. As a child I grew up on spicy Louisiana Cajun cooking and because of that nothing is EVER hot enough, nothing is TOO spicy and everything has hot sauce on it.

For a time when I was in elementary school, my peepaw lived with my family and he often cooked gumbo and jambalaya.

Tonight, Adam made me this...

It is the adam version of jambalaya and it was amazing.

I am a happy camper.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


The initial thing any new guest to my home notices upon entering the front door for the first time has to be the gigantic collection of books I have.  In my main living room, I have two seven foot shelves and four smaller shelves along with a shelf in my bedroom, another shelf in our spare room, a shelf hidden in the kitchen, a shelf in my son's room... and a giant plastic container filled in one of the hall closets...
I have... a lot of books.
My fireplace is also decorated with four stacks of books... so yea, one can say I enjoy reading.
I read every day, at least twenty minutes and while during the school year (still in grad school) those moments turn to hours of intense study, it is still reading....
I have a thing for old books, this one is well over 100 years old

As soon as I found out that I was pregnant, I began buying books... having a kid that loves reading is not just a desire it is a goal.  I've had people joke since Aiden was born "watch, he wont like to read," and I know they think I am insane when I look at them like I've just had something nasty in my mouth but, pretentious as it may sound... my child will love to read because I honestly believe that the people who do not... are missing something sacred.

By the time Aiden was six months old, I read him every single book on his shelf AND the first three Harry Potter books.  He may not get the story, but he gets the process... and as he grows he will get the idea that stories come alive from a page and how important they are to creativity.  

I had two grandmothers who emphasized the importance of reading, one who took me to the library every single week during the summer... and because of it, I HAVE to read every night.   I hope my little man is the same.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The poor

We like to disconnect ourselves from the unfortunate in society, separate ourselves and make up excuses as to why those in need are in need, put the blame on them, wash our hands of it, and skillfully move on with the idea that people who can help themselves should and if they are suffering, it is their fault.

That really really upsets me.  

Perhaps studying the Enlightenment as much as I did during my Undergraduate studies and reading the concepts of the Social Contract over and over again... but regardless of who you worship, regardless of whether you are rich or poor, we are all kind of in this boat if we let people suffer, if we let them fall deeper and deeper in despair, eventually it will come back to us.

I am sure when Marie Antionette danced around Versailles having lavish parties with overly expensive diamond necklaces, creating faux villages that she could visit and pretend to be a "commoner" and made ignorant assumptions about the availability of food when people starved (you see when she said "let them eat cake" she actually thought that since they were out of bread they could just eat cake because it was obviously ready available for her so it must be like that throughout France...thus she was THAT out of touch), she never thought eventually the people who didn't have food to eat would eventually turn the country upside down and kill anyone that even looked wealthy out of sheer madness and frustration...but she lost her head because of it.

Do I think that if we continue to ignore the growing population of the working poor that they will rise up like people in 18th century France... I hope not, but I am losing faith in the population when someone honestly says that as long as someone isn't "starving to death" or "dying from a disease" and homeless...they obviously are doing OK.

Let me preface...the Ayn Randian scary mentality that has crept into the thoughts of a lot of people lending to the notion that the "have nots" have nothing by choice really piss me off.

I am sure there are poor people who are lazy, but I have worked with quite a few people who would be called "the working poor" and lazy would not be a word I would attach to their lives.  I just think we need to start realizing that when you start to believe it is OK to let people slip into the gutter, something is wrong.

I think Rousseau needs to make a comeback...people need to do something, think about humanity as one, go to church and actually BEHAVE the way their chosen faith deems it (many pretty much say take care of the least of people), people need to realize that if we continue to not care... more and more people will suffer, and none of us are so wealthy that our fortunes may reverse in a second. 

Monday, July 15, 2013


Recently, I have encountered efforts by some to encourage me to get a job....
Now I technically still have a job if I had time to go back to it...which I do not, but explaining that to some people can be a bit difficult.
From "You need to get out of the house," to "You need something to do" resonates while I attempt to explain that in a month I will not only be raising a  7 month old baby, but resuming my graduate classes.  Fall Semester I will be taking three classes meaning that I will have three books to read and review usually by Friday of every week from the end of August until Christmas... aka, no free time.  I do not think some people realize that school is very similar to a job, but you just do not get paid.
Perhaps there is some zen ninja academic master of history books that can read 3 books in a week, write 3 papers, maintain an A average and go to work while raising an infant, but I am not that ninja master nor do I wish to be.
I think my husband is the same.

Next time they say something I may respond with... in a few weeks I start my job again, I just do not get paid for it.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


I am not going to wax poetic today about injustice or how race still matters in America, anyone with sense knows that the division between races still exists and that things like the demonizing of black males leads to a great many problems in our society.

Simply, we as a society need to stop assuming that when we see a black kid walking down the street, he must be up to something.  I live in a mixed neighborhood and we've never had a problem in the seven years we've lived here (except the one time I gave the kid 20 bucks to mow the lawn and he never came back to do the work, but that was me being stupid lol).  People of all shapes, colors, and sizes walk up and down the street in front of my house all day and night and it doesn't even register on my radar unless that person is acting a bit off... like the crazy long haired metal dude who marches up and down the street sometimes and got taken away by the cops once for screaming his head off for like 3 hours... that was exciting.  I didn't even freak out when the woman across the street who had a house arrest bracelet on her leg ran over to our yard on New Year's Eve like the second year we lived here and danced around our sparklers....hey... be freaky, you didn't scare me or anyone who was here at the time (though they did move so the corner has become a lot less exciting). 
Did I mention race at all with any of those encounters.... no?  They were both white, but I didn't think about that when they acted the way they did... I just thought look at this singular crazy person acting a bit off....

In truth, we do all have prejudices... a few years after 9/11 I got a big worried on a plane because a guy near me was middle eastern and that was completely shitty of me and I recognize that... but a lot of people act with malice or distrust people who are different and totally just not only embrace it, but defend it and that upsets me.  
When I do something like I did on the airplane, I feel ashamed, not protective of my own insecurities...and we should all be that way.

Another truth, the travesty of this recent debate over profiling kids that ended in the death of a teenager really should focus on the danger of a law that tells people it is OK to willingly attack someone with a deadly weapon when they feel like someone is being threatening because its just too open to excuse and well.... getting people killed.
If I saw a guy following me in a car for half an hour and then lost that guy and saw him get out of a car and coming at me, I would be I would probably run, but I sure shouldn't be considered an aggressor for walking down the street and with the Stand Your Ground Law, pretty much anyone you assume is an aggressor, can be called one...

Any law like that should be really scrutinized.... we shouldn't encourage any sort of vigilante justice on any level... sometimes people get guns and think that they are their own law and that is a dangerous thing when laws cater to it.

I'm not railing against gun ownership because I accept that owning a gun is a right (however misrepresented I think that protection is used in the public eye), have a gun, if it makes you feel better to have a firearm...good, but I think there is a danger to create controversial, vague, and dangerous laws that enable people to shoot first and ask questions later.

In the end, there are hundreds of teens killed in gun violence on  daily basis... look at Chicago recently, its tragic...and we should focus on our culture of violence and not one case that had specific issues that brought about media attention... if we gave each and every murder in this country as much scrutiny, if we worked to end the problem and not sensationalize it... it may actually lessen... but we shouldnt make every facebook status, every tweet, and every utterance out of our mouths become more and more divisive...

Do I believe race played a role, yes... but I do not think it was a white on black thing that happened in Florida, I think it was the now normal but highly unfortunate profiling of young black males that led to the confrontation and a lot of people do that... so lets use this as a lesson, lets stop judging people based off how they look... 

I mentioned going to the Kroger by my house the other day because I wanted canned carbonated water and I know they carry it (by the way, this is wayyy off topic in a sense, but stay with comes back around).  My husband reminded me that the Kroger near my house has a tendency to shame people who use food stamps (had an incident that got national attention because a Kroger manager pretty much put down a woman who used food stamps and mentioned her weight as proof she ate well...the woman was overweight due to medication she took for a very serious disease and imagine how horrible she felt because she received those food stamps because she can no longer work because of her illness).  Judgment is a dangerous thing and we are all guilty...  and I even need to work not to judge people, but I am working hard not to while I hear family and friends judge all the time....

We as a society get so defensive over our opinions to the point where we forget who we are and get pretty nasty and aggressive when protecting what we think is the right way.  Anyone who doesn't believe in gun ownership is an idiot, anyone who wants to have guns is an idiot... anyone who holds another political ideal is stupid...we easily call names, when we are normally good people...  I've seen people I respect as loving and accepting people become down right nasty when it comes to political and social ideology and I used to be that way...and I've stopped because it is not who I want to be.
When we become so rigid that we almost paint anyone we disagree with as enemies... we look like the idiots to be honest.  When I see someone say rude, aggressive, mean, and demeaning things about people who hold different beliefs... I think less about that person and it sometimes really upsets me because its people I care about.
I have been guilty of this too in the past and to be honest... recently, with all the racist stuff going on in my neck of the woods... I've relegated anyone who thinks its ok to be slightly racist because of the place you were born in as uneducated ignorant people, but I shouldn't do that... I should instead think to myself... how can I attempt to show them that when they judge someone based off color and excuse it because of old culture, that it is wrong.

My facebook this morning was a barrage of passive aggressive taunts, people trying to state their opinions mildly while also daring people to disagree... I disengage... I just cant do it.  

Thursday, July 11, 2013


I am slowly dwindling down my beauty box subscription experiment and deciding on one box which I believe is going to be Birchbox (I still get Ipsy as well).  My issue with Beauty Army and the boxes involves the fact that even though you can select your own samples each month from a variety, the variety is often the same and thus there is no real difference from month to month, after three months with the same options listed almost exactly, I decided that if I liked those products that much, I could buy them.  So, one more month of Ipsy and Birchbox and I believe my selections will be complete.  I did watch the Birchbox July video on their site and I liked the products they featured, so still I am leaning towards them.  I will also state that each month they have a beauty extra from Birchbox themselves and while sometimes its postcards or something I would not use... the free subscription to Women's Health in May was a really cool addition.

On other fronts, I cannot believe I am going to utter these words, but I am ready for school to start back.  I find that when I have a schedule and a lot to do, I just function better.  I want to get back to research, I want to be closer to graduating and getting my Masters so I can apply to PhD programs and I want to be one step closer to moving out of Middle Georgia.
Right now I am heavily considering (also because of Geico offices, we kind of have to move in accordance with Adam's job too): Westbury, NY and San Diego CA. 

I also have schools in other places that I could apply to that are close enough to Geico offices that the commute would not be horrible, but to be honest, I would really like one of those two places.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Oh Gods of the Internet Hear ME!

Please destroy Facebook, that is all.


Monday, July 1, 2013

Climate Change?

So last year on this day in my current place of residence pretty much right in the center of the state of Georgia (don't hold that against me), the high was 108 degrees.  Yes, one hundred and eight degrees! Now today, with some crazy rain surplus and highs in the upper 80s, it thunderstorms literally every night; so much so that my very adorable white schnauzer Snook who has a fear of thunder has developed a complex.  So I do not really get those who refute or ignore climate science and I will admit when it comes to scientific study, I am pretty much all about science and if 97% of climate scientists agree that we have an issue that we may, as a global entity, be able to alter....I do not care whose fault it is, I say we do thing that are good for the planet.  My reasons are slightly selfish.  I have an amazing little boy who I would rather not have to live out the scenarios in Day After Tomorrow, and would also like the same safe environment for grandchildren if I ever have any.  What is up with the idea of doing nothing to help the planet? I do not want to bring up religion here, but didn't God want man to be the stewards of the earth???  There are people out there who truly believe that we should just use up everything because the rapture is coming and it doesn't matter...and that is soooo not the point of the take care of this place I gave you message...I can bet on it.   I'm going to say this and be done with it...ignoring the changes in nature is actually it people dying in massive tornadoes, people dying in horrific floods, people dying in huge out of control fires fueled by dry ...windy...and overly hot environments, or people dying from pollution in 3rd world countries and industrial giants like China and's still people dying.  People are dying, animals are dying, and our kids are inheriting bad habits, apathy, and a dirtier home.  Guys...if we destroy this planet we can't just all pack up and move...

As it rains, like we in Georgia live in the rainforests of Puerto Rico (that place is beautiful by the way), please at least try to be kinder to the earth you live on.  You can deny science all you want, but that doesn't make hurting the beautiful home you live in any more sensible.  Call me. Hippie, but I don't want to breathe smoke, drink acid, or not be able to enjoy the coast because its too volatile or poison itself.