Sunday, August 30, 2009

Turkish for Travelers

I just went to the King County Library's website to see if they had a book about Buddhism, since I've been into learning about religions recently. Well I saw they had "Buddhism for Dummies" and 5/8 copies are checked out, but 3/5 of "Islam for Dummies" are checked out. Personally, I think more people need to be reading about Islam so they have something to counteract the Fox News view point than reading about Buddhism so they can be like their favorite cool movie stars who are Buddhist.

By the way, if you're looking for a good book on Islam, skip reading "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)" by Robert Spencer.'s pretty obviously biased and when you look at the other books in the series you can see they it's not just trying to be straight forward but they do have an agenda, and it isn't pro Islam to say the least. I won't say the book outright lies about Islam, but it's very misleading in that it leaves out important details, such as historical context for one. Also, the little side boxes of "Jesus vs. Muhammad" are pretty ridiculous.

I went to a Turkish for Travelers class yesterday at the Rick Steve's Travel Center. It was fun, but I felt really bad for my husband. He got up after only a few hours of sleep to go with me, and was a gumpy-potamus. Well he thought it was at the Edmonds Art Center or something like that and it wasn't, so we checked the e-mail and it said at the Edmonds Theater. We drive over there and because there was a Farmer's Market there was no parking. He dropped me off at the door and drives off to park. I stick my head in the theater and ask if the class is there and a lady told me there's a Turkish class at the Rick Steve's Travel Center, which was just around the corner. So I walk over, thinking that he would be told the same thing when he showed up. I didn't want to wait since it was like 12:02 and we were late already. I also didn't have my cell phone, so I couldn't call him or anything. Well I get to the class and it started a couple minutes late. I kept looking back expecting to see my husband walk in the door...nope. The class went over, until like 1:45...and then he came in. He was mad, to say the least. He had been waiting outside the theater for like an hour and a half :( Too bad he didn't call the phone number on the e-mail confirmation to find out where it was.... I guess I should have waited for him, but I thought he would figure out it was there. I guess he even walked right past the travel center where they had a sign at the front door about the class and just didn't see it. So yeah...I felt bad about that.

At least we got an invitation to a Turkish Iftar dinner tomorrow night! It's like "Iftar for Americans", so white people can see brown people eat really, really fast and eat some good food too. Mmmm I love Turkish food!

We were supposed to go golfing today...but Jason's still in bed...I doubt it'll happen now. Oh well.

Friday, August 21, 2009

High Cost of Conventional Food

I just read a really good Time article about the real cost of food production in the US. Well worth reading, especially take a look at the last page that compares organically grown, grass fed beef to conventional corn stuffed feed lot beef.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Books and Beef

So this freaked me out a little. I was reading KimDonesia's blog (, she's awesome) and saw her post about her icon. It linked to the website, which had an article about preparing for Ramadan. I click it and there's a link to a website called HalalTube. This has a list of contributors. I'm looking at the list thinking "Hmm...I wonder if they have any white people on this website" and I see a guy listed named "Johnathan Brown"...turns out he's one of my husband's Near Eastern Studies professors from UW. 6 Degrees of Kimdonesia! Little bit freaky.... (

Speaking of that, my husband has lots of good books on Islam, which I have been perusing recently, because he took all these classes (and was in Iraq for a year). He has a cool Quran w/ English translation on one page and the matching Arabic on the opposite page. There's a book about the Prophet Muhammad (and yes, pbuh indeed) that I've been working my way though. There as a book that looked promising, Aspects of Islam, but was more of a glorified college thesis paper. Well, I just found one called "A History of God" which isn't necessarily one form college or about Islam, but it was a NYT best seller and looks pretty good, so I think I'll give it a try. I love my well educated husband <3!

I've been thinking, and I've decided I want to open a gourmet halal butcher. It would be pretty awesome. The meat wouldn't be packaged "Beef - stew" "lamb - ground" "goat - steaks" it would be "Beef chuck - good for stewing and braising" "ground lamb - use for burgers, meat pies, etc" "beef tenderloin - grill, sear or another high heat short cooking time method". Just because it's halal doesn't mean you shouldn't make it delicious and use the meat in a way that does it justice. Oh, and I could also make sure my beef is grass fed, same with lamb, goat etc. And that the chickens aren't kept in eensie-weensie cages and fed garbage too.

I bring this up because I bought some "Beef - stew" meat that was way too lean to be stew meat. It tasted like tail or something, definitely wasn't shoulder (chuck) which is the single best cut for stewing and braising. It has fat, I know, but it's not like I'm eating beef every day, or even every week.

So...yeah. I'll probably write about my $400/month experience soon. I've been trying to budget $400 per month for food for two. Kitties don't count. It's the 20th and I have about $80 left for the month. We're going to be eating a lot of lentils....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Things to consider

1. You should see District 9. It was good. And oh so South African! I mean common, Wikus van de Meuwe, that's about as Dutch/Afrikaans as it gets. Baby alien was super cute too <3

2. I think everyone should read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. If you don't agree with the rights outlined in it, then you can count yourself among the USSR, Saudi Arabia and apartheid South Africa since they were the only countries who did not vote yes on the resolution.

Apparently some people think that "warm shelter" and "clean and healthy food" are not basic human rights and I'm just appalled by that. The sheer selfishness of some people, especially ones who claim to be Christian, is absolutely sickening. Trying to justify who is entitled to having health care is so despicable that I can't even begin to describe it. Why is it that for being the single greatest best country, or whatever the idiotic line Glen Beck pulled out of his ass was, we let people die every day because they can't afford basic preventative health care? There are a lot of things that are great about this country, but this delusional mind set that we ARE the greatest country in the world and always will be is dragging us down. If we believe we're at the top and don't realized that other countries are climbing up over us, then we're doomed to fail.

3. Our world is changing, and it has been changing dramatically over the last 100 years or so. People are getting fat because humans are not meant to sit on their asses eating subsidized GMO corn Doritos all day long while watching Desperate Housewives of New Jersey, or whatever that idiotic show is called.

This has nothing to do with your political party or being conservative or liberal. It has to do with realizing that our world is changing and it doesn't look like we're going to go back to the way things were before. Are we really going to give up cars and electricity and all these other things that have made life easier? No, probably not, so we have to learn to deal with the new problems that are arising due to the changes that we have put in place. Global climate is real and a huge treat to our planet and way of life. Human population has exploded in the last 100 years and they are predicting the world will have 7 billion people in 2011. We're upsetting a delicate balance, and we have to start tipping the scales back.

P.S. It may have been Sean Hannity, not Glenn Beck.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

First Real Post!

Ok, so I've had this blog for a while but I just haven't had any real ideas about what to write. I mostly just use facebook to do quit updates with interesting articles or ideas, so I'll try to move that over here.

I got to work this morning and pulled up, like I do most mornings and the headline article really surprised me.

Yeah...a major American news network with a headline article that doesn't bash Muslims. I was quite surprised and impressed. CNN has had several "Generation Islam" articles that I've noticed on the front page in the last week or so, but I think this one stuck out because I'm a woman who does not see women who wear hijab as being oppressed. There is a difference between religion and culture, and I think 99.9% of women in this country who wear hijab do it because of their faith, not because a man forces them to. In other countries, such as Saudi Arabia, where culture has taken over Islam, that isn't the case.

People need to stop fearing and pittying women who wear hijab and be proud that there are still people who don't think showing off their boobs to everyone is appropriate.
I'm going to start using this blog. I sware! I just need something to write about....