Category Archives: Musings

Eid Mubarak!

I just want to wish myself an Eid Mubarak!!! Tomorrow is Eid-ul-Adha.  Unfortunately it snuck up on us this year as we weren’t paying attention so pretty much everyone has to work today, and I have to review for my finals.  It’s gonna feel like a regular day other than the fact that we’ll be having the usual family dinner.  Although, I’m not even sure everyone will be able to make it for that…alas, if only we got as much time off as we do for Christmas.  I remember being little and feeling like Eid was SUCH a huge deal, now it feels like just another thing that we don’t have enough time for.

But anyways, for those of you who dont know what Eid-ul-Adha is, here’s a brief explanation:

“Eid al-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى ‘Īd ul-’Aḍḥā) or the Festival of Sacrifice (Turkish: Kurban Bayramı) is a religious festival celebrated by Muslims and Druze worldwide in commemoration of the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. The devil tempted Ibrahim by saying he should disobey God and spare his son. As Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son, God intervened and instead provided a lamb as the sacrifice. This is why today all over the world Muslims who have the means to, sacrifice an animal (usually a goat or a sheep), as a reminder of Ibrahim’s obedience to God. The meat is then shared out with family, friends (Muslims or non-Muslims), as well as the poor members of the community. “–

So if you celebrate Eid, I hope you have a wonderful holiday full of family, friends, food and fun.  If you don’t celebrate Eid, I hope you have a particularly fantastic Monday full of um….something that will make your Monday suck less. Love, Peace and Hugs!



Happy Monday-Before-Turkey-Day!

skydiving_blogHello, everyone! It’s the countdown ’til Thanksgiving, and I’m sure you’ve got your cranberries and whatnot in order. I’ll be jetsetting off to California for turkey this week (the northern part, if you must know) and hitting up San Francisco for frightening hordes of cash-strapped shoppers and even doing some skydiving, believe it or not. So I’ll have some super-fun photogs of the day for you coming up!

That is, um, if I don’t die. I mean… I am JUMPING OUT OF A PLANE. It’s a significant risk!

Anyway, it looks like with Mr. Belle’s help I’ll be in charge of dessert at his family’s Thanksgiving party this year. This is pretty typical; I am MUCH better at baking than cooking, and I spend every holiday stuffing my friends with enough sugar to give them diabetes (you love it, don’t lie!) so making pies is not much of a stretch. Pressures of impressing the boyfriend’s extended family aside, that is.

But I have no idea what to cook. Usually, when it comes to finding new recipes or ideas, Martha is my girl. I have every baking book she’s ever published and a lot of her regular cookbooks. Granted, she’s a little OCD for my tastes, so I tend to scope out the easier recipes she has first and work my way up, but I’m such a fanatic that if she says it’s worth it I pretty much believe her. (The same thing does not apply for decorations or… y’know, household stuff. I don’t take this kind of thing to extremes, and neither does Cranberry Blossom, lol) But, dammit, who else can make deep-frying a turkey look so goddamn easy?

Well, besides Alton Brown, that is. (Oh, Alton… I have SUCH a huge crush on your culinary geekiness!)

But I just can’t seem to find the right mix of “pie to impress Grandma” and “easy but looks like I worked really hard on it.”Most of Martha’s recipes take so much work and finesse that I’m sure it’s going to cross that line from “impressive” to “way too much work!” So far this pumpkin bread pudding looks tasty and fun to make, but beyond that… I’m stumped.

So I turn to you, dear readers. What’s your plan for Thanksgiving? Do you not even bother? Help me out, here!

Barack, We Need to Talk…

Obama smokes. Yeah, Mike, we know.

Now, I have been enjoying Obama euphoria as much as anyone. Without it, the prospect would be depressing indeed. But where is the skepticism? If Obama actually has accomplished the miracle of giving up cigarettes at the apogee of a presidential race, he should be happy to let us know this and add to his superman image. And if he hasn’t? Well, if he is straight with us about it, we should forgive him. So he’s not a superman. Neither are we. In a democracy, that is a good thing for ruler and ruled to know they have in common. Furthermore, as presidential vices go, this one is not near the top. As for being a role model for youths, Obama’s good habits outweigh this single bad one. He’s great on hydration, apparently.

Personally, lighting up just ain’t that big of a deal for me. Mr. Belle smokes, not all the time but maybe a few cigarettes a day, and I’m one of the only non-smokers I know who doesn’t mind kissing somebody who has a cancer stick hanging out of their mouth regularly. There are many, many people who disagree with me, however. And, honestly, when it comes to Barry I kind of agree with them.

When you say that smoking makes O more human or less supermaobaman, I guess it’s true; but how human is the president supposed to be? How flawed is someone with that much power allowed to be? We have a noble history of flawed presidents to look back on, for sure, but with O simultaneously being the harbinger of a grand cultural shift and under the magnifying glass of “OMG YOU’RE BLACK, KIND OF,” there isn’t much room for being flawed. There also isn’t room for saying you’ve quit, you haven’t quit, you’re wanting to quit and your wife is inspiring you to quit, all at the same time. It’s distracting.

Sure, anti-smoking guy is on your side and that wins you brownie points, but Barack, what I really need is an actual plan. I need to know that you can stick to your guns and follow through on either smoking or not smoking. Preferably the latter. Because there are so many bigger things for you to follow through on… not to mention national security and not getting carpal tunnel. Quitting would show me and the rest of America that you are dependable, even for the little things, and that you will prioritize your health so that you can hopefully lead us for a very long time. Leading us on might make us get all angry-woman-scorned on you, and that really would have worse consequences for you than for the old white guy we would normally have elected.

I mean, we chose you over Old Man Melanoma, right? Now that the pressure’s over, somewhat, put the cigs down. Compared to what you have to do in a few months, (and, like, right now) this is nothing.



Let’s Just Get This Over With

McCain is feeling feisty! At least, so says the Herald. And ya know what, that is not a bad way to describe the little bugger. I’m sure he is just chomping at the bit to either avoid the emergency RNC meeting scheduled for after the election (sshhh) so he can avoid the plane crash (ZING!) or pop some bottles and let Cindy steal just a tiny sip of champagne to choke down those painkillers as she realizes she’s actually First Lady. (Whoops! Too far? I do feel bad for her. She’s in a bad marriage and probably hates her life more than any of us can imagine. If she needs some little white helpers to get her through, so be it.) Republicans are pushing away old Bushy to let McCain have the spotlight, or try, anyway, on the eve of Election Day. Speculations about the results are raging (this Kenyan newspaper is actually a really interesting read, and totally doesn’t have a favorite candidate, LOL. Did you know they have a bull ready for celebratory slaughter when they find out he wins? Par-tay!) and Americans are trying to remember if they’ve already voted or not.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Whatever. I AM SO SICK OF THIS ELECTION. So the fact that tomorrow is voting day and tomorrow night is speculation night and Wednesday and Thursday and Friday are recount days just excites me like nothing else. IT WILL FINALLY BE OVERRRRR!!!

But, on the eve of this momentous and dragged out election, we gotta send condolences out to Barry: His grandmother passed away in Honolulu. 😦 Sad faces all around… here’s hoping he has a few minutes to actually grieve before he has to lead the free world, or whatever.

Voting for Change: The Video Game

[12:18] belle: obama put ads in guitar hero

[12:18] ivan: O_O

[12:18] belle: wow that’s insane

[12:18] ivan: NO WAI
[12:18] ivan: thats the new guitar hero

[12:19] belle: he put ads in 16 different games
[12:19] belle: i ❤ obama

[12:20] ivan: i cant believe that
[12:20] ivan: that is leet as fuck

[12:20] belle: i knoooow
[12:20] belle: they’re awesome
[12:20] belle: hang on
[12:21] belle:

[12:23] ivan: O_O
[12:23] ivan: LOL

[12:23] belle: i loooooves it

[12:23] ivan: BARACK OBAMA
[12:23] ivan: dude
[12:23] ivan: if i was hardcore mccain
[12:23] ivan: and i heard
[12:24] ivan: “Barack Obama has officially become the first presidential candidate to buy an ad in a video game.”
[12:24] ivan: it would be over
[12:24] ivan: regardless of policies

[12:24] belle: hahahaha

[12:24] ivan: history
[12:24] ivan: record

Dear Barack,

You have won my heart. Not only did you geek out with Superman references at the Alfred E. Newman dinner, but you text me nearly everyday, send me emails every morning and now you’re in my Guitar Hero. You talk to me more than my own boyfriend. You truly are the future, B, and Ivan and I love you for it.

And that is why I am proudly voting for you in this election. That and because your wife is awesome enough to have let you do things like advertise in video games and make jokes about having children in wedlock. A vote for you is a vote for her, and Michelle, I know you’ll be great in the Oval Office. You keep that man in line!

All my love,


Rice is a Vegetable, and It’s Veggie Day

Eavesdrop gave me this gem today:

Girl 1: Are cupcakes carbs?
Girl 2: I don’t know. They have flour, and flour’s a carb right?
Girl 1: I don’t know. It has butter. Is butter a carb?
Girl 3: I thought only bread was a carb.
Girl 2: No. So are things like pasta and rice.
Girl 3: Rice is a carb? I thought rice was a vegetable.
Girl 1: Are you serious?
Girl 3: I’ve never really thought about it, but if you asked, I would say a vegetable.
Girl 2: No it’s definitely a carb.

Yeah, it’s funny, it’s exactly what I’d expect to hear on a college campus and I’m POSITIVE Jas and I have had a conversation or ten exactly like this… but it got me thinking, too. Why do girls in our generation obsess over eating to the point where it takes over our entire lives? Why does our emotional happiness rely on every little piece of food that goes in? We’re constantly weighing what we’ve eaten with what we haven’t, justifying every morsel we put in our mouths and beating ourselves up brutally when it’s the wrong thing. I remember first starting to do this in elementary school. When lunchboxes featured fruit roll-ups and Doritos. I watched female classmates eat nothing but a Rice Krispie treat and viciously judge each other about what they’ve consumed before they could even justify wearing bras. Why can’t we fuckin’ lighten up?

Now, I don’t diet. I don’t believe in it, even though sometimes I REALLY REALLY have to fight those urges to jump on that bandwagon and lose a few pounds. Maybe I’ll even indulge in a few minutes thinking about all the things I’ll stop eating so I can tighten up a little (I’ll start tomorrow, I swear). Cut out some carbs, eat a little less at every meal, starve my way through the workday ’til I’m about to fall over… ’cause, hey, dumbass (this is my body talking) your blood sugar can’t really handle starvation, now can it? But I never follow through and I know it’ll never work; I will still eat that croissant for breakfast, grab an Oreo after dinner and order those mini-burgers at the restaurant ’cause, dammit, I’m hungry.

But I don’t love my body. Yesterday was Love Your Body Day and I definitely didn’t celebrate. The only reason to even think about dieting is for my boyfriend. Hah! Not for me, not even for other girls, even though being a 5’7″ elephant on stilts when I’m tromping through DC doesn’t help my self-esteem much. The only appeal of dieting is in somehow becoming more appealing to the people around me, since my size is a source of utter embarrassment and shame (and apparently your size can change depending on what’s going on in your relationship — thanks, honey!) When Mr. Belle came home for the first time in two months, I was petrified that he’d see “healthy sized” me and run right back in the other direction.  I realized once again that I can’t go shopping with him unless it’s in HIS section, since I’m totally ashamed of that size tag on those jeans and that dress, and I’ll do anything to drag him away from my section of the store. (Truth is he doesn’t care, and neither should I.)

He hits the gym two hours a day and is very active all day long, while I watch my ass slowly spreading at my 9-hour-a-day desk job. He recently lost a shit-ton of weight and can show it off any time he likes — I’m proud of him, so why shouldn’t he? But I still hate every picture from the beach and hide under loosely-fitted skirts and layers. And, I might add, he has a long history of obsessing over his diet WAY MORE than any girl I’ve ever met, so controlled eating is not a problem for him. I consider it an accomplishment to order a salad in a restaurant, and then remember that I HATE SALAD.

Lots of people point out that losing weight is easier for men and that maybe they care less about it, but I find that the men in my life care MORE about dieting and exercising than the girls do. But they also are more active about it; instead of complaining about dieting (like I do) they actually diet, they show up at the gym, they lift the damn weights together and touch each others’ muscles (yeah, it’s as awkward as it sounds). Sure, they obsess (if Mr. Belle misses his workout, you can find me hiding somewhere FAR AWAY) but in my limited test group it seems like men get the damn thing done.

So are men just better at this whole weight loss business, or is their obsessing as bad or worse than what the women I know do on a daily basis? Do you obsess about this stuff as much as the rest of your friends, or even our generation? If I remember to show up at the gym, will you have already been there for two hours or are you as far away from it as possible?

Found: Pair Of Women’s New Balance Sneakers

Found, pair of Women’s New Balance Sneakers, Size 8.5, this morning in the backseat of my Volkswagen Rabbit, the windows to which I mistakenly left rolled down last night.  Grey and light blue, untied, moderately used and chlorophyll-stained.

Who the hell leaves their shoes in strangers’ cars?

And are they cute and/or available?