Tuesday, August 18, 2009

words or phrases i taught my husband today. the "aint that the truth" version.

"honey-do list"

the list included:

- go to store and pick up chamomile tea and toothpaste
- pick up prescription
- return videos
- wash dishes
- sharpen knives

sounds demanding, but have you SEEN some of the other "honey do lists" out there? sheesh. i think this one is do-able. plus, elias seems to like the concept of the "honey do" list. what with all of its order and sense of accomplishment and all...

also, i've been making dinner like the perfect fifties housewife recently. another post on gender roles and feminism is coming on. also a few recipes as well.


Monday, August 17, 2009

I know it's been a long time since I've posted on here

Mainly because I'm overwhelmed with stuff to write about.
I did have to post this quote, though, because I believe it to be absolutely true.

I don't care how low they drive support for this with misinformation. The minute the president signs this bill, his approval will go up. Within a year, when the good things begin to happen, and the bad things they're saying will happen don't happen, approval will explode." - Bill Clinton

Sunday, July 26, 2009

on the surface

on the surface, this is a happy-go-lucky love song that is
syrupy sweet. TOO sweet. it's like that one time
paula deen made a breakfast sandwich with TWO DONUTS
instead of bread

but there's something to this song "lucky"
and i'll tell you what it is.
first you should know (if you don't already)
that i rewind songs, and play them on repeat if
i like them. i've been known to listen to one song for HOURS if i
really like it. as if that wasn't weird enough, i also have been known
to simply rewind portions of songs that i like and listen to the
song segments on repeat.

this song has one of those portions.
you can find it from 1:08-1:28 in the video below...

i like it so much for a few reasons
first, musically... it's in a minor key
and is a very sad sentiment in the middle of
a very happy song.
i think i've talked about this before.
i love happy lyrics in minor keys
and sad lyrics in major keys
these are sad lyrics in a minor key, so they
shouldn't count, but the song is mostly happy
lyrics in minor key - so i still appreciate the contradiction.
second, the lyrics... remind me so much of how i felt when
elias was in colombia and i was here.

they don't know how long it takes
waiting for a love like this
everytime we say goodbye
i wish we had one more kiss
i'll wait for you i promise you
i will.

enjoy. (the whole song, but particularly my favorite part :)
also ignore colbie caillat's irritating swaying around

Thursday, July 9, 2009

i have quite a bit to blog about....

but, i have given so little time to it, recently. i have about 4 minutes here... so let's see how far i get.

for starters, e and i bought two lawn chairs. you know, those foldy up kind that you can put on your back? i have to say, those two chairs have made me so ridiculously happy. what a great purchase. with those chairs, we go places. we set up our chairs in parks and concerts and just have ourselves a grand old time. there's something great about having your chair and being on the go. i love it.

in other news, i'm completely disgusted with CNN recently. their version of "news" is appalling. not only are they not reporting any actual news, but they are following up their non-news with everyone's facebook comments and tweets about it. terrible. i wish there were a news channel that reported actual news. the best luck i have is CNNEspanol.

let's see... what else... ? a couple of weeks ago i made strawberry shortcake and impressed the pants off of myself. i also made a recipe from my childhood, taco pie, and it turned out darn nicely as well. i'd like to continue to grow and cook.

also, i cleaned my kitchen.

is my life this dull that i'm reporting on cleaning the kitchen? nah, my life is really exciting. i just can't boil all of the excitement into a four minute post.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

oh, i so need to chill with the E quotes, but i can't help myself.

note: this is not translated. came out this way, in english.

the scene: having just walked a million miles in the heat, elias throws off his shoes and puts one of his feet up toward the vent so the AC hits him right in the foot.

E: Look, Traci, fresh for my foot!

Friday, June 26, 2009

there are a lot of serious things i could be blogging about, but this was hilarious

the scene: me with my freshly cooked veggie buffalo wings. extra spicy. this conversation was in spanish, but one day we will be able to have a conversation like this in english too.

elias: oooooh! those look good. they smell good too.

me: yes, these are my spicy vegetarian meat that i bought at the store, remember?

elias: i remember. can i try one?

me: no, you hate them. you tried them last time, and they are really spicy.

elias: please? just a taste? just a little taste? like a corner?

me: look, it's not that i'm unwilling to share, it's that i KNOW you hate these.

elias: i'm serious, it won't be very much, just a tiny taste.

me: ---

(elias rips off said corner -- keep in mind, that's the SPICIEST part of the veggie buffalo wing, because it's mostly the outer coating. ten seconds elapse)

elias: HOLY MOLY! Oh my gosh! that is SO SPICY.

me: (seriously mad.) Elias, I TOLD you, now, cut it out and get out of here.

elias: i know, i know.

lord help me if we have a kid, and it's a boy. like him.

Monday, June 8, 2009

liked this quote

“Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more.” - Erica Jong

Saturday, June 6, 2009

simple things that make me happy (migraine edition)

1. migraine ice patches
2. honeydew melon frappe (sounds gross but is, in fact, delicious)
3. excederine migraine
4. peppermint and eucalyptus foot lotion, applied to my head when i have a migraine. (sounds like it wouldn't work, but it does.)

When Your Mind's Made Up

Just saw the movie "Once" yesterday. Somehow I missed it when it first came out, and we keep getting these "free old release" coupons at Blockbuster. When I saw this one, I remembered that I liked a song from it. Boy oh boy. What a great movie. I like this movie in the same way I like "Mrs. Potter." I feel like I really understand the main character.

Anyway, this scene was, by far, my favorite. It's a scene, but also a song. (You'll see what I mean). I don't want to give away the movie, but, in context, the lead singer has just taken out a loan to have this recording studio for a weekend. He knows nothing about recording, and the guy in the soundbooth is super cynical, thinking that he and the band are a bunch of bozos. This is their first take of the song. Love the song. Love the movie. You should rent it (even if you don't have a free coupon.)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

a couple of great new things i've learned about cooking...

i ain't no chef, that's for sure. but recently i've learned a few tricks that have been REALLY helpful in terms of making food that is cheap, healthy, easy to make and tasty.

first, baking my own bread. if I can do it, just about anyone can. i used to think that baking bread was about mixing, and kneading, and letting it rise, and then punching it down and letting it rise again, adding mysterious amounts of flowers, consulting a psychic to know i it was ready and blah blah blah. turns out it doesn't have to be. i found an AMAZING book called "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day." i found it via a NYT article. the only special equipment required is a pizza stone (even that you can skip and do it in a loaf pan if you don't have the stone.) the book claims you need a pizza peel to slide the dough onto the stone, but you don't. i've used a cookie sheet with no lip as well as a cutting board. i'm hoping to get a pizza peel sometime now that i've made literally dozens of thease loves, because i know it's something i'll use. but i digress.

The original NYT recipe is here: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/21/dining/211brex.html Try it out and see for yourself. If you like it, I do recommend getting the book, because it shows a milion variations like foccaccia and pizza dough, flat bread etc. the dough keeps in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, (and in fact it gets better with time) and so when you're ready to bake your rolls or pizza, or whatever, you just tear off a hunk and bake it. it's been exciting for me, the smell of fresh baked bread, tasty pizzas, etc. yippee for bread.

second, beans. i have made my own black beans for years, on the stove. they've always been good, but they've always taken a lot of intensive effort. soaking the beans, chopping the stuff, skimming off the foam, stirring, turning down the heat, checking them... blah blah blah. i made them one time in the crock pot (just threw the beans and all the stuff in and let them bake overnight.) the beans were good, but not as good as usual. finally, i found the secret that i think makes the best black beans ever with very minimal effort: you cook the beans in the crockpot for about four hours with just salt, THEN you add the garlic, onion, other spices, etc., and cook them for another hour or however long you want. delicious. if you're not into beans, well, not as exciting. if you're me, this is excellent news! tasty beans without having to work hard on them? excellent. incidentally, i got the idea to cook the beans this way from this site:
www.cookforgood.com. it, also, is a great site, worth checking out.

Monday, June 1, 2009

words or phrases i taught my husband today - the "you're not kidding" version

**Note: This feature, as well, is not going to be numbered any more.**

"Champagne taste, beer budget."

simple things that make me happy - meredith version

** note: i'm going to stop numbering the simple things that make me happy, because I can't remember them. instead i'm going to give them titles. **

1. walking down an unfamiliar street in south bend in the sun and ending up at le peep
2. pumpkin spice coffee in the summer (surprising and delicious!)
3. peasant potatoes (even if it's confusing)
4. the silly things elias does because he doesn't get this culture (such as: putting all of his change in the "take a penny, leave a penny" jar, because he thinks he's making a donation to a charitable organization by doing so.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

my favorite refreshing things on a hot day (in order of preference)

1. Ice water
2. McDonald's soft serve
3. Limeade with mint
4. Cold (and I mean REALLY cold) beer with lime - drank before it gets hot

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

how to be a good wife...

First, the rules (according to this textbook.)

Home Economics High School Text Book, 1954

Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal, on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed.

Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so that you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift.

Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the home just before your husband arrives, gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift, too.

Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair, and if necessary change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.

Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer, dishwasher, or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and be glad he is home.

Some don'ts: Don't greet him with problems or complaints. Don't complain if he is late for dinner. Count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day. Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft, soothing and pleasant voice. Allow him to relax and unwind.

Listen to him. You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.

Make the evening his. Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure, his need to be home and relax.

The Goal: Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.


I'm not sure where to start on this thing, but suffice it to say.... um... I choose a different path. :)

Thanks Marie.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

life in a bilingual household, or why don't they teach the word "wrinkle" or "wrinkly" in Spanish textbooks

The scene: our bedroom
The action: Elias begins to stuff his tie in his jacket pocket

Me: (in English): Don't do that, your tie is going to get wrinkled!
E: What?
Me: If you put your tie in your pocket it's going to get wrinkly.
E: What is wrinkly?
Me: Wrinkled
E: I don't know what is?
Me: (in Spanish) I don't know the word in Spanish, it's what happens when you need to iron something.
E: Oh, yes. Arrugado.
Me: Fine, arrugado. Wrinkly. You should learn that word, wrinkly. It's important.
E: Ok.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Simple Things that Make Me Happy #3

1. Fresh pineapple juice, whirled up with ice and a tiny bit of sugar
2. The fact that #1 was lovingly prepared for me by my husband
3. Receiving mail in the mailbox that isn't a bill
4. Sending "real" mail.
5. Good Bible music for kids.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


in my outrage of the torture coverup in this country. nancy, i'm not too proud of you right now, either.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Simple things that Make Me Happy #2

1. Making my own lunch
2. Grey sweatshirts
3. Lazy mornings
4. Re-using things I already have instead of buying new ones
5. Morning walks with Elias

phrases or words i taught my husband today (volume 2

"A bird pooped on my t-shirt."

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

SImple Things that Make Me Happy #1

I'm going to start another feature here on the glasses, called "Simple Things That Make Me Happy." It's fun to think about the simple things in life, and how they can bring me joy. Watch for lots of these posts....

1. Iced tea on a hot day
2. Watching my cat gobble up tuna fish or fresh chicken when I give it to him as a present
3. Baking my own bread
4. Pineapple scented black beans from TJ's
5. Sitting around a dinner table of church members, chatting about speeding tickets.

what the @#$%! is THIS?!


I was mad about this crap under Bush, and I'm mad about it under Obama.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

simple gifts...

'Tis the gift to be simple,
'tis the gift to be free,
'tis the gift to come down where you ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
It will be in the valley of love and delight.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A post about my name...

My name is Traci M. Smith... if you google Traci M. Smith, or look it up on myspace, facebook, linkedin, etc., you will see I'm not the only one. There are a lot of Traci Smiths. Still, I like my name and in these 30 years of life have become quite attached to it.
Here are some reasons I like my name:
  • I've had it my whole life
  • It's easy to remember
  • Five letters in the first name, five letters in the last name
  • Easy to spell
That's about it... I've had my name my whole live, and I never changed it. Not even when I got married. I didn't change it for a variety of reasons, including (but not limited to) the following:
  • Nobody (I repeat: NOBODY) whose opinion mattered to me cared one hoot whether I changed my name or not (not my friends, not my parents, not my mentors... nobody)
  • I know many intelligent, successful women who have kept their maiden names, and I admire them.
  • My husband is from a culture where women don't change their names
  • My husband said that he didn't care whether I changed my name or not
  • I feel that my husband and I are able to demonstrate our love to one another and to the world in so many ways, no one would dare to believe that my decision to keep my name had anything to do with an unwillingness to commit my heart, mind, and soul to the marriage.
So I kept my name. And I haven't thought too much about it, really... with the exception of one or two BIZARRE incidents.

1. Someone (granted, I think he's at least 75, probably 80) asked if the fact that I didn't change my name meant I was legally married. (Um. Yes, in fact, I'm very married.)

2. Someone flipped out about how to address an invitation to my husband and I. I mean, seriously flipped out.

So, as a public service announcement, and "for the record" (so to speak). Let me say the following: I'm happy with my name. I'm happy with my decision not to legally change it. I do not discount the possibility that if children come into my life that I might (informally) use my husband's name as a last name. I am proud of my women friends who keep their names. I am proud of my women friends who take their husbands' names. I am proud of my women friends who hyphenate their names. To me, a woman's choice to change her name (or not) is personal. It doesn't really affect me. It's none of my business, really. I call my friends by their names. End. Of. Story.

Finally, to those of you who are baffled and bewildered about how to address correspondence to my husband and me, let me say the following:

1. We will graciously accept your mail, however you choose to address it. We don't micromanage our friends.

2. If you are asking how we would prefer to receive mail, the following would be our preference:

Detroit, MI ZIP


Detroit, MI ZIP


Mr. Elias LASTNAME and the Rev. Traci LASTNAME
Detroit, MI ZIP


Elias and Traci
Detroit, Mi ZIP

This concludes the post about my name.

(or so I thought)

My good friend M pointed out that in all of my examples I put E's name first. If I'm all about "equality" and such, why didn't I put my name first? Good Point, M. Feel free to address the mail Traci & Elias. or Reverend Traci Smith & Mr. Elias Whatshisname. :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

what I've found interesting yesterday and today...

Andrew Sullivan on Doug Jehl's decision not to use the word "Torture" in the NYT.
Found it here.

The law on torture. (Nothing new to me here, but I liked how it was presented and laid out.)
Found it here.

Rodd (a member of my church) and his son's little league team name.
Found it here.

Danish photographer Peter Funch stakes New York City street corners out for two weeks at a time, taking pictures of passersby from the very same spot. He then uses Photoshop to composite the results into single images.
Found it here via boingboing

More to come.

Back to the glasses...

So, it's been awhile since I have posted on Traci-Colored glasses. I was blogging for awhile at Tanto Decir, but stopped that as well. It's a nice, sunny day, and I started this blog last year in April, so I thought I'd come back to it. Look for more "things I like" and general comments and thoughts on... well... whatever!