Vote Smarter Not Harder

research your ballot

Even as someone who avoids the news, I am very aware that there is an election coming up in November.  One race is a big topic on everyone’s mind, but that is not the only item on our ballots. So in today’s post, I would like to encourage you to vote smarter not harder – to take a little time to really look into who and what you are voting for on your entire ballot so that you can make an informed decision on each candidate and ballot initiative.

vote smarter not harder

Researching my ballot is not my favorite way to spend my time and I don’t doubt there are lots of other things that you would rather be doing. But I assure you that it is time well spent. By putting that effort in, I can feel comfortable that I’m voting for the candidate who will potentially cause the least amount of harm or that I’m not supporting a ballot initiative that would cost more than its purported benefit. In the March primary election, one guy running for district court judge actually changed his first name to Judge. At first glance, I thought, “Oh, this guy is already a judge,” but no, he was actually not at all qualified and being intentionally misleading!

How to research your ballot

It can be tricky to find good sources of information about local and state races. I will sit down with my ballot and Google each item. You can search by district (ex: CA 47th Congressional District), by candidate (they all pretty much have their own website these days – it’s a good way to get an idea of their education and professional background), or by region (ex: LA County Voter Guide). Your local bar association will put out a list rating candidates for judicial positions as “well qualified,” “qualified,” or “not qualified.” I’m a big fan of the voter guide put out by the Southern California Public Radio website LAist; I hope that other public radio stations put out similar information. I like to compare what a candidate’s website, LAist, and my local newspapers have to say about things.

The League of Women Voters (LWV) also puts out a voter guide. I love the LWV; it is a non-partisan organization that was founded in 1920 (the year the 19th Amendment was ratified) to help women carry out their responsibilities as voters and today is an organization dedicated to encouraging the active and informed participation of all citizens. The LWV doesn’t take a position on initiatives, it simply presents them as written and explains potential impacts, who is supporting and opposing each one, and what a “yes” vote or a “no” vote would mean. They have a resource called Vote 411 where you can put in your address and get personalized voting information.

A new resource that I just found is Ballotpedia. The website states that its mission is to deliver, “unbiased information to educate and inspire American voters” and it seems to have a lot of straightforward information. I think that I will be incorporating this site into my ballot research.

If you haven’t already received your California voting guide in the mail, here is a link to an online version: California Voting Guide.

Who and what you decide to vote for is none of my business and I wouldn’t presume to offer you my opinions on any of the races or measures. But I do hope that you will consider committing a little bit of your time to looking up the candidates and propositions before you mail you ballot in early or head to the polls. Remember to vote smarter not harder.

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

junior pirates

When I was thinking about posting about International Talk Like a Pirate Day, I consulted my sister – who is an expert in all things piratical – to ask where such a topic would fit in my posting schedule.  She quickly and firmly responded: Health & Wellness Monday. So, today’s post will focus on the health and emotional benefits of talking like a pirate (at least for a day).

International Talk Like a Pirate Day (TLAP) is held annually on September 19.  Established in 2002 by a couple of guys – Ol’ Chumbucket and Cap’n Slappy, they chose September 19 because it was Cap’n Slappy’s ex-wife’s birthday.

The idea for TLAP Day arose out of a handball injury.  One of the guys tweaked something, and exclaimed, “Arrrrrr!” This became an inside joke which evolved into an internationally recognized holiday.

When I learned that delightful tidbit, it reminded me of many years ago when I would play tennis with a group of ladies after work. One of the gals had been a tennis instructor and she was working with me on my hitting.  She kept coaching me to say, “grrrr!” when I hit the ball, but it wasn’t until I switched to “argh!” that my stroke improved. In that moment Pirate Tennis was born. One of the other gals even made us a little logo – a skull (with lovely eyelashes) and crossed tennis rackets (I wish I still had a copy of it to show you!).

How does one celebrate TLAP Day?  However you see fit! You don’t need to partake in excessive amounts of grog or have an elaborate pirate costume; but if any of that is your jam, go for it. Ol’ Chumbucket and Cap’n Slappy are very clear that this is TALK like a pirate day, not ACT like a pirate day. They don’t condone acts of piracy. What it is all about is expressing your pirattitude.

Pirattitude is defined by the Urban Dictionary as the natural attitude that comes from embracing one’s inner pirate. I feel that it has to do with expressing oneself in a bold manner, not worrying about holding back or staying quiet to try to be polite.

So here we can get into the wellness benefits of talking like a pirate – sometimes you just have to let it out!  Don’t be afraid to “Arrrr!” or “Argh!” or however else you feel like you need to exclaim. I mean, I do whisper sweet nothings to the kittens all day long, but some days speaking clearly and articulately is a challenge. The other week, I was going to give a speech at my Toastmasters meeting (online), and it took me four times reading my speech out loud to find my voice. It can feel strange to speak up when you are at home alone.  But try it. Not in that soft, sing-song way that you talk to yourself, in a bold, loud, clear way.

Whether or not you decide to celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day on Saturday, I hope you will take an opportunity to express your pirattitude (even if it is just to your cats).

Introducing the Virtual Museum Visit Series

the louvre museum, photo by Chris Karidis on Unsplash

Do you miss museums? What do you think about a virtual museum visit?

Back in the old days (before March 2020) I liked to find a reason for a museum visit at least a couple of times a year. For me, it was a great way to break out of my routine and get a different perspective on things.  If there wasn’t an exhibit that I was particularly interested in, the people watching alone was usually well worth the price of admission.

Some museums are beginning to open with restrictions. When I think about recent museum visits, a social-distanced museum experience sounds delightful. But I’m probably not going to make a point of going to a museum anytime soon.

Venus de Milo at the Louvre: Photo by Jean Carlo Emer on Unsplash

Recently, I saw a teaser on the internet about virtual museum tours and thought what a great topic for a blog post! Most of us still aren’t traveling anyway, why not check out some of the great museums of the world from home?

I thought that it would be easy to pull together a list of museums and link to their virtual tours and we would be on our way.

Once I started digging in, the first thing that became clear is that not all virtual museum tours are created equal. The second thing was that trying to wander around a museum virtually is not as easy or as much fun as one would hope.

Like most things on the internet, it is better to have an idea about what you are looking for before you begin. Whereas back in the old days, you could decide to go to a museum and just wander around for a few hours, the navigation of even the most user-friendly virtual museum tour is broken down into layers and layers of sub-menus. There are so many decisions to make before you get near any art.

Some virtual museum tours try to make it seem like you are walking through the galleries. I found these tricky to navigate and started to get frustrated. Some are more like online photo albums – it’s really more of a slide show than a virtual tour.

I realized that what I really wanted was some sort of video where someone would take me through a gallery, give me a good look at the work, and tell me about it. I started to find some videos on YouTube, but there is a lot of variation with these as well. So, what I’ve decided to do is start a series here where I will create a curated virtual museum visit for various places. These may include videos, virtual tours, selections from a collection, and articles about the institution, a particular collection, exhibit, or work.

This will give me an excuse to snoop around and see what I can find with a clear goal in mind: providing you, with a manageable, curated experience. I envision it being the kind of thing that you can just read the post and go on with your life or you can take a little time to click through the various resources I’ll link to and have your own little virtual field trip.

St Peter’s Basilica: Photo by Jan Tielens on Unsplash

Some of the places that I have started exploring for us include:

On the one hand, it’s never going to be the same as being there in person. On the other hand, doesn’t it sound fun is it to get to poke around from the comfort of your own home?

I’m going to try to post at least one a month and we’ll see how it goes. If you have any tips for navigating virtual museum experiences or suggestions for particular things that you would like to see, let me know!

Celebrating World Coconut Day

photo by tijana drndarski via unsplash

Yes, yes I did happen to go through one of those made-up holiday calendars and make note of the ones I found interesting. And no, they are not ALL Cat Days (although there seems to be at least one cat day pretty much every month). But perusing things that someone somewhere thinks merit holidays does give one opportunities to contemplate delightful topics such as World Coconut Day.

World Coconut Day is September 2, but like all of these made-up holidays, it seems like the kind of thing you could celebrate any old time. There is also a National Coconut Day on June 26; you could book-end your summer with coconut celebrations if you wanted to.

As a fan of the coconut, I decided that I would take advantage of today being World Coconut Day adjacent to learn some coconut fun-facts:

Coconut is the fruit of the coconut palm. It is used for water, milk, oil, and meat (coconut kernel). Coconut milk, cream, and oil are all extracted from the kernel which is mostly fat.

The fat found in coconuts is a medium triglyceride (MCT) which is considered a type of good fat. MCTs are considered a good source of energy because they can be absorbed directly by the small intestine. Coconuts also contains phenolic compounds, which are antioxidants (substances that help maintain the health of our cells).

Coconut shell can be used to make an iconic bikini top substitute, drinking vessels, and other crafty things.  It can also be processed into charcoal. The fibrous husk can be processed into coir, which can then be used to make things like doormats.

Rhythm of Hawaii by Dole Foods (15570182163).jpg

photo courtesy of wikimedia commons

Did you know there is such a thing as coconut flour? I didn’t. But I learned that it is made from dried coconut kernel and is gluten free. And if you’re in the market for gluten free flour, you might be interested to know that coconut flour has less carbs and less fat than almond flour.

All of these coconut fun-facts got me thinking about my favorite coconut applications:

One of my favorite coconut products from my youth was classic Hawaiian Tropic tanning oil (which turns out was mostly mineral oil). It smelled divine and helped me achieve that tropical, golden glow.

In my early grown-up years, I parlayed my love of Hawaiian Tropic into an affinity for Malibu Rum. These days, rum is not my go-to spirit, but I sure do like Pina Coladas (and getting caught in the rain). I also love a Blue Hawaiian (when I can get my expert Tiki drink-maker neighbor to make one for me – hint, hint).

Of course, coconut cream pie is another of those coconut treasures that I can’t get enough of (even though it’s been two years since I made one – what am I thinking!?).

coconut cream pie

In our ongoing homemade ice cream venture, we are still working on perfecting coconut ice cream. Mr. Man’s special touch is adding toasted, salted coconut flakes to the coconut milk/coconut cream base (yum!). The problem is we are having a hard time getting a consistently creamy texture. My sister recently sent us an article about adding spirits to your homemade ice cream to help it stay softer. I may need to get myself some Malibu Rum!

How about you?  What are your favorite coconut applications? How would you celebrate World Coconut Day?

National Book Lovers Day

book stack

August ninth marked the observance of National Book Lovers Day, a day that encourages people to put down their devices (unless that device is an e-reader I suppose) and read a book!

I am currently reading around three and a half books:

  • Women Who Run with Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes (a reread – but this time I’m taking notes)
  • Pilgrimage to Dollywood by Helen Morales
  • Women & Power, a Manifesto by Mary Beard
  • The Dharma Bums by Jack Keroac (this is another re-read and I’m not feeling that into it, I may put it back on the shelf)

Some books I have read recently that I really enjoyed:

  • Dreyer’s English, An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer (yes, it is a grammar/English usage book and yes, I laughed out loud many times while reading it)
  • Range, Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein (I felt my entire existence was vindicated)
  • Circe by Madeline Miller (spoiler – I didn’t love how it ended)
  • Antigone Rising by Helen Morales (if you have two X chromosomes, this might get you riled up)
  • How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan
  • Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver (see, sometimes I read fiction; a suggestion from a friend)
  • City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert (see, more fiction; another suggestion from another friend)

As much as I love books and I love to read, I don’t love to keep ALL the books in my house. I was really into Larry McMurtry for a while; I had pretty much every book that he had written through 1998 or so and in the course of one move I got rid of all of them. I’ve only read one new Larry McMurtry book since then, but I loved it so much I’m almost feeling like I need to get my paws on a new copy of Lonesome Dove or Terms of Endearment. But I’m also trying to make a point of reading women authors, so revisiting Larry McMurtry may have to wait a little longer.

Much like all the cat holidays, I feel like National Book Lovers Day can be celebrated year-round. Here are some ways to celebrate National Book Lovers Day any day of the year:

  • Read a book!
  • Pass a book along to a friend.
  • Return a book that you borrowed from a friend.
  • Buy a book from your local, independent bookstore. Or any independent bookstore (they all ship). Page Against the Machine is my favorite independent bookstore here in Long Beach (I might know the owner). Chris carries an excellently curated selection of new and used books in the political and social justice genres.  However, he also is very happy to custom order any title that you are looking for.
  • Order a custom bookstack watercolor for yourself or a friend. Trying to think of what books I would want for my bookstack gives me anxiety, but if you know what you would pick, check out the Etsy shop of my friend Kiersten: ShortstackByKiersten.

Did you or are you going to celebrate National Book Lovers Day? What are you reading now?  Any suggestions of books to check out?

The Centennial of the 19th Amendment

Today is the centennial of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. Yes, on August 18, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified, which established at the national level the right of women to vote.

The young women of today, free to study, to speak, to write, to choose their occupation, should remember that every inch of this freedom was bought for them at a great price. 

– Abigail Scott Duniway (1834-1915)  women’s rights advocate, newspaper editor and writer

In last year’s post on this topic, I talked about coverture – how women basically ceased to exist legally once they were married. The argument against women’s suffrage seems to always come back to an opposition of women’s participation in public life. This pernicious and spurious argument was nothing new in western culture, having roots at least as far back as Ancient Greece.

The more that I learn about the woman suffrage movement, the more nuance I discover and the more fascinated I become. The fact that it took over SEVENTY years for something that seems to be inarguable to be ratified. The impact of the Reconstruction era on the movement. That five other amendments to the Constitution were ratified in the meantime. The part about how President Woodrow Wilson basically only got behind the movement in order to save face in the WWI peace process. There’s so much. In an attempt to keep this post at a reasonable length, I am going to focus on two key periods.

The Civil War and The Reconstruction Documents

The Civil War (1861-1865) had a huge impact on the woman suffrage movement. The movement had begun organizing in the 1840’s and established itself with the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848.  Prior to the Civil War suffragists and abolitionists collaborated on their common goal – the citizenship of and full legal status of their people. There was a sort of optimistic attitude that both Black people and women would gain the vote together. This did not happen, and I believe that the impact of impact of excluding women from the vote through the reconstruction documents has exacerbated and entrenched gender/race rifts that we continue to experience.

The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments are known as the reconstruction documents. While intended to establish citizenship and rights for Black people, these documents also serve to institutionalize the disenfranchisement of women.

The Thirteenth Amendment ostensibly abolishing slavery was ratified on December 6, 1865.

The Fourteenth Amendment was ratified on July 9, 1868. The citizenship clause of this amendment states that, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” This establishes that women as well as Black people are citizens. However, the privileges and immunities clause states, “But when the right to vote … is denied to any male inhabitants …” – this is the first time that gender is mentioned in the constitution and by its specificity, it implies that the right to vote may be denied to women.

While the Fifteenth Amendment (ratified in 1870), states that the right to vote, “shall not be denied … on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude,”  was intended to clarify the intent of the Fourteenth Amendment, it also specifically excludes sex as a criteria, serving to further institutionalize the disenfranchisement of women.

World War I and Votes for Women

World War I was a huge factor in the movement for women’s suffrage gaining some traction. With millions of American men being deployed overseas, women stepped into many of abandoned roles.  The suffragists took advantage of the PR opportunity.

President Woodrow Wilson had been opposed to suffrage. However, when justifying the U.S. participation in WWI on the grounds of making, “the world safe for democracy,” the hypocrisy of excluding half of the nation’s citizenry from participation in the political process could no longer be ignored. Wilson came to realize the necessity of enfranchising women if for no other reason than to save face on the world stage.

One way that we see the effect of reconstruction as an impediment to the woman suffrage movement during WWI is in the complete refusal of southern democrats to support the issue. In fact, the Nineteenth Amendment did not pass the Senate until after the democrats lost the majority in the 1918 election. It was finally able to pass the Senate in the summer of 1919 (it had passed the House five times). Then it was off to the states for ratification.  In the end, Tennessee held the deciding vote and on August 18, 1920, after multiple postponements, the Tennessee legislature voted for the amendment … by one vote.

“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America

Coda

In the 1920 presidential election, in which Republican Warren G. Harding defeated Democrat James M. Cox (Wilson had already served two terms), only one third of the women who were now eligible to vote did.

The Nineteenth Amendment was ratified one hundred years ago. But have women made advances in public life commiserate to their percentage of the population? Maybe not.  The pernicious bias against women’s participation in public life persists. Like Abigail Scott Duniway, I hope that women today realize that their ability to choose how they participate in public life was the result of a long, hard fought battle. I hope they realize that the war for equality has not been won and that they stay ever vigilant in asserting their rights as full-fledged members of the human race.

19th Amendment stamps just in time for the centenial
The Post Office is introducing a 19th Ammendment stamp! I’ve already pre-ordered mine. Get yours here: https://store.usps.com/store/product/buy-stamps/19th-amendment-women-vote-S_476604

Fresh Flash Fiction

The other week, my writing group had a flash fiction exercise. We were to write 350 words on the photo below.  That was it. The entire prompt.

Photo by Starr Canon
www.Instagram.com/starrchez

I had a lot of fun writing my story and decided that I would share it with you here. Let me know what you think!

The Unbridled Fury of a Woman of a Certain Age

As I merged into freeway traffic, a smile spread across my face. Ah, this is what they mean when they say precision, German engineering.

The irony of driving a vehicle manufactured by the same company that built engines for the last fascist regime to nearly conquer the free world in order to escape from the current fascist takeover of the western United States is almost too much. I mean, if this car actually belonged to me and hadn’t just been stolen, I might not care about the militarized takeover of every major city on the western seaboard.

Unfortunately, I have the great misfortune of believing in the beautiful idea of constitutional, representative democracy. However flawed the execution of it has been over the past 200+ years, there has at least been a modicum of respect for the rule of law by those who would choose to usurp it. Today, the Constitution may as well be used paper in a golden toilet.

When I arrive at the nearest resistance encampment in the Sierras, the “baby on board” sticker in the rear window will guarantee my access. I was able to procure an older model station wagon, we will have enough seatbelts to take six (not including the driver) on protest runs. I just hope that the fact that I’m not actually a mom won’t keep me from being able to join the most effective resistance faction, the Wall of Moms.

People seem surprised that the most effective, most radical branch of the resistance is middle-aged women. That’s because the patriarchal hegemony doesn’t understand the superpowers that this segment of the population possesses. It turns out that women are born with a finite number of both eggs and fucks to give. They tend to run out around the same age. This is also around the time that women discover that they have the power of invisibility.  

Think about it, what would you do if you were invisible and out of fucks? Drink chardonnay and shoplift? I know, that was my plan too, until the fascists came to town.

International Cat Day

Anabel is an intense beauty

Did you celebrate International Cat Day last weekend? If not, Anabel and Sally want me to let you know that it isn’t too late, you can start celebrating right now. (They actually think that every day is a celebration of them, so they don’t know why you wouldn’t celebrate International Cat Day any old time you want.)

Officially, Saturday, August 8 is International Cat Day.  Established in 2002 by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), it is billed as a day to raise awareness for cats and learn about ways to help and protect them.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you are already quite aware of cats, Anabel and Sally in particular. You know about Anabel and Sally’s volunteer work and their tips for those having a hard time with the stay at home order.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the oldest archaeological evidence of the domestication of the cat dates back 9,500 years. In the Neolithic village of Shillourokambos on Cyprus, the bones of a cat and a human were discovered next to each other. The position and similar state of preservation suggests they were buried together.

But the ancient Egyptians took cat appreciation to a whole other level. For them, cats were the physical embodiment of gods and symbols of divine protection. Domestic cats were believed to carry the divine essence of Bastet (or Bast), the cat-headed goddess who represented fertility, domesticity, music, dance, and pleasure.

If you are looking for an excuse to add a cat to your home you may be interested to know that studies have shown that sharing your home with a cat can improve mental health and relieve stress, anxiety and depression. And since no one is really going anywhere these days anyway, you don’t have to worry about going out with cat hair all over all of your clothes.

If you think that you can’t have a cat because of your terrible cat allergies, modern science has something in process for you! Cat allergies are really just an allergy to the Fel d 1 protein that cats produce in their saliva. Of course, then they lick themselves and it gets everywhere. But there is a vaccine in process that is given to the cat to prevent production of this protein. It was making the news big time around a year ago. I wasn’t able to find any recent updates, but I am optimistic that it will be coming on the market soon. I’m so excited for all the poor people who think that they could never live with a cat! In the meantime, Purina has come out with ProPlan Allergen Reducing food that claims to reduce the amount of Fel d 1 protein by 47%.

We celebrated International Cat Day the way that we celebrate most days around here – Anabel and Sally got delicious Intense Beauty flavor cat food with sprinkles, bowls full of fresh ice cubes, a good brushing, and then slept their day away.

They are Radical Monarchs

Hi guys!  Sorry about taking July off like that. I think I have some good content lined up for you for August, so we should be back to a mostly-regular, weekly schedule.

I don’t know about you, but even with Netflix and Amazon and cable, I’ve almost completely quit watching TV. I have too many books to read and to many art/craft projects to make (and then there is all that writing that I haven’t been doing). Besides, there is so much yuck on television. Who needs the aggravation!

There have been a few programs on PBS recently that I’ve really enjoyed.  There was a Great Performances theater-in-the-round play about Gloria Steinem’s life (strange, but edifying); there was an American Masters about Toni Morrison (such an inspiration as a woman and as a writer); and there was a two-part American Experience about the women’s suffrage movement that I’m only half-way through and planning on watching again already.  But my most favorite of the bunch was this great POV documentary about a group called Radical Monarchs, which is like a social activist girl scouts.

Radical Monarchs was founded in 2014 in Oakland by the mother of a fourth-grade girl who was asking to join the girl scouts. Apparently when your mother’s job is being a community organizer, she might have some progressive ideas about what sort of curriculum a leadership development organization for young women should have.

I tell you, I wish I could join the Radical Monarchs. They are teaching these girls all about social justice issues and how to stand up for themselves and speak up for what they believe is right. And these girls have such poise and the most beautiful twinkle in their eyes.

The girls earned badges like Radical Beauty which has modules on boundary setting and accepting/appreciating your body for the way it is. They learned about racial injustice, LGBTQ rights, and issues for disabled people. They participated in their local Women’s March in 2017 and spoke at a city council meeting.

My favorite part of the film was when the girls went to Sacramento. They went to visit the capital with a list of issues that they wanted to advocate for such as rental protection. The girls met with various legislators and would each present their talking points about different topics. They were polite, prepared, and knew to say just enough to make their point, then stop. But don’t think for a second that they all weren’t prepared to explain their position in more detail if given the opportunity.

Of course, this one little group run by two moms started getting national attention including being disparaged by Fox News, but it was also inundated with requests to start chapters all over the country! They are currently up to four chapters (all in the Bay Area).

We Are The Radical Monarchs is streaming on all PBS platforms (pbs.org, the pbs app, pov.org) through August 19 (click on pbs.org to watch it now).

Ladies Who Lunch – Michael’s of Naples

I don’t know about you, but it has been a long time since I’ve been out to ladies who lunch.  Which is ok, but lunching out is one of my favorite things. And sometimes, I start a draft for a post, but never get around to finishing it. So today, in the spirit of Throw Back Thursday, I am posting this treasure from the vault:

In this week’s edition of Ladies Who Lunch, I will be telling you about my adventure to Michael’s Pizzeria, one of the top pizza places in Long Beach.  Also, somewhere that I had never been.

My dear friend works in the food business; it is important for her to stay up on all the restaurants around town. So, even though it was a Saturday, she was working, and I got to be her faithful and willing assistant!

We grabbed a table near the open kitchen so that we could converse with the chef, Julio.  You know when you get those déjà vu feelings that are for real?  This was one of those times.  It turns out that Julio had worked as a chef for Patina in the past and had catered at least one of my events (the catering kitchen was one of my favorite places at events, so I always met the chef).

Because I take my job as a lunch assistant very seriously, I needed a glass of wine and they had a great selection of interesting Italian white wines available by the glass.  The sweet, young waiter had a creative way of interpreting the wine list, but even though I had no idea what he was talking about, he was willing to bring a taste of this one and that one so that I could figure out which I wanted.

For food, we had the arugula salad.  I love an arugula salad.  This one was just simple and nice, arugula, a little cheese, and balsamic dressing.  It was the perfect compliment to the pizza we ordered, the Capricciosa on gluten free crust (it’s called teamwork people).  The Capricciosa has prosciutto, artichokes, mushrooms, olives, mozzarella, and tomato sauce.  Yum!  Even though the gluten free crust was not like a traditional, thin, crispy, wood-fired pizza crust, it was tasty.  We found out that it is Julio’s own, special recipe.

We also found out that he makes all of the mozzarella himself in-house.  And boy is it delicious.  But that’s not all!  Julio ALSO makes all of the gelato in-house.  And boy is it good.  I would usually have more savory food and skip dessert, but I will never skip the gelato here.  It made my life better.  The only downside was that we had decided to share, so I didn’t get my very own scoop of salted caramel gelato (I hadn’t known that I needed my own scoop, but now I do).

Now, my friend has furnished me with the supplies to be able to make my own gourmet pizza at home – special Italian flour, a big can of San Marzano tomatoes, and buffalo mozzarella. I’ve been meaning to give it a shot but haven’t been able to overcome the new thing inertia … maybe this post is going to be the kick-in-the-pants that I have been needing!