To Be A Difficult Woman

During Women’s History Month, we usually celebrate women who have made significant contributions to society like Hillary Clinton, Shirley Chisholm, Dolores Huerta and countless other women.  I recently read Roxanne Gay’s latest book, Difficult Women.  This work of short stories explores the different lives of women you will never hear about in a history book.  These women are considered on the edge of society or eccentric.  Many of them are people we may know, like our mothers, sisters, wives, co-workers, who don’t live perfect lives.

I really loved this book.  In fact, I read it in two days!  Check out this interview with the author.

What’s Cooking: Jamaican Corned Beef and Cabbage

Last Saturday my friends Brian and Mariah came to visit us for dinner.  They are originally from Dublin, Ireland and have lived in New York City for the last nine years.  Since it was St. Patrick’s Day weekend, I thought I would make them a special Irish meal.  I asked them if they would like corned beef and cabbage.  Brian said he always hated this traditional Irish meal because it was so bland.

“I have never tasted an Irish corned beef and cabbage I liked,” he said.

“Then you have never tasted the Caribbean version of the recipe,” I replied.

I offered to cook Jamaican corned beef and cabbage since it is spicier, as well as baked chicken just in case they didn’t like.  When I was growing up, my mother made me make this for dinner every Saturday.  It is a pretty simple recipe using corned beef from a can, cabbage, onions, olive oil, salt, black pepper, and your choice of hot pepper (I use pimiento pepper). Pair it with white rice and you have a meal.  Although I don’t eat red meat anymore, I still know how to make this flavorful dish to satisfy.  When Brian and Mariah tasted my recipe, they almost flipped out of my dinner table.    Mariah loved my version so much that she asked me for the recipe.

Below are two slightly different variations on the recipe. Enjoy!

“No need to cook and kill the corned beef again.” Truth…

15 Reasons Why Physical Books Still Matter

I made sure all my electronics were fully charged on Monday evening to safeguard myself from a potential power outage during the snow storm.  As I was charging my mobile, Kindle, and computers, I was made again to appreciate one of the few things in life that don’t require a battery – a physical book.  So I spent most of the storm catching up on some much-needed reading.  I just started reading Difficult Women by Roxanne Gay.  It was an enjoyable reminder that you don’t always need technology to find enjoyment in life.

Here are some other reasons to appreciation the physical book:

  1. Unlike a Kindle, you can read physical books outside without worrying about a glare (unless you have a Paperwhite Kindle).
  2. You can read them anywhere and everywhere.
  3. Physical books help you fall asleep.
  4. You don’t get eye strain.
  5. You can drop a physical book and not worry about breaking it.
  6. A brand-new, physical book smells awesome.
  7. Book covers are gorgeous.
  8. Physical books make great gifts
  9. Unlike an ebook, authors can sign physical books.
  10. You can take book “selfies” like I do all the time on Twitter.
  11. Who doesn’t love browsing bookstores and libraries just to touch a book!
  12. Physical books make great home decor and can be used as furniture and decoration.
  13. They can get wet and you still read them.
  14. Your arms get a better workout.
  15. Physical books give me life!

The Real Problem With Amtrak

I use Amtrak regularly to travel to New York and Washington DC for business. For the most part, I have a good experience using this city-to-city train service, with the few exceptions of train delays. However, this is not true for most Amtrak service outside the Northeast Corridor.

I recently had to try to explain to one of my colleagues from Spain the differences between train travel in the United States versus Europe. I had difficulty with this because there are many intricate issues happening, ranging from poor infrastructure and Amtrak not owning most of the tracks it travels on regularly. So instead of my going on another rant explaining these problems, I thought I would just share this well-done, informative video.