Sunday, September 17, 2017

Washington Park Class of 87 Reunion: 09/15-17/2017



It was a fun weekend, this whole weekend with the #park30reunion. Being part of the planning committee was also pretty fun, and I won’t speak for anyone else, but, I love planning parties, and feeding people, too.

Friday Night, was an awesome ice breaker at Blue Rock, owned and operated by one of our own, Mark Thomas. It was nice, hanging out up on the 2nd floor, and Mark made 3 pizzas. They’re really good pizzas. Eleazar brought his homemade pico de gallo with chips, and if you didn’t have any, you missed out, big time! And, being that I wanted to give people their money’s worth for the reunion, I’d made a ton of food... It was delicious, and I was a little disappointed that more of it didn’t get eaten up, but, I did get to give some out to one of the mayoral candidate’s volunteer staff, so that was a good save. Here are pictures of what I made, with the help of my hubby, Mike, and he was very helpful, because my back really was aching making all of it. But, for those who ate, I hope it was suffice.

Mini Indian Tacos

Here is a little history on Indian tacos... When the Native Americans were first put onto their respected reservations, one of the few things that were given for cooking purposes was those old fashioned deep fryers in a thing similar to Olla pots, and large amounts of government cooking oil, that no one else seemed to want. Bread dough ended up being deep fried, and here was the birth of “fry bread”, and is used in place of the tortillas, therefore, Indian tacos.

Spinach Balls & Vegetarian Indian Tacos

Here are vegetarian Indian tacos, on the right.

On the left, is a pan of Spinach Balls. I know it seems weird, I thought so, too, but, when I tried it, it was pretty good. So, I figured I’d test it out on my classmates, though I don’t think they went over well, since anything like spinach balls sounds, well. I don’t know... It’s spinach, stuffing croutons, Parmesana eggs, onion, and seasoning. It’s actually pretty good.

3 different types of my sushi rolls

With sushi being a big craze, it was fun making these different rolls. I wanted to go with meatless options, and I also wanted to do something different. Here they are, courtesy of, me. lol

1) Spanish-Italian Rolls: Mix of mostly sushi grade white rice with quinoa, another whole grain, seasoned with traditional sushi rice seasonings, as well as garlic and basil (that’s the Italian part). In the middle, were Spanish bell pepper and green onion. Unique, and it came out really well.

2) Under the Forest Rolls: Traditional sushi rice, with seasoned shiitake mushrooms, which grows in forested areas, green onions/chives, which seem to like to grow in somewhat wooded areas, and takuan, a pickled Japanese radish called daikon. This is my favorite vegetable based roll, and I don’t recall seeing this in any restaurants. So, my maiden name, Morishita, means under the forest, so that is what I call it.

3) Root River rolls: Made with water from the Root River. Okay, just kidding. It’s not. I used balsamic vinegar in place of the usual, and because it is dark, it “murks” the color of the rice, similar to how the Root River water is murky. The flavor is a pleasant change from the usual, but not super distinct. I used bell pepper and green onion, though you can be creative as to what you roll in the middle. It’s the balsamic vinegar that makes it “root river”, after our pride and joy, feeding into our Great Lake Michigan.

Japanese style sesame chicken

This sesame chicken has the distinct sesame flavor, but there is no thick breading, and does not have a sauce covering it. The sesame is in the marinade. Equally good as the Chinese restaurant counterpart, but also unique in its own way.

It was fun, and then, of course, Saturday was over at Dewey’s. With the set up, it was nice, because all of the food was catered. It was a nice spread, with cheese, crackers, soft pretzels w/ cheese, pita chips with hummus, shrimp cocktail, fresh veggie tray, sliders, and fresh fruit! The fresh fruit on a stick was my favorite. Oh, and there were cupcakes, too. It was super good.

The best part of Saturday was Duo Sonic, and everybody shaking their stuff. We had a really good crowd, and I think even the bar tender had fun, too. The band even played a little bit extra for us. It was cool. My personal contribution for Saturday’s event was the class/memorial video, to commemorate those from our class that we lost, as well as to celebrate the rest of us, all wrapped up in one. Music on the video is me, on harmonica w/ the Park fight song, Forever Young by Alphaville, and Never Say Goodbye by Bon Jovi, our class song. Thank you for watching, and your kind/encouraging words about the video.

Sunday afternoon, we had a cookout at OTL (short for On The Level), and we had a more relaxed pace to the fun. Another one of our own, Darrick Pittman, owns OTL. A big shout out goes to Sabina’s BF, for being the grill master for this event. Perfect burgers, hot dogs, and brats. Thank you. Again, I made a couple of things.

Potato Salad

There is a ton of veggies in this recipe, because it calls for a bell pepper, celery sticks, 3 bunches of green onion, and some radishes, all minced. Then, just put enough salad dressing (Miracle Whip) to make it damp. I let people add their own salt and pepper on their plates. It has good flavor w/o adding more, to be able to taste the different things in there. I think this went over pretty well.

Baked Beans

People who know me well, know that I do not have a kitchen in my house. It’s actually a dysfunctional kitchen... But it’s a science lab, that produces things good to eat. I like to use dry pinto beans or black beans, for extra flavor. Recipes are often just a suggestion, or a guide. This batch of baked beans also had a hint of Lazer, because I used some of his pico de gallo to add even more flavor into the mix. The rest, is my mad scientist secret.

Anyways, I’d like to give huge kudos to Krissy, Sabi, Lazer, and Vikki for all of their hard work and dedication to make this weekend a rocking party weekend. I figure I kind of had the easy part, stalking all of you for your current addresses, and then doing what I do, which is cook. Thank you for being awesome teammates in planning this event. I think we got to bond and get to know each other better, in ways that we weren’t able to back in high school.

I also want to thank every person who came, especially those who ate my food. Satisfaction is watching people enjoy what is served. We had a blast, the whole weekend. My back and knees will be talking to me for a while, from the stair climbing on both Friday and Saturday nights, and dancing on Saturday, but it will be worth the connections.

A recurring thought between Serena, Michael, Connie, myself, and a few others are that we should not wait until the next reunion, nor should we wait for a funeral to get back together. Life is short, and life is precious. We need to stay in touch better, more often, and have no regrets. Thanks to everyone who came, for helping to make the events totally fun. Let’s stay in touch, and not be strangers.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Why? Because We Ought To!

When good people fail to see how gross and disgusting this is, because "children are resilient" or that it isn't so bad because one isn't dead or permanently disabled so it can't be considered heinous... You are siding with the abuser(s) and contributing to the continuing abuses that happen everywhere...
This is why I do what I do. Why I started Youth Voice Initiative. Why I must educate people. Why I must talk to my legislators. Why I get on my soap box and rant, blog, or update my status. Why it is important for me to ask people to help out.
Sometimes I think it is lame that victims and survivors of sex or any other types of abuse only have me, to speak up to our leaders about this issue. There are no other 501c4's out there that I am aware of, whose sole purpose is to tighten up to protect these children, to reduce the number of us who have to recover from our childhoods... When I pursue other activities such as a job, or hobby, or what have you... I keep getting pointed right back to this. To be in the jungle of those who need their voices heard, but too broken to have it heard... I stand here. I've asked why me. But the answer was why not me. So here I go.
I am one person. But one person can make a big difference. Back in 2011, I got April's Law Wisconsin to be drafted, introduced to the Assembly, and heard by the Committee for Criminal Justice and Corrections up in Madison. It never made it past this point. But. I got this up here, with thanks to former Senator John Lehman for drafting it. For Representative Cory Mason for introducing it to the assembly. And to Representative Robin Vos for supporting it... If I, just me, got this up this far... Think what can be done, if more people would add their talents, whether it's to write a letter, or pass around a petition, or what ever it may be... I have full faith that we could put it through, all the way, and all the way up to the top... I will never give up. Never quit. As long as I have breath in my lungs, and a voice in my mouth, I will carry on.
This is why I am asking you to support #LikasLaw4Wisconsin by signing this petition: Lika's Law 4 Wisconsin

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Are "Virtuous Pedophiles" Real?



A friend shared this with me. And, this is why society needs an organization like Youth Voice Initiative, to protect our children from all forms of abuse, especially sex abuse.
So, a self identified "virtuous pedophile" wants to normalize "virtuous pedophilia". But, under the constitution, everyone is innocent until proven guilty in the court of law, so, him claiming his virtuosity may only be because he has not been caught yet. I have no sympathy for these people who think they shouldn't be ostracized. 
Please view the entire video to capture the magnitude of what he is saying.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-Fx6P7d21o&feature=share

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Places To Go, People To See, Things to Do!

In a place like Racine, WI - where it would seem as if there wouldn't be much, it's surprising to out of towners people around here are so festive.  But, we are in Wisconsin.  And we're located cozy between Milwaukee & Chicago.  And no.  We don't need to go to the bigger cities to find a place to hang out with friends, and whether you want to shoot a game of pool, darts, listen to the jukebox, or munch on a few things while enjoying your favorite beverage, whether that's a soft drink or imbibe on what ever it is you like.

I'm big on supporting local business, and if I'm remembering correctly, each person spent $20/year at local businesses, it circulates over $1 million within the community.  Basically, something like 86% of every dollar spent at a local business stays in the local economy.  That is pretty cool.  What is even COOLER?  When you know the owner, who you spent a portion of your time growing up with...  I have 3 classmates who I know of, that have their own business.

The first, is Blue Rock Lounge, located in the heart of Racine’s Downtown. It is owned by classmate Mark Thomas. It has a nice front, with nice rod iron tables outside, to make it fun to be outside when weather permits, to enjoy your drinks and such. They do sell food, including pizza, and if the owner is there, you will notice he brings up a pizza crust, a container of pizza sauce, package of cheese, and what ever other ingredients you ask for on your pizza, and he assembles it and cooks it up. I think that’s really cool! Another thing for your FYI, is if you want to book an event, there is a 2nd floor banquet/party area, with a lot of neat spaces. There is a room to shoot a game of billiards, a dart room, and even a multipurpose area, to put a picture booth, or what ever you’d like. Check it out, it will be fun!

Next, is OTL, which stands for On The Level, which is located on the same block as Wells Brothers, at the corner of 22nd St. & Racine St. It is owned by classmate Darrick Pittman, whose serving up a lot of good drinks, snack bags, and has a cozy yet open patio out side. Our class reunion will be using that area for a cookout. I can’t wait, because this is going to be extra fun, and extra delicious! And, of course, because everyone loves Wells Brothers (on 22nd & Mead St.), if you’re waiting to get a spot, and it’s going to be a while, go next door to OTL and have a couple of drinks while you wait! It will be worth your while.


Finally, there is Beaute On the Square, owned by classmate Krissy Beaugrand. I think it’s good for people to pamper themselves on occasion, and why not at Beaute Hair & Nail Spa? It is pronounced beauty, with that modern flair. So go ahead, ladies, go visit Krissy and get beautiful, and walk out ready to start turning heads. Hint, hint for you wonderful men out there, who love your girlfriends, wives, sisters, mothers, aunts, etc... do that special someone something nice by picking up a gift certificate!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Curious Places 4 Curious People


The West Racine business district is an interesting place. No, I’m not talking about being out in the county. I’m talking about those businesses on Washington Avenue, from West Blvd. to about Blaine Ave. We all know Wilson’s Coffee, Infusino’s carry out, and CVS. We are mourning the loss of Nelson’s Dime Store, which recently closed. But, please don’t mourn too much... There are still gems left in the area, and some of them are one of a kind places, which take you back in local history. Think Mom & Pop stores, unique, and worth your time.

I was out and about today, and dropped off a pair of Chad’s jeans for a new zipper. It’s a place called West Racine Shoe Service, located at 1138 Hayes Ave. They do adjustments, fix heels, repair clothing with patches, etc. It is a very neat store, which will give you the feeling of that nostalgia of the 1950’s with what they have in there, but with a modern interior to keep current. Plus, who doesn’t want to pamper that favorite pair of jeans? I they can do just about anything, from putting new soles on your shoes to cuffs on your leather coat. They have been there since about 1987 at this location, and the original location was on Douglas Ave, and this shoe service has been around for about 100 years. Pretty cool.

Another cool place in the West Racine area, is Snooper’s Paradise, located in the strip on Lathrop Ave. which has fun items in there, many of which are antiques and other unique items, such as nostalgic Coke items. It’s worth looking through, you never know what you might want, until you see it. Here they are in the Journal Times: http://journaltimes.com/snoopers-paradise/image_88bd3a54-2098-5355-9884-c0a9e54db91a.html

Of course, me, being a curious person, loves to check out things. Across the street, is this “new” store called Refined Salvage & Pallet Designs 1137 Hayes Ave. Talk about original items, and they are all talking points. Everything from using old windows to wooden pallets and turn them into planters, coat hangers, and a lot of other cool things. There are items like roofing nail rings, rod iron items, and you never know what you will find there. It is a totally interesting place, and, if you want that one of a kind gift for you or someone else, this place is a definite “go-to” place. Can’t find that perfect something that talks to you? Come back in a few days, or get a gift certificate. You will find that thing. It’s like being able to go to School Days Mall, but in a place that reminds you of specialty items you might find at Olsen’s Mercantile from Little House on the Prairie. It’s a really neat place. To get a sneak peak at what they have, here is an article on Racine County Eye: https://www.racinecountyeye.com/refined-salvage-pallet-designs-west-racine/

I encourage people to rediscover West Racine, and check out the different stores that go down the side streets. The next time you’re out to enjoy coffee from Wilson’s, don’t forget to bring those pieces of clothing or foot wear to get fixed at the West Racine Shoe Service. It’s right around the corner at the stop light from our favorite coffee joint. Since you’re right there, bring your curiosity with you, and check out Refined Salvage & Pallet Designs. It’s really neat, and you won’t be sorry. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Sex Offender Residency Limit to be dropped

Well, as much as I dislike the idea of violent sex offenders near our children, the flip side is that "home" is where you sleep. At 1500 feet, we are talking only about 3 or 4 blocks away, if there is space. That is close enough to walk to the school areas to be near the children during their waking hours, so, these residency laws are actually quite useless.
 
https://patch.com/wisconsin/mountpleasant/s/g4ik3/violent-sex-offenders-could-live-near-schools-under-wisconsin-proposal?utm_source=alert-breakingnews&utm_medium=email&utm_term=weather&utm_campaign=alert
 
The thought is if they are back in their original communities, they have the support system needed with their family and friends to better able to "lead a normal life". But, how many times have we heard people say they don't want to be involved? Sex offenses are rarely stranger danger. So, if a parent or some other relative is sexually abusing children, and people don't want to be involved, you're putting these people right back into the communities where they know the area, and can easily access the places they like to go.
 
Those who push for therapy... Maybe if the offender is young, and it's their 1st offense, maybe the therapy might work... (Romeo & Juliet would be an exception, because they're peers). But, for those who are pedophiles? There is no cure for pedophilia. They're sexually attracted to children.
 
Sign and share the petition for #LikasLaw4Wisconsin around all of Wisconsin:
Click the link or copy/paste into your search bar: - http://www.thepetitionsite.com/367/880/690/likas-law-4-wisconsin-demand-stiffer-sentencing-4-child-sex-offenders/
 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Internship Luncheon


I finished up my internship at the Victim Witness Office, which is an extension of the District Attorney's Office, inside the Racine County Courthouse. It was an enjoyable experience, where all of the women who work there all had their own strengths to bring, to build a strong team as a collective. I admire them all. To beat that, I did get an awesome letter of recommendation from my immediate supervisor.

Because these are such awesome people, including those from the DA's main office, I brought in lunch for my last day, in hopes that giving them good food that starts with real ingredients and should be nutritious and delicious will show how much I appreciated them as well as my experience.

Bean/Veggie burgers (inspired by Robert Irvine, but adjusted to fit what I had): 2# pinto beans - soaked overnight, picked and cooked, then blended into a very thick paste. 1# brown Jasmine rice, cooked and cooled on a sheet pan. 1 yucca root - peeled, cut & boiled for 10 minutes, 2 medium carrots peeled and cut, 2 medium yellow onions peeled and cut, 1 bulb of garlic pealed: roast these veggies for 30 minutes, and mince in a food processor. Combine all of these in a large bowl, and add 1 TBS sea salt, 1 tsp freshly ground pepper corns, 1/2 cup medium-hot salsa, 3 TBS cilantro, 1 tsp cumin, juice of 2 limes. Mix well, and form into 1/8# patties. Bake on cookie sheet in a 350F for 8 minutes on each side (may be longer for larger patties). Serve on pretzel buns with hot mayo (mayo or salad dressing mixed with sriracha sauce - I do 2/3 dressing & 1/3 sriracha).

Sushi rolls: 5 cups of sushi grade Japanese rice, rinsed until water runs clear, let rest for an hour, w/o water. Add 6 cups of water to rice and a large piece or so of kombu kelp. Add 7 TBS rice vinegar, 6 TBS sugar, and 5 tsp sea salt. Mix well, cook until all liquid is absorbed, covered. Let rest for 10 minutes after cooking. Put into a large pan, and continuously cut, fold, & fluff the rice with a fan, until easy to work with. Roll with sushi seaweed, and feel free to be creative with what to put in the middle. This recipe, I did tofu, asparagus, takuan (Japanese pickled radish) and flavored shiitake mushrooms. I've also used shrimp, cucumber, carrot, egg omelet Japanese style, don't be shy to use what you like. Blanched asparagus, cauliflower, and other veggies are also good.

Anyway, now that I am done, with an awesome letter of recommendation in hand, I am looking for a full time office position where I am responsible for managing databases, give customer service, answering phones to give information and/or referrals, make copies and agendas for meetings, pass necessary information to those who need it, public speaking, taking meeting minutes, etc... I would love an attorney's office, corporations like Coka-Cola, State Departments such as DMV, and I am open to industry. I also have a medical background, also, so a personal injury type law firm would be benefited greatly with my employment. If you know anyplace which is hiring, please let me know! Thank you in advance.

In the mean time, please sign my petition, #LikasLaw4Wisconsin here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/367/880/690/likas-law-4-wisconsin-demand-stiffer-sentencing-4-child-sex-offenders/