Portraits with Becca

We’ve been trying to figure out what to do about wedding photography. We’re leaning away from hiring a photographer for wedding day. But we also wanted some really nice photos of us that didn’t involve Missy holding the camera at arm’s length. So when our friend Becca Dilley mentioned that she was participating in the Portraits with a Heart fundraiser for the Leukeumia-Lymphoma Society, we jumped on that. We weren’t really sure what to expect, but we knew Becca would be fun to hang with and is a great photographer. And we were totally right.

Portrait Session with Becca Dilley

We hemmed and hawed a bit on the matching vests. Are matching outfits too cheesy? Maybe a little, but I think it worked. That blue vest really brings out Missy’s eyes. And don’t down vests and jeans just scream autumn in Minnesota?

For the former and current Twin Citizens in the house, the location is on the Minnehaha Creek trail in the vicinity of the Lyndale Ave bridge. Minnehaha Creek is one of my favorite places in all of the Twin Cities. You’d never know you were smack in the middle of south Minneapolis.

Portrait Session with Becca Dilley Portrait Session with Becca Dilley Portrait Session with Becca Dilley

View the whole set.

See more of Becca’s photography on flickr, find out more about her services at beccadilley.com, and check out her blog for a running tally of recent projects (like ours).

Thanks, Becca!

Crockpot Veggie Chili (with Turkey) Recipe

Every time I tweet about this, I get asked what our recipe is, so I thought I’d publish for posterity. I forget where we got it from, but it started out as a veggie chili recipe. After the first batch we decided it was a little too lean, so we added the turkey to it.

1 package ground turkey
1 15 oz can black beans
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 head cauliflower or broccoli
2 potatoes or sweet potatoes
1 onion (white, yellow, sweet, whatever)
4-ish large carrots
whatever seasonings you like


  1. Brown up the turkey and season heavily. I usually use some combo of cayenne pepper or chili powder, garlic powder, basil, poultry seasoning, onion powder, stuff like that.
  2. Chop up all your vegetables.
  3. Put everything in the crockpot.
  4. Season again. I usually just add extra garlic powder and chili powder or cayenne pepper at this point. Stir.
  5. Set the crockpot on low for 6 hours.
  6. Season again partway through (if you happen to be home). Stir again.
  7. Eat!

Usually I do the meat browning and can opening while Missy does all the peeling and chopping. Takes us about 15-20 minutes.

You could substitute fresh tomatoes if you want. We definitely like the sweet potatoes over regular potatoes. They add a little more sweetness which is a nice contrast and also plays nicely with the heat of the cayenne or chili. And they’re healthier. It never had enough kick until I started adding a third round of seasoning partway through the cooking.

What I like about it is it’s so lean. You can eat until you’re stuffed, but you won’t get that gross, I’m-full-of-meat feeling since you digest vegetables differently. I know some people have trouble feeling satisfied without meat or more fat, so a spoonful of sour cream in your bowl goes a long way, too.

Obviously, if you left the turkey out or substituted soy crumbles it’d be vegetarian. Vegan, even (I think). If you’re accustomed to eating meat, this mix of vegetables – especially with broccoli or cauliflower – gives it a lot of texture. I don’t think you’ll miss the meat, necessarily. But, like I said, we found it to be a little too lean for our tastes.

If you have any genius ideas for modifications or substitutions, do share.


Two Weeks of Awesome, A Life Update

It’s been crazy around here. It’s also been a couple weeks of great things, so I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge that and express my gratitude.

The big big news, obviously, that Missy and I set our wedding date. This had already been dispersed via Twitter and facebook, so it oddly felt a little anticlimactic posting it here. But there it is.

The Fringe Festival ran earlier this month. I spent less time this year cramming in shows and pulled my first ever volunteer shifts. We had record attendance this year!

We had a tornado. I live and work 25 minutes southwest of where the funnel clouds touched down. Nothing but heavy rain (through my cracked sunroof) around here.

I recently spoke on a panel about the evolving media landscape with a bunch of local journalists and public affairs programmers sponsored by community radio station KFAI. I was crazy honored just to be asked. What I really liked about it is the audience is different from the one I usually engage in this conversation with. I’m usually talking with younger, media- and internet-savvy folks. KFAI’s audience — the citizens who are engaged enough to pay to come this event — are older and longtime denizens of their respective neighborhoods. It occurred to me that folks such as these, especially if they’re retired would make great citizen journalists. They have the history in their heads and the time to go to community meetings and make phone calls and write about it. They just need someone to help them with the technology end of things.

I’ve been very fortunate to have the opportunity to join the Advisory Council for Rainbow Families, the midwest office of the Family Equality Council. I get more done if I have more to do, right? I’m very much looking forward to working with this organization. It scares me, as I wrote in that post, but it’s exciting, too.

I’ve been a big fan of Queercents for LGBT-oriented personal finance news and information. They very kindly profiled me for their Ten Money Questions series.

And then there’s all the yoga. That’s quite a chunk of time out of a given day or week by itself. I’ve been managing three to four classes a week. I feel good about that pattern holding for the next few months. It’s amazing how much I’ve learned about myself and about the practice in just a couple of months. I love it.

Work, thankfully, has been relatively quiet lately. It was quite hectic earlier this summer. As we transfer our manufacturing offsite and progress towards the shutdown of this plant, we will be launching fewer new products from our site and ramping down production. I think the push we saw this summer was the busiest we’re going to be until we close. The next new and different thing will be decommissioning activities and I’m sure I’ve got lots of loose strings to tie up so there’s closure on all outstanding items (because the FDA likes to see that).

I’m starting a management training mini-course at the University of Minnesota later this month. I’m still not convinced an MBA is the right thing for me to do, but this should be interesting and will give me a nice intro to the U as well.

Choir started up this week. Even though that adds at least one dedicated commitment per week, I’m expecting it to have a calming effect on my schedule. It’s regular and consistent and always fun. And this year, I swear, I promise to practice more earlier in the season so I’m not cramming for concerts. Seriously. I mean it.

Lastly, I’ve been putting some work into EMDC. It’s quasi-professional. It’s also a good spot for me to play around. I’m still searching for the best way to create my singular online hub that effectively combines all my various sites and properties, but is also presentable in my professional life. The fact of the matter is that anyone who googles me will find this site first and can pretty easily find all that stuff anyway, so I might as well just serve it up in a good-looking, comprehensible way. I’m fascinated by what my friend Brian just did with his longtime online home, east-lake.net. He gave up the blog, has aggregated his various feeds, and is doing his updating (“blogging”?) on tumblr. Bewwy intewestink.

I realized that all of my various life events are posted all over the place (see?! that’s the problem!), so I thought I’d consolidate. It’s been a very exciting and rewarding couple of weeks around here. I’m trying to be grateful and to not second guess whether or not I deserve any of it.

Wedding Date: March 27, 2010

Last weekend, Missy and I settled on a wedding date.


March 27 is our existing anniversary date, and it so happens it falls on a Saturday next year. We’re definitely ready to take this step, so we figured there’s no real reason to wait any longer.

We’ve gotten numerous variations on the question: “Where are you getting legally married?” We’re not. Not right now. Minnesota doesn’t recognize same-sex unions legally performed in other states, so there’s no legal benefit to us in doing that right now. We’re not planning on making any special trips to get legally married somewhere, but if we happen to find ourselves in one of those states where we could, it might happen.

The fact that we (and probably so many other gay couples) get this question so much is clearly indicative of the way church and state have become intertwined on this issue. It’s hard to mentally separate a wedding from the change in legal status that comes with it.

But we feel it’s important to stand up in front of our families and our friends and share with them our commitment to each other. We could proceed with our life plans without doing this. Maybe wait until it’s legal in Minnesota. But the fact is we’ve made the commitment, so why would we wait to celebrate it?

Other than the date, we’ve decided on nothing. When I have answers for you on colors, registries, etc., I’ll let you know (because y’all have been asking about that, too). We’re working on save-the-dates and a venue.

This is all grown up and stuff.

I’m gonna marry my girl! Squee!