Saturday, January 31, 2009

Oh looky! Free stuff!

I really want Jere to actually make me something, so I'm posting this so he won't use my non-participation as an out. I like the idea of Jeremiah "making things". Like, with his hands.

"The first 5 people that respond to this post will get something made by me. It will be about, or tailored to, those first five people who respond.This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
-- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make.
-- What I create will be just for you.
-- It'll be done this year.
-- You have no clue what it's going to be. It may be a mix tape. It may be fic, or a poem. I may draw or paint something. I might bake you something and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!
-- I reserve the right to do something extremely strange (you really should be worried at this point).
-- The catch? Oh, the catch is that you have to--ok, maybe not have to, how about should-- put this in your journal as well, if you expect me to do something for you! "

Note that I did not write this, I am re-posting it. Because it would be not so lame if I wrote it.

I kinda wish I had a hermit crab for my desk here at work...I bet it would smell though.

Oranges are love, but the color orange is not...

I have a few thoughts about the Super Bowl tomorrow. First of all, every time I hear the team names, this is what I think of:


I think it's obvious the Steelhead would win. I mean, what's the bird gonna do, throw suet at it? Lure it out of Rocky River with corn?

Also, I have a real problem with the fact that Arizona got the Cardinals, when it's Ohio's motherf--king state bird. but instead we get a color. And not a very pretty color. In fact, there aren't many worse color combinations that bright orange and brown.

I've gotten some flack in the office because I'm supporting the Steelers this year. Because of course Cleveland hates Pittsburgh. I've never understood that
rivalry. We certainly don't have a problem using their Ikea. And what about regionalism, people? We should support the Midwest team no matter who it is. I'm not rooting for the state that houses Phoenix. Phoenix is a shithole of meth and gravel. Pittsburgh is just like Cleveland, only with tunnels under mountains, which arguably makes it better.

I wanted to pass along this recipe for Nigella's Clemetine Cake. This is one of those recipes that's perfect for making on your day off, when you're supposed to be cleaning your house, but instead you're drawing watercolor cartoons of robots while watching Soap Network.
The hook of this recipe, what makes it irresistible to someone like me, is the very first step....


4-5 unpeeled Clementines
6 eggs
1 cup sugar (I used 1.5)
2 1/3 cups ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder

1. BOIL THE CLEMENTINES FOR TWO HOURS (oh and preheat at 375)

2. When done, drain and cool them, then halve to pick out the seeds. Finely chop by hand, or in my case, blend to puree in food processor. I think this relieves some of the bitterness of the skin. You don't want chunks of rind in your cake.

3.Beat the eggs. Those eggs killed your brother.

4. Do yourself a favor and buy the almonds whole, because it's cheaper. Grind them as fine as you can. Curse the California nut industry as you do for being so goddamn expensive.

5. Mix everything together.

6. Line a springform pan with parchment paper. A springform is one of those cake pans where the bottom comes loose, and the sides look like an embroidery frame? And you always lose the bottom. So give yourself about an HOUR to find it, even though your kitchen cabinets are not that big and goddamnit, where else could you have put it? Find it eventually buried under your big pile of plastic bags.

7. Bake for one hour, or until skewer comes out clean. Nigella suggests putting foil on top of it after about 40 minutes, to stop the top from burning. This is probably a good idea, but do not use a cookie sheet when you find yourself out of foil, because the top will stick to it, and then you'll have to make a batch of whipped cream to cover the gaping hole on top.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Oh Friday Five

I had amazing dumplings and pears at Thai night last night. As soon as I get access to a computer I can download my pictures to (ie not a work computer), there will be recipes galore. However today I'm full of thoughtful thoughts, so here's a variation of the Friday Five...

Five of My Recent Thoughts About Relationships

1. When you meet someone, you should immediately compare them to your three best friends. If they are not as smart, funny, or whatever it is you like most about your friends (I guess some people probably would put clean, responsible, ect); if they do not surpass or at least very evenly match your friends in these areas, then don't waste your time. Grammar, obviously, is not something I use as a standard. But you must be at least as smart as Buddy, as wacky as Marty, and as nice as Tara. A large part of what you like about your friends is probably intangible. Like, when I think of my friends in my head, all their characteristics match as a set in my head, but I couldn't tell you everything about them that makes me like them. I just do. It's like they're all variants of the same color. So to sum up, you must make me think of some shade of blue green.

2. That color point is an interesting one for me, cause there's lots of things in my life I sense like colors. For instance, when I write something good, it's gold and jewel colored in my head when I read it. When I clean my house, it's purple and blue (my house is not purple or blue). When I have fun with friends, it's bright green.
I guess my relationship thought here would be that you have to be the type of person who knows what the hell I'm talking about, and your sig other should not look at you like you're weird or you took too much when you say things like that. Or when you say sig other. Though they should make merciless fun of you for that. If the person you're with is as smart as your friends, next they should be as smart as you. Smart is important. It's more important than a lot of other traits, with the exception of "not a serial killer". I don't know....maybe it's more important than that one too.

3. Sometimes, even when it's the other person's fault, it's your fault too. And sometimes the downward spiral is so bad that if you're going to emerge from it intact, fault has to cease to exist. This takes a really rare type of convergence, but if it happens, if both of you at the same time are able to stop blaming the other one, than you should probably try and work it out.

4. It's hard to tell when you should talk to your friends about their relationships. I know you're supposed to wait until they ask, but...but...but...shit.

5. For gods sakes, being alone is not such a bad thing. No really, it's not. Especially when you're supposed to be dedicated to your art. And really guys, there's like four of you out there who think that statement was about you, and I'm talking about myself AND you. Having some sort of art in your life that you really care about can compensate for a LOT. And art can be anything really. If you're awesome at gardening, that's art. If you can sell anybody anything, that's art. Also, I really can't relate to not having something like that in your life...why bother without it? Maybe this is why it's easier for other people to really care about money. Maybe it's a substitution for not having a passionate skill.

I mean, I know it's awesome having someone. I know. It's rare and precious and great. But so is having a talent at something. Point is, if you do end up alone, if this doesn't end up working out, you're still not alone because the stuff in your head never deserts you.

Ha! I said "my art". And then I made a seemingly derisive comment about money. I'm on a buggery roll tonight aren't I? I would probably benefit from caring about money a little bit more myself...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Top Chef: The Last Battle Approaches

One of the weirdest aspects of this show is, like all reality shows, that the episodes are not showing in real time. When they were showing the Thanksgiving and Christmas episodes, it was the middle of summer. A little disconcerting for the chefs I’m sure, but here’s the real question; did Hosea and Leah tell their significant others about cheating on them when they got home? Or did they wait 3 months until the show aired?

The consequences of their weird middle school indiscretions have taken their toll on the pair. Leah especially seems to have been skinned and turned inside out. She’s become quiet, subdued, and much more focused on just doing the challenge. It turns out guilt might actually work for her. Hosea, on the other hand, is just as perky, but his dishes seemed to suffer for it. I was really starting to think Hosea might eek it out to the end, but as C. suggested, maybe cooking is like boxing. You’re not supposed to fuck before the fight.

This was the first episode of the end of the season. All the chaff has been separated, and we’re left with the wheat, for better or worse. I became aware of this shift when I realized I kinda liked every chef that was left. I mean, there isn’t anyone I hate or think is so un-talented that the casting execs should be brutalized viciously for letting them walk on set.
Carla officially won over the peanut gallery last night, as adult professional behavior tends to do when your other choice is watching 2 idiots naively ruin their home lives. Seriously, CAMERAS. Why would you ever do something like that? It’s not even like they got it on, all they did was make out. Since when is making out worth humiliating your girlfriend or boyfriend like that? I understand when weird MySpace whores do it, but you guys are supposed to be career professionals. Oh well, enough of that. I’m done judging.

Ha! Like hell I am.

So last night’s episode was all Super Bowl themed, which would be weird anyway without the fact that it was filmed in August. The Quickfire challenge was some football bingo thing, where there’s this chart with unknown random numbers on the x and y, and everyone signs up for a random square. Then during the game, you use the score somehow to see who won? I have no idea how this works, but I should probably learn, because I just bought two boxes on the office game. I have never heard of this before, but apparently it’s big enough that Top Chef can expect their Bravo watching, sea salt buying audience to know what it is. Whatever, its reverse battleship.

So the chefs randomly picked a food item, and then everyone got Oats, because this was a fixed game and everyone was going to use Oats since Quaker Oats is the corporate sponsor who keeps Padma’s skin so refreshingly soft. It pains me that when people think oatmeal, they think of those oats. There are so many other great brands of oats out there. Quaker Oats is like Band-aids and Listerine, they’ve got it and no one is taking it away, despite the fact that Quaker Oats leave this weird oat flavored water behind when you cook them. The chefs have to create a dish using Oats, a challenge Jeff affectionately calls “oat crazy”. Jeff fails at this by the way. Jeff looks really defeated or really stoned, or both. We wonder if maybe Jeff has been smoking with Padma in the back, and maybe this is really Bravo’s strategy for keeping the eliminations interesting, pick one sacrificial guy who Padma seduces with drugs and booty, and then distracts into oblivion….
Also we learn that Fabio killed the Guest Judge’s brother. Or something like that. Cause that guy hates Fabio.

The main challenge is way more interesting. They bring back all these old Top Chef contestants, and they pit them head to head with the Season 5 guys. It’s all football themed, but who cares, the important thing is ANDREW CAME BACK. Andrew tells Season 5 they better watch out because he’s going to “stomp them” and then he will be “peeing on your bodies”.

At this point S. has this to say about Andrew, “I don’t care if he rubs his penis raw with sandpaper and dips it in a cocaine bath, he’s the best.”

Okay, so the first match up is Leah vs. my old arch nemesis Nikki. Who I seriously confused with the late Ariane from this season, cause I was all “goddamnit, they just got rid of her, why is she back?” They are the same evil witch. Leah and her Hormones win.

Next Hosea vs. Miguel, otherwise known as “Chunk”. Miguel is a small lead poisoned child. Hosea wins.

Cut to Andrew playing with live crawfish like a cat.

Carla vs. someone I don’t remember and she wins. Oh, that’s right, it was ANDREW.

Stefan vs. Andrea. Stefan makes googly eyes at her, she returned the favor by cooking his eyes in a chili and serving them to him. Andrea wins.

Cut to Andrew bashing Stefan in a really funny way but I can’t remember what he said and for some reason no one posted it in any of their recaps, so it will remain a secret. And yes, there are multiple Top chef recaps. There is an army of them. I am a cog in a giant secret weird product placement machine.

Cut to Stefan saying “I’m a douche bag”, and this elevates to best episode ever.

Cut to a screen shot of the scoreboard they’re using in the back room: Top Chef, 34; Douches, 26.

Jamie vs. Camille who doesn’t ever talk and never gets featured and I guess her restaurant burned down which is really sad cause I think Camille is probably the coolest person in real life. Jamie wins.

Jeff vs. Josie. Josie the floppy overly happy not very talented. Josie who makes a HOT ceviche vs. Jeff’s COLD ceviche. And Josie wins. Which means Jeff deserves to go home.

Let’s all take a minute to appreciate Jeff. His steely eyes. His perfect blonde hair. The fact that he worked at the Dildo Club in Miami…..

Finally it’s Fabio vs. Spike the Scary Man in the Really Bad Hat. Fabio loses to the judges, but wins the field goal (you don’t want to know), and pulls it out for Season 5.

Judges Table: Carla wins. Jamie impersonates Olivia Newton John with a gold forehead band. The Guest Judge takes Fabio’s heart, makes a tartar, and serves it to Toby Young with a nice Shiraz, insult to injury since of course all the best red wines come from Italy. Then Guest Judge makes Toby throw it back up again, whisks in some play-doh, puts it back in his chest, and tells Fabio to fuck himself. Stefan sits in the back room, playing with a lighter and either contemplating burning the place down or getting really mellow. And Jeff goes home…looking like the little boy who’s new Christmas bicycle just got run over by a milk truck.

The End.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Do you see this shit?

Isn't it nice that we're all so worried about where the prisoners from Gitmo will go, but no one in the administration is talking about foreclosures yet? Something that was a mainstay issue in the election?

From Callahan's Cleveland Diary...some thoughts

"In the first five business days after Obama took office, 234 new foreclosure cases were filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. At least 90 of them involved properties in the city of Cleveland."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Appliance Woes

Style, Attitude, Sequins....

So there was some huge National Figure Skating Championship in Cleveland over the weekend, one of those really important Olympic qualifying ones where they battle royale with blades until someone who has worked excrutiatingly hard their entire life for this moment, giving up all sense of childhood, joy, independence, or romance, falls flat on their ass during a failed quadruple super man double take jump, and all their hopes and dreams are crushed into a thousand tiny pieces. And they go home, stare into the mirror at the incoming wrinkles and the line of their ever aging jaw, and they cry and cry and cry.

In between making poopy faces every time I saw one of these billboards, which are alternately repulsive and faboulous, I tried to cook yesterday. I tried to make this awesome Clementine Cake. I know it's awesome, because the part I tried that actually cooked all the way was really good. However...well I think the previous statement should tell you how that worked out.

Let me tell you about my oven: It's about 2 hundred years old, and came with the apartment. Actually it was in the downstairs apartment, but when the neighbors who used to live upstairs went downstairs, they switched the stoves. So they have a totally awesome vintage great shape stove, and I have the oven equivalent of leeching. It has a broken broiler. Every time I turn my oven on, the heat is actually about 75 degrees hotter because the air rushing in from the broiler makes the thermometer think it needs to be hotter. It reminds me of the story you read when you were a young adult about the family of 10 children who's mammy slaved all day over their stove stuffing the holes with paper and precious rags to try an make a single gingerbread cake for Lil Susie's birthday, and all they want for Christmas is a brand new stove so Mammy doesn't get so tired and angry all the time. But Billy gets Scarlet Fever and Susie breaks her toe and no matter how hard older brother Michael works for that dastardly old pharmacist, they never have enough to buy one.

Of course, in that story, a rich old widower has his heart melted by Susie throwing up on him, and buys them a new stove and then sends Michael on a European Tour. I don't think I'm going to be that lucky.

Of course, I don't put my degree of emotional distress (caused daily by this monster) on the same level as a spectacular athlete who has been thwarted by one turn of the ankle...or do I?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Failure is the theme today, in a very nice way...

Well thanks to the random mention of a certain blogger, I've been listening to Failure for about a day and a half. I'm done with it now. But hey, you know, thanks SO MUCH for that. Cause listening to The Nurse Who Love Me on repeat is always healthy for the psyche.

Saw The Fall: Do you like movies with amazing cinematography and plots where adults try to fuck with kids in terrible cold-hearted ways? I mean, who doesn't? I LOVE this movie. You should put it on your Netflix list now.

Oh god, speaking of weird internet communities that invade your inbox, I'm finally some what participating in Facebook. I gotta say, so far, it's not as visual as Myspace, and I can't put my Twitter feed in it, so it's probably just going to be another place to read these posts. I don't have the patience to learn the various tricks. But if anyone does know how to insert Twitter, let me know...

Saw The Wrestler: I know this isn't going to be the word commonly used to describe this movie, but it was heart-breakingly cute. And sad of course. But really cute too. Tragic death of man movies can be cute, look at Pi right? Which reminds me that I have yet to see Choke.

I tried to make braised chicken last night for dinner, and was too drunk to remember how I did it last time, so I used red wine instead of white, and it was not great. I mean, it was edible, but it wasn't anything to brag about.

Today I'm trying to use all the fruit in my fridge before it goes (more) bad. So banana bread, clementine cake, and banana curry ice cream are on the docket today.
Hopefully my subject line will not jinx me here....Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I just managed to sing the 8 note synth hook from an 80s song sampled on a terrible r&b song to S. over a cellphone, and he knew what it was within five minutes of contemplation.

Edit: Now we've got some controversy

okay, here's the Akon crap that inspired our dilemma: start at 1:05

Here's the song I think that hook is from, the one that S. originally thought it was from but now thinks is not the same: start at .42

And here's the song that everyone on the interwebs is claiming it's sampled from: start wherever, I don't hear the similarity here

So this is driving me absolutely batshit, because I know I've heard the exact sample from the Akon song, and my operating theory right now is that I must have heard a house bastardization of the Nik Kershaw song at a party years ago, and that's what Akon's sampling from. Or, like me, he went to too many parties in the late 90s and now that auto-tune irregularity is burned into our bio-rhythm.

Start at 1:09

If you want to have a good day today, follow the instructions at the end of this entry...

So a few years ago, my sister lived in Chapel Hill NC while her then boyfriend (now asshole) went to graduate school for library science, and if I recall correctly, she hated that town with the intensity of nutmeg. She talked about how all the people there were so yuppie and trendy, the way she described it brought to mind a giant mall filled with Urban Outfitters, Targets, and wood paneled sports bars. Everyone was dressed the same cool way and listened to the same cool music, and my poor little independently weird sister did not fit in. By the way, if you ever want to hate young people for their unoriginality, just browse through the Urban Outfitters accessories page on the website. I think I’ve mentioned that here before.

So, this brings me to the show last night at the Grog Shop; The Annuals, with Jessica Lee Mayfield and What Laura Says opening.

I’ll make the Chapel Hill connection in a moment, but let’s first cover the openers. What Laura Says was a pleasant enough band from Tempe. I didn’t pay much attention to them because I was too busy making friends with a girl from Akron and spilling my drinks all over the bar while making the bartender take pictures of the duct-taped teddy bear on the wall for me. Also, newest graffiti on the girl’s bathroom stall? Corey loves Tapanga. Moving on…

Jessica Lee Mayfield was a local girl with a hypnotically striped dress and some sort of Alabama accent. She was billed to me as sweet and sincere, which drives me away faster than the 20a bus. I have no room for sincerity in my life people. However, she did this magic trick where she opened her mouth and the entire room filled up with the song. There was so much volume and density to her music that it eclipsed the simplicity; both her, and her band, were impeccable and polished, nutritious and tasty. She was a vegan pear tart your friend makes for you that’s so good; you forget to miss the butter and cream. And yes, I equate rhythm and beats to butter and cream.

Finally, the Annuals. Who are from Chapel Hill, and match every description my sister gave me of that place. The individual members of this band obviously have a lot of talent, but their songs smack of emo and lack focus. I mean, imagine emo-twang with no chorus. Now throw some Coldplay in there. Maybe there was a chorus? Maybe I missed it? But I’m a girl who will pick the hook out of anything; I will make up hooks if I need to. And there were no good hooks here. It was as if they were trying to be every type of indie cool at once. I remarked to someone there about three songs in that it sounded to me like they had listened to too much MySpace music and been influenced by EVERYTHING they heard. Also, it was noticed by the group that the lead singer opened his mouth very, very wide, and I speculate he was actually trying to suck the musical soul out of the audience, or swallow a goat whole.

They weren’t terrible, they weren’t great, and they just weren’t anything specific. And I think if they could find their focus, they have the potential to be good. But I suspect, like MySpace, they’re just going to settle for popular.

It was a good night. I met a bunch of nice people, nice sweet “we talk to anyone and instantly welcome you” people. I did manage to get some of my vodkas actually in my mouth. And the ride home gave me another idea that I had been looking for, which means my whole Monday is going to be spent either a)giving myself hand cramps, or b)huddled at a library computer trying not to look like a crazy cat lady. I'm not explaining.

As a last thought: Listen to Rhianna’s Disturbia. Then listen to Blue by Eiffel 65. S. caught this the other day while I was forcing him to listen to Disturbia because Rhianna is my favorite robot ever.

It makes sense that if they were going to try and expand robot use beyond military campaigns, they would infiltrate them into mainstream celebrity pop. I mean, then there’s no worrying about them gaining weight, or marrying Kevin Federline, or passing out during an episode of American Idol.

Friday, January 23, 2009

And the hope keeps coming...until we get the data in...

Japan launches satellite to monitor greenhouse gases...

"TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan launched a satellite on Friday to monitor greenhouse gases around the world in the hope that the data it gathers will help global efforts to combat climate change.

The satellite, called "Ibuki" or "vitality" in Japanese, will enable scientists to measure densities of carbon dioxide and methane from 56,000 locations on the Earth's surface, including the atmosphere over open seas.

That would compare with just 282 land-based observation sites as of last October, mostly of which are in the United States, Europe and other industrialized regions, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has said."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

1-20-09 018, originally uploaded by sharpshinyclaws.

"Severe Weather Shelter"

Top Chef Recap: Things We Lost in the War

So last night was rather exciting wasn’t it?
First the mysterious restaurateur appears and challenges the contestants to create a tasting of their best dish for him, in order to decide their fate in the upcoming Restaurant Wars, which have ALREADY HAPPENED. Radhika discovers the cast is caught in a time loop* where every 30 minutes their lives reset, and the accomplishments of the past challenges mean nothing to them. Sawyer wants to go back to the beach to find some fresh red snapper cause the stuff he has now is rancid, but wannabe Neil Patrick Harris/Daniel Faraday, with his notebook of secret recipes involving Dr. Pepper, insists there is no changing fate. The fish will remain spoiled. The Top Chef is already among us, and there is no changing the timeline no matter how many times you bang on the pantry door. Poor Radhika has no choice but to accept the leadership of her team, knowing that her fate is to be eliminated because the Man Who Doesn’t Age came and told her, she has to be eliminated in order to save the Top Chef, and in the process she must bring back the chefs who have left the island, to stop the time skip.

The Restaurant Wars went forward, and it was akin to watching a reenactment of a textbook, exciting in a way because we remember it from past seasons, but sorrowful and frustrating nonetheless, knowing the outcome as we did. Bittersweet since the players were aware of their fate. Of course the plane is going to crash and Radhika will be shot in the leg, and there were far too many Pier One metal giraffes being used. Faraday sees that Jamie has started to suffer the effects of prolonged exposure to the time loop, but tells no one since he doesn’t want to frighten them until he knows for certain. If I had to guess, I would say the first casualties of the brain scarring will be those who have ingested too much seafood (scallops), the mercury in their system acting as a poison magnified by the island’s wormhole.

Faraday alerts Fabio (trapped in the pantry by being unable to read the English exit sign) that he alone is special, and will need to go back to Italy to find his mother, who apparently knows more about time traveling cheese than anyone else. Years later Fabio will remember this as a bad dream, disguise himself as a spy, and try to lure Penny’s father into his trap, disguised as a generic restaurant with too many tea lights. However Penny’s father is too busy building an unholy alliance with Stefan, as they recognize their common enemy in Hosea. They recruit Leah as their serpent, to entice Hosea. to destroy his morality, and turn him to the Dark Side. Oh, then Leah and Hosea make out and it's gross and they totally act like twelve year olds about it.

The best chefs, the ones that have escaped and moved on to careers in New York (or mental institutions, or downward spirals), need to go back to the kitchen; this cycle will not stop unless Padma can get them back there to save the others, and themselves. Fate once again conspires to bring them together – Kate to save her child, Andrew to redeem his squirreliness, and the others just because all the bodies/actual talents need to be together at the even horizon, or Gladware** will discontinue their sponsorship since the viewing audience of this season is dropping like flies. Will Sayid kill them all with tricky kitchen appliances? And if they do not return, will the world end in 70 hours?

Probably. And the scallops will take over forever. Scallops are the new cockroaches.

**Otherwise known as The Dharma Initiative, inventors of the scallop.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I realize that today, the 1st full day of a new administration, I should be filled with expectation, or anxiety, or sombre meaningful thoughts on patriotism. Instead I want to make lots of cheesecake, and paint my hallway, and buy a permanent Obama umbrella, to stop you people from raining on my parade.

My mother, (who's composite image of me I think is based on some friend of a friend's daughter, since she forgets that I haven't dyed my hair in ten years, I do wear colors besides black now, and my employers love me and I'm never in any danger of getting fired also I do love her despite all these things) left me a voicemail that said, in essence, "Bridget, don't be disappointed, he's not a miracle worker, the world isn't going to instantly change".

This is a ridiculous expectation, because I am regularly one of the most cynical people you will meet. Especially to her. Especially about miracles.

Okay, so yes I know that he's not a miracle worker, or Nelson Mandela, which I swear I heard one of the tv commentators say last night. I'm probably more aware of that then most of you. I understand Obama is a centrist, that he'll backtrack on a lot of things, and due to lack of money most of those ambitious social programs are not going to happen. I understand that there is a good chance he will do none of the things I think he should, like freezing foreclosures, expanding internet access to all of America, and impeaching Bush.

But I like having a president who at the very least will not actively contribute to making things worse, and will at least try to wean us away from oil. Obama won a lot of loyalty from me with his Secretary of Energy pick. I am no longer scared that NASA will be closed down, or that America won't contribute to the LHC effort. I think PBS might actually survive. And for god sakes, he believes in global warming. That seems like a minor miracle to me.

So leave me alone. I'm tired of being defensive and angry for the past eight years, I don't need you all trying to deflate me. The reason I am so excited is that the bar has been set very low for my expectations. When Obama gets as bad as George W Bush,( you know, starts another war, lies to us repeatedly, and talks about we have to save Israel because of the End of Days, destroys every environmental law he can get his hands on), then I will lower my enthusiasm. Maybe. He's still much cuter and knows how to use Twitter.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The reviewing stand looked like they were about to watch a horse race...

Okay, I'm drunk and about to get drunker, so let's keep this short....

1. In the crowded Palace Theater today I watched that, you know, thing that was going on today.

very secret cult like gathering....

2. Behind me was an old man who kept calling, "The Peanut Man!" every time Jimmy Carter came on screen. S. says he heard him saying later he couldn't remember his last name.

check out the secret of Acorn's success - Zombies!

3. Several standing ovations happened, and lots of hisses.

some things should always be experience in crowds..

4. Obama mentioned "non-believers" as part of America! Yay! We exist!

5. I cried when Obama said he would "restore science to its proper place".

6. That bow was amazing.

7. That poem was awful.

8. That entire inaugural speech was a damning diss of Bush, and it was awesome.

9. Cheney in a wheelchair was a) Old Man Potter and b) the best thing EVER. S. was hoping that the wheelchair would sprout rocket jets and fly off into the sky, leaving behind a magic rainbow...

10. The presidential swearing-in happened late, so technically we didn't have a president for ten minutes.

11. I called my dad afterwards to thank him, which sounds really cheesy(and is), because he volunteered and worked for the Civil Rights Movement, and ever since then he's just always been working for the rights of poor people and poor cities, and I was really overcome with the idea of it all. I mean, I couldn't ask for a better person to aspire to (even though I ended up a corporate slug), and I just felt like this was a victory for all the people like him across the country who try so hard to change things, and have been trying since they were marching in Selma, and recycling computers started, and steel mills started to unionize. And I said "you know, thank you in a generational way" and he said "well, in a generational way, thank you for knowing how to use the internet." Then he mentioned some thing about drawing water before and drawing water after and Buddhism, and went back to work.

11. I then got very drunk. And I am very very very happy. I kept calling my mom to come have a drink with me, but she was working.

12. The Obama girls are the best princesses we could ask for. Maybe Disney will now actually have a black princess.

13. There was something that Rick Warren (*spit*) said in his prayer that actually struck me. He said we should celebrate the "peaceful transfer of power for the 44th time", and you know, above everything else, he's right. In the grand scheme of things, the fact that we have such contentious elections and then the guy wins, and he's just in, and everyone just accepts it? That's amazing.

Diane Feinstein said something similar when she talked about the "supremacy of the ballot over the bullet".

14, I like Michelle Obama because every time the camera pans to her, she's looking at her kids. And that's what the mother of a 7 yr old would be doing. Not concerned about looking at her husband, or appreciating Perhlman, but making sure the girl isn't lifting up her skirt.

15. The entire time I have known S., worked for my company, owned a car, and had short short hair, Bush has been president.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Way We Were

From Harper's Index : a selection...

Minimum number of calls the FBI received in fall 2001 from Utah residents claiming to have seen Osama bin Laden: 20

Percentage of Americans in 2006 who believed that U.S. Muslims should have to carry special I.D.: 39

Chances an American in 2002 believed the government should regulate comedy routines that make light of terrorism: 2 in 5

Number of members of the rock band Anthrax who said they hoarded Cipro so as to avoid an “ironic death”: 1

Percentage of the amendments in the Bill of Rights that are violated by the USA PATRIOT Act, according to the ACLU: 50

Minimum number of laws that Bush signing statements have exempted his administration from following: 1,069

Number of eligibility restrictions for admission into the Army that have been loosened since 2003: 9

Percentage change from 2004 to 2007 in the number of Army recruits admitted despite having been charged with a felony: +295

Minimum number of times that Frederick Douglass was beaten in what is now Donald Rumsfeld’s vacation home: 25

Percentage of Republicans in 2005 who said they would vote for Bush over George Washington: 62

Seconds it took a Maryland consultant in 2004 to pick a Diebold voting machine’s lock and remove its memory card: 10

Portion of all U.S. income gains during the Bush Administration that have gone to the top 1 percent of earners: 3/4

Percentage change since 2002 in the number of U.S. teens using illegal drugs: –9

Percentage change in the number of adults in their fifties doing so: +121

Number of U.S. cities and towns that have passed resolutions calling for the impeachment of President Bush: 92

Rank of Nevaeh, “heaven” spelled backward, among the fastest growing names given to American newborns since 2000: 1

Average percentage of Americans who approved of the job Bush was doing during his second term: 37

Percentage of Russians today who approve of the direction their country took under Stalin: 37

Random things I collect when I don't have a computer at home, and I have a whole day of not talking to anyone

1. Ding Dong the Witch is dead! Which old witch? The Wicked Witch! Ding dong the Wicked Witch is dead! (or will be, as of tomorrow, although in not as satisfying a way as some of us would have hoped...). I hope the name George is going to be some generation name, like Katie or Tiffany. I don't need a bunch of little Georges popping up in the next ten years. We don't need them to steal the thunder from the Thousands of Baracks that are to come.

2. Tomorrow I will be headed downtown to watch the Inauguration at either Playhouse Square or the Wolfstein Center. Then I will be headed to Tremont to drink. At this point, it looks like I'll be alone for all of this, because everyone else is working, so if you're not, feel free to holla at me. I want to be in a crowd, I want to see happy people, I want to hear shouting and clapping and drink a lot. Unfortunately, none of my friends consider this the holiday I do. It's probably because they partied on 11/2, while I was stuck in a hotel room by myself. Anyway, I miss having friends that didn't work 9-5 jobs. Like, you know, all of us before two years ago.

3. Watching Stranger Than Fiction and then Adaptation the next morning will play serious tricks on a wannabe writer's mind. Watching the Ernest Angley hour afterwards will not help, and not having a computer while in the mood to not eat anything only drink and smoke and smoke and drink? Well that will cement the crazy and lead you to scribble massive amounts of nonsense down on your watercolor pad (being the only paper in the house). These crazies will seep into your dreams and give you the first nightmare you've had in years, though that could be due to the champagne, edam, and garlic triscuits you consumed in mass quantity before sleep. Also, triscuits is the weirdest cracker name ever, and I don't believe it can really be spelled that way.
I couldn't go to sleep after that nightmare. I wasn't scared during it at all, but when I woke up I got really really spooked, which is one of the downfalls of living alone and also being the kind of person who forgets to lock her door all the time. I can say that safely on the internet, because it will NEVER happen again.

4. Einstein's first wife intrigues me, and I will probably write more about her soon, if only because desperately thwarted women are a thing with me these days. Also, let's talk about how weird it is that it's called Gravity, so sombre, so formal. I'm not sure I believe in gravity. I mean, I believe these reactions occur. But I don't believe gravity is one law, one force, acting everywhere always the same. I think it's probably more of a set of related laws, involving forces we don't have names for yet, which act differently in different areas of the universe. Of course, I have no basis for this, not even a reliable background of basic level physics, only my imagination and observation of how many of the other mightier laws of nature have fallen since the dawn of Science. So you know, okay for a L'Engle novel, maybe not so much for the formal debate.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

"Sir John Mortimer is Dead"...or "How I always discover the coolest people through their obituaries"

Here's to Sir John Mortimer, a gentleman who I had never heard of before yesterday, when As It Happens played a recording of a very funny speech he made, in honor of his death. As It Happens is a Canadian public radio news show, and I wish I could find the theme song as my ringtone, because it would serve to weed out people I am unwilling to sleep with. Yes, it's true, I do require as one of my standards that you recognize the theme music of several NPR shows. I think there are worse ways to be picky.

"People will go to endless trouble to divorce one person and then marry someone who is exactly the same, except probably a bit poorer and a bit nastier. I don't think anybody learns anything."

You know, the problem is, after someone dies, it's really hard to find substantive links on them that aren't stories about their death. I've been searching for this speech I heard last night, where he talked about why he preferred to defend murderers than divorcees. Because divorcees will call you up at all times of the night complaining about custody of the dog. But murderers have already killed the one person who really bugged them, so they're quite calm about the whole thing. It was really the funniest speech I've heard in a long time. Obama should copy it for Tuesday.

Instead I've learned that he was the creator of Rumpole of the Bailey, wrote the script for Tea With Mussolini and defended the Sex Pistols in the Bollocks Obscenity Trial.

"Mortimer then said that he wished to call Professor James Kingsley to give evidence as to the meaning of the word bollocks. Mr. Richie objected to the witness being called. However, the chairman said ''let's get it over with'', and Kingsley was called. Kingsley told the court that he was the Reverend James Kingsley, professor of English studies at Nottingham University. He said he was a former Anglican priest and also a fellow of the Royal Academy. Under questioning from Mortimer he then went into discussing the derivation of the word bollocks. He said it was used in records from the year 1000 and in Anglo Saxon times it meant a small ball. The terms was also used to describe an orchid. He said that in the 1961 publication of Eric Partridge's Dictionary of Slang, he had not taken into account the use of the word bollocks in the Middle Ages. He said it appears in Medievel bibles and veterinary books. In the bible it was used to describe small things of an appropriate shape. He said that the word also appears in place names without stirring any sensual desires in the local communities. Mortimer said that this would be similar to a city being called Maidenhead which didn't seem to cause the locals in the vicinity any problems. Mr Kingsley said that Partridge in his books wrote that bollocks remained in colloquial use down through the centuries and was also used to denote a clergyman in the last century. ''The word has been used as a nickname for clergymen. Clergymen are known to talk a good deal of rubbish and so the word later developed the meaning of nonsense,'' he said. ''They became known for talking a great deal of bollocks, just as old balls or baloney also come to mean testicles, so it has twin uses in the dictionary."

It wasn't the only obscenity trial he defended, but it's certainly the most famous one, unless you want to count "The Love That Dare To Speak It's Name", and there seems to be some debate as to his role in the trial of "Lady Chatterly's Lover", but he was definitely there. He married 2 women named Penelope, which is either an utterly lovely or really repulsive name, wrote propaganda films for WW2, and ended his life consulting on Boston Legal. Yeah, that tv show. And he wrote some books that I'll be reading soon, since the titles are "Murderers and Other Friends" and "The Oxford Book of Villains". He wrote a ton of others, like 4 autobiographies. How much do you have to live in order to write 4 books solely about your life? And of course, the Rumpole books.

"We don't know much about the human conscience, except that it is soluble in alcohol."

I have read a few Rumpole of the Bailey books, cause you know, I go for that whole stiff upper lip, rowdy humour, British mystery sort of thing. I always thought She Who Must Be Obeyed was a wonderful thing, the title I mean. So I guess I knew that someone wrote those books, I just didn't know who. Think of all the brilliant people out there, dead and alive, that you know nothing about. It's daunting.

"I always say that if you find a streak of vulgarity in yourself you should nurture it and see what happens. I've been showing off all my life."

Thursday, January 15, 2009

What exactly is a hole in the floor toilet? I mean, I get it, but I don't really....

From the NY Times....

Art Hoax Unites Europe in Displeasure

The piece, an enormous mosaic installed in the European Council building over the weekend, was meant to symbolize the glory of a unified Europe by reflecting something special about each country in the European Union.

But wait. Here is Bulgaria, represented as a series of crude, hole-in-the-floor toilets. Here is the Netherlands, subsumed by floods, with only a few minarets peeping out from the water. Luxembourg is depicted as a tiny lump of gold marked by a “for sale” sign, while five Lithuanian soldiers are apparently urinating on Russia.

So what I don't understand here is how this giant 8 ton thing got INSTALLED without anyone saying anthing....

Top Chef Recap: Remember Lisa?

Okay, so remember last season, when Lisa made it to the Top 4? And your blood boiled every time you saw her, your teeth gnashed, the little unborn babies in your ovaries cried and wailed in nightmarish terror that she might actually win out of sheer demonic influence?

Well, this season hasn’t given us many people to root for, but it certainly gave us someone to hate: Arianne, Aryan, New Jersey Cougar Housewife.

I understand that it’s not fair to hate her as a person, and mock her looks and be mean. But it’s TV, and it stops me from making fun of you, so let’s just accept that I’m a terrible person and move on. I do need to point out that my hatred (and my Top Chef Cronies’ hatred) stems from the fact she just didn’t impress us as having anymore talent in the kitchen than us. I mean, she won a couple challenges, fine. But she won every time for her ability to cook meat. Only meat. Not even the sauces or accompanying sides. And there are meat thermometers for that. Otherwise, she sucked. And she really, really liked the Today show.

Ironically, it was also her down fall last night, when she took an innocent baby lamb and beat it within an inch of its afterlife, after butchering it with the talent of a Sasquatch tearing apart a polar bear. And the new judge Toby won me over by being her executor, excusing all ass-isms he may utter from now on. When they announced her departure, we all screamed in exultation so loud, we actually woke up S.

Unfortunately, now that she’s gone, who’s the villain? Smug Boyfriend Stealing Leah? It’s just not as satisfying.

I’ll spare you the long recap of the challenges last night. The Quickfire was “make a dish out of canned pantry items”, and one of the items was canned conch, which I didn’t even know existed. The Elimination Challenge was to go to this farm/commune/restaurant place called Blue Hill that anyone who reads the NYT Food Section knows is where NY City Foodies go to jerk off onto suckling pig faces, and then learn to butcher them. So they had to create a menu of “seasonal items”. Whatever, boring. Boring food. Boring challenge. So boring in fact, that the Chicken Team won. Chicken. The most boring protein ever. Whatever, I don’t even remember who won specifically, just that Carla, Jamie and Stefan were in the top three and the judges hated everyone else.

So I think the time has come to figure out who I like for the finale. Usually at this point in the competition, I’ve got my favorites completely figured out. But it’s taken a long time this season, because no one has really wowed me, and none of them are very likeable. I mean, Hung and Marcel and Stephen, they were all mad scientists, culinary artists. They aspired to be anyway. I feel like these guys just aspire to stay employed. Anyway, here we go with my guesses…

Top 4: Jamie, Carla, Stefan, Fabio.
Possible substitution: Hosea (but I think he’s going to shoot himself in the face here soon.)

Those top 4 seem to have the most common sense and talent here. I’d love to put Radhika up there, but I just have a premonition she’s going to do something wrong. When she messes up, it’s usually bad flavor combination and nothing gets you out faster. I’ll guess her death sentence will be “too much salt”. Carla, ie Fraggle Rock Girl, has won me over so I think she’ll make Top 4, but not Top 3. That will be Jamie, Stefan, and Fabio. They have all demonstrated they have consistent technique and a wide flavor vocabulary. However if Jamie makes another scallop, I will be very very very very very disappointed.

There have been so many scallops murdered in the making of this season, they should be put on the endangered species list. I should make a Top Chef “Save the Scallops” t-shirt.

"Oh, the bivalvity!"

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Israeli Rights Groups Call for War Crimes Inquiry

Accompanied by a just amazing photograph. I can't stop looking at it. It's really really good.

My breath is an anti-griddle, its so freaking cold

bridgetphotos 125, originally uploaded by sharpshinyclaws.

Exciting morning.
Woke up early, took a preternaturally calm Rusty the Crazy Eyed Cat to have his manhood removed. Which seems like an apt climax to my last few days of "oh my god how does this person continue to function" posts. So no more mandated vasectomies. I'm feeling generous. From now on, only unmitigated hatred without threat of bodily harm.

Of course, my alternator died. Again. So it's at the shop now. Fun times.
And S. had to drive me to work and clean his apartment and pick up the cat and pick me up and go to work himself. So his day isn't so great either.

On the upside, last night while watching the American Idol auditions, a bikini clad bimbo, after gushing about their future children, forced Ryan Seacrest to kiss her, literally wrenching his little plastic lips to hers, and the Editors played Kate Perry's "I kissed a girl" in the background. Which was AWESOME.

Also, here is a long overdue picture of Rusty meeting a lobster.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Nominated Vasectomy of the Day

(Besides Rusty, S.'s cat who has finally started spraying any and everywhere. Sorry Rusty...)

Yet another reason to hate skull t-shirts…turns out they may be hiding a Calvinist.

Alright, so I already suspected that most skull laden, foil print shirts were clothing evangelists. You just can’t trust anyone who tries so hard to look like a bad-ass. But a disturbing new trend got highlighted in this past weekend’s NYTthe bad ass, Seattle hipster, Calvinist.

Now first of all, Calvinism is a little heinous, beyond the normal reaches of nastiness that Christianity reaches. Because with Calvin, you’re born a maggot, you live a maggot, and you die a maggot. Your soul is physically incapable of following God’s teachings or achieving Grace. And only a few really special people, that were chosen before they were conceived, are eligible to get into heaven. Of course, those few chosen people are the Calvinists. You are predestined to be a Calvinist and be saved. Little babies who die, if not already a chosen one, go straight to hell. The Puritans were Calvinists, and they started things off right, right?

So I guess the idea is supposed to be that no matter what a crack-hitting, woman beating monster you are, everyone else is just as bad as you. And God may choose to forgive you just because, like a lottery system, but only if you actively pursue his knowledge, which is like buying your lottery ticket.

Of course, I don’t believe in heaven, hell, God, or really for that matter Calvin (I think he’s a story made up to frighten poor Boer children). But this isn’t about my belief, this is about Mark Driscoll’s.

Mark Driscoll is the pastor of the Mar’s Hill Church in Seattle, where according to the NYT story, 2 of the city’s 4 top tattoo artists attend. He poises himself as a dark cloud swearing man’s man, and sees Calvinism as way to change the image of Jesus from a “neutered and limp-wristed popular Sky Fairy of pop culture”. Presumably into the lion headed blood fanged death eater he really was? I don’t know. But I do know that having a Facebook group called John Calvin Is My Homeboy is evil.

Driscoll preaches specifically against feminism, insisting that woman be subservient to man. He’s also against pre-marital sex, and “singing prom songs to a Jesus who is presented as a wuss”. But he doesn’t forbid drinking, cussing, violence in culture, and Bruce Springsteen. His campaign is all about reversing the emasculation of the Church, and that’s really the scariest part. Because you might have something to argue to a Christian who believes in mercy and gentleness, but what do you say to hell and damnation and guess what, you can get drunk too?

“He came to admire Martin Luther, the vulgar, beer-swilling theological rebel who sparked the Reformation. “I found him to be something of a mentor,” Driscoll says. “I didn’t have all the baggage he did. But you can see him with a quill in one hand and a drink in the other. He married a brewer and renegade nun. His story is kind of indie rock.”

The whole thing reminds me eerily of AA, the cult of “We accept you no matter how dirty you are, but only if you devote your life to doing everything we tell you too, because your whole life is fucked due to a lack of God.” I understand the benefits of having a support system that will give you complete acceptance if you’re struggling to be a better person, but why can’t people get that without becoming ideologue zombies? And if you read all the way thru to the end of the article, there’s a nice little tidbit about how Driscoll takes care of members who dissent.

Because a real man doesn’t negotiate and he doesn’t back down, especially if he’s a chosen one. No, he turns to wannabe ultimate fighters.

Also, I’m kinda freaked out by the indie rock reference. Like a lot. I guess I won’t be able to positively stereotype anyone anymore.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Oh but Maybe It's Too Early To Be So Snarky

So here's something quite cute and adorable. Dove asked a group of women to tell what they thought about another woman just by looking at her face. I think the fact that they all have accents makes it super cute.

Another Case for Mandated Vasectomies - Let It Be the Theme

Hey, did you know Bono is the new op-ed columnist for the New York Times?

Yeah, here's some jewels from his first piece, where he visits an Irish Pub and talks about Frank Sinatra.

"Glasses clinking clicking, clashing crashing in Gaelic revelry: swinging doors, sweethearts falling in and out of the season’s blessings, family feuds subsumed or resumed. Malt joy and ginger despair are all in the queue to be served on this, the quarter-of-a-millennium mark since Arthur Guinness first put velvety blackness in a pint glass."

"A call to believability.

A voice that says, “Don’t lie to me now.”

That says, “Baby, if there’s someone else, tell me now.” Fabulous, not fabulist. Honesty to hang your hat on. As the year rolls over (and with it many carousers), the emotion in the room tussles between hope and fear, expectation and trepidation. Wherever you end up, his voice takes you by the hand."

"Singers, more than other musicians, depend on what they know — as opposed to what they don’t want to know about the world. While there is a danger in this — the loss of naïveté, for instance, which holds its own certain power — interpretive skills generally gain in the course of a life well abused."

Did I mention I hate Bono more than ANYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD? I'm pretty sure if we dumped him somewhere off the Florida Keys, the dolphins would "take care" of him for us. I don't know, I just have this feeling that it's natural for every animal, tree, and person with a heart to want to tear him limb from limb and feed him to their offspring.

Making a case for mandated vasectomies

Posted on Ergotism.
And so heart-numbingly atrocious in its own right that I had to repost it.

“I’ll be honest with you. I don’t think journalists should be anywhere allowed war. I mean, you guys report where our troops are at. You report what’s happening day to day. You make a big deal out of it. I-I think it’s asinine. You know, I liked back in World War I and World War II when you’d go to the theater and you’d see your troops on, you know, the screen and everyone would be real excited and happy for’em. Now everyone’s got an opinion and wants to downer–and down soldiers. You know, American soldiers or Israeli soldiers. I think media should be abolished from, uh, you know, reporting. You know, war is hell. And if you’re gonna sit there and say, ‘Well look at this atrocity,’ well you don’t know the whole story behind it half the time, so I think the media should have no business in it.”

Alright, so Jeremy writes better commentary than I do, you should read his, and then his thoughts on the show 24. Which was also covered recently in an NPR story I heard which discussed how, for better or worse, 24 has always managed to keep up or be ahead of its time. You know, with 9/11 happening right as it premiered and the black president last season, ect.

Which only makes me think that the government planned 9/11, and planted this show in the network line-up as a propaganda machine to prepare people for its decisions.


Anyway, Joe the Not A Plumber is obviously a dick, a douche, and a dingleberry on the rump of America who should have his passport revoked just for low intelligence/reality operation scores. BUT what if this newest inane commentary from him is in fact a cry for help? Maybe he got there, realized that being a war correspondent means you have to talk to crazy people and also maybe get killed, so now he's making a moral issue of reporters even being there in the hopes they'll send him home?

Not that I think this bark but no bite dog will even come close to the actual fighting, but please don't let him be killed. Cause that's the last thing I want on my media for the next 4 months, the Extraordinary Life of Ordinary Joe.

Ew, I think I just made my hangover worse.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Chicken Salad for Drunk People (or ones who are really sick and on xanax)

Originally, I saw Paula making this on one of her ten million food network shows, but I didn't watch the end of the show, because Paul makes me want to poke my eyes out with a whisk. Think about that. It would hurt. Anyway, I started craving a chicken salad with corn, so I made this for our last Top Chef night. I tripled her recipe, and did not stuff it in tomatoes, but instead served it with deviled eggs and french bread. The dressing is very light, way more olive oil than mayonnaise, and the corn is really what makes this terrific. The magnified recipe is below, with my additions, but this will literally give you more than enough for six people...or 4 people and one very hungry S.

(adapted from Paula Deen, there is no butter)

  • 6 breasts grilled and cubed chicken, seasoned with garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, and adobe chili
  • 2 cup minced red bell pepper
  • 2 cup corn, drained
  • 1/2 minced red onion
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large avocados
Grill the chicken.
Combine with the peppers, onion, corn
Whisk the mayonnaise, mustard and olive oil together
Add the parsley, black pepper, and salt to dressing, shake.
Add avocados to salad
Coat with dressing.

It seems to me that deviled eggs are really more of a state of mind than an actual recipe. These had mustard, hot sauce, paprika, worcestire sauce, pepper, salt, capers, and parmesan cheese. So you, I was trying to wake people up. They're great for someone with a cold.

Don't you just love snow? I LOVE snow. I eat snow for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and the occasional midnight snack.

That's someone's car, thankfully not mine (cause I'm not a moron who drive 50 on a sidestreet in a snowstorm around curves) who's car is actually on TOP of one of those landscaping boulders. I work at a claims branch, for an auto insurance company, and this was across the street from the office. For like an hour, we all tried to figure out how exactly they got the car on top of the boulder with no front end damage.

Massive Photo Overload

The rest of the pictures can be found here.

Here's how our New Years trip started... in a horrible non-drivable winter storm.

Which then brightened up considerably by the time we got to Maryland.

Here's the view from our hotel room. That building in the front right is the aquarium.

And another view, cause we literally spent all our time in the room taking pictures of the view. A bunch of people had booked the hotel just to watch the fireworks over the harbor, and they were really mad when the windstorm cancelled them. I could hear the old guy next door swearing like crazy at the concierge on the phone. Luckily, we had no plans to sit in our hotel room sedately.

A few of my favorite pictures from the aquarium...

I didn't take any pictures at Wu Tang, cause I didn't know if I could bring my camera into the venue, and it turned out i could have, but honestly I was so wasted, I would have dropped it or lost it or traded it for drugs or something. So it's a good thing. We're in the front row by the way

The next morning we drove around Baltimore, and ended up in the ghetto, since ALL of Baltimore is the ghetto and "Charm City" is like the most ironic nickname ever for it. Here is the Charm City rape/sniper/jumper tower.

Next S. drove me to West Virginia to play the slots. We stayed at a hotel owned by Cinnabon.

Which makes sense, since Newell WV is also a hellmouth.

And finally the giant starlight octopus that gave me a bunch of money in exchange for my future Social Security payments.

Friday, January 9, 2009

You know what I wish I had right now, as I wait to leave work and brave the snowstorm?

A cabinet/fridge camera that I could access through a website.

Wouldn't that be just the most useful? I could figure out if I have cornstarch and lemon juice. My life, as we know it, would be microscopically changed for the better.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

As if the Middle East situation was apocalyptic enough

Joe the Plumber is now a War Correspondent

"The Ohio man who became a household name during the presidential campaign says he is heading to Israel as a war correspondent for the conservative Web site"

"He tells WNWO-TV in Toledo that he wants to let Israel's "'Average Joes' share their story."

There isn't enough rum in Clevland to make this shit funny for me anymore.

Top Chef Recap - "I eat cat food like you for breakfast", "wait, you eat cat food?"

Alright, so we’ve had a few weeks off from Top Chef. The last episode was that weird Christmas challenge thing, where even the producers were so fed up with this current crop, they had to bring in some of the old vets in a desperate attempt to keep their audience around. Unfortunately, it backfired. Seeing Marcel and The One Ball Giant, heck even overly ambitious Red, made me long for the days when Top Chef dishes impressed me and made me want to buy exotic kitchenware.

Oh, back to the grind with the Kindergarten Chefs this week. And darling Gayle of the Loud Print is gone on her honeymoon, so now we get Mr. Toby “I practice my bon mots in front of my mirror every night before I masturbate” Young. Supposedly some people in England have heard of him, at least one of the European Chefs knew his name. But everyone else was like “who?”, and then pretended to be very scared. Scared? Of that guy? Any guy who says douchy things like “this dish is like Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder” is obviously a nerd who wants to be a bully. Exactly the type of bully who only needs to be stood up to in order to deflate and send crying home to Mommy. You, Mr. Young, are reminiscent of a 80s teen angst movie villain, superficial and laughable.

I mean, seriously, “weapons of mass destruction” in the crab bisque? Whatever.

What we need is to get Anthony Bourdain and Young in the same room together, and give them some raw pork to critique.

Moving on to the tailspin that is this season…the Quickfire challenge is some Diet Dr. Pepper fiasco. Make desserts without sugar, and also yes please, use Dr. Pepper. Earning a little love in my heart, most of the chefs decline that tempting offer. Except for New Jersey Cougar, who probably believes Wal-Mart is run by nice people, unions are bad, and American Idol is entertaining. Nightmare Sally built a bread pudding out of wet snail flesh she conjured from beyond the grave, and the French guest judge loved it, because the French love wet snail bread pudding (it’s a provincial specialty).

Then the Elimination Challenge (after a few more Sidekick close-ups and Aryan the Cougar (see, that’s her REAL first name) running around hopped up on 23 Flavors).
Everyone gets to cook a signature dish, family style, and the judges will blindly taste and be judgy, while the chefs look on from another room. Oh, and they broke the chefs in half, so while Team A’s dishes were being judged, Team B were judges, and vice versa. The contestants get to watch whatever nasty things their subpar cohorts have to say about them. It all seemed very high school to me, until I realized what Top Chef was REALLY doing….

See, I think every adult involved with the production of this show, judges to cameramen, realize they have a problem here. None of these chefs are even half good enough to really win. None of them compare to past winners. I’m betting the casting department has already been fired. SO, since they were all so frustrated with the quality of dishes (especially Tom Tom), they tried to be instructional. See, watch us in real time eat your crap and listen to what we have to say. Learn from us.

The ruse became obvious when at judges table, Padma kept asking them if they learned anything from watching the critiques. And someone else made a comment about how hopefully the chefs will see what they keep doing wrong and fix it.

So, and I forgot if it was B. or C. that said this, instead of finding Top Chef, now they’re trying to BUILD Top Chef.

But Bravo’s breaking the cardinal rule of cooking: “start with good ingredients.” As Marcel points out in my new Top Chef cookbook that S. gave me last night that is totally awesome, if the ingredients are good, you don’t even need to cook them, they taste great on their own. Most of these current cheese balls are beyond their expiration date, and the few that looked tasty are quickly approaching Toss Day.

Conclusion: Muppet Janice and Gene the Latin King both got kicked off. One because fish tacos are kind of lame, and the other because nobody in their right mind thinks daikon and tomato basil sauce go well together.

At least we know that Toby Young feeds his cat well, since apparently he cooks him spicy fish filets every night. That’s one (very small) point in his favor. And Fraggle Rock Carla won me over with her incredibly adult sensible response to the criticism of her dish, which saved her from going home. All the chefs should be able to respond like that, all the time, like serious professionals. This is not, after all, Rock of Love Charm School.

Edit: From Tom's blog on
"As an aside, I think this was a good introduction to Toby. He's exceptionally witty and thought at first that he was being called on as a judge to use that wit and take potshots at the chefs, but he quickly realized that they were all very serious-minded about their food and about this competition, and he switched gears and began assessing the food in earnest. He's fun to work with and I know you'll enjoy him as the season progresses."

Maybe Toby didn't realize this wasn't Rock of Love either.
So we'll see...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


It's a little known fact that if you eat rice chex and corn chex every morning for breakfast for a week (with a sliced banana, of course), your urine will actually smell like chex after the fifth day.

Also, according to Tim Allen's new Food Network show "Food Detectives"*, baking soda and vinegar are both common cures for heartburn. I intend to use this information for evil, and convince someone to try them both at the same time.

Oh, and Pineapple Express was hilarious. Except for the unnecessary action scenes which were long and drawn out and not very entertaining even to the inebriated. But the rest of it was Stoner Movie Gold. Recommended pairing? Deep fried pineapple slices, coated in vanilla cinnamon rice flour, and served with hot rum sauce. I haven't made that yet, that's for Thursday, but doesn't it sound awesome? Oh and Jay? Tara's not coming, so we can eat meat, kill puppies, and use that precious fish sauce, which will from now on be referred to as Black Gold.

Tonight: Top Chef, Chicken Salad, Deviled Eggs, and photos! Cause I finally found my cord.

*Is Tim "gunning" for Alton's job? Deathmatch! No, Science fair! Bob Nye decides the loser's fate, and the winner takes home Bobby Flay.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Ghetto Bruschetta

Here is how to make a Sunday night poem, or maybe its more of a limerick....

1. Buy grape tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, pitted black olives that smell of lye.
2. Sever the tomatoes and olives in half, so that their fleshy insides and pulpy hearts spill out into a bowl. Or a tinfoil pan, which is sometimes more appropriate. Mix cheese and tomatoes and olives all together like they ASKED for it.
3. Throw in lots of garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, red pepper, and a quick dash of olive oil.
4. Let it sit on your counter, marinating, for at least two hours.
5. Toast thick cut Italian bread spread with lots of butter in oven until slightly dry and crusty. DO NOT OVER TOAST.
6. Go to your friends house. Put your building blocks of art high on the counter so the cat won't eat them, though you don't think cats should like tomatoes. Give your friend a box full of Florentines and raspberry sandwich cookies. Watch Mongol while earnestly devouring cookies, and when they are all gone, but the movie is still going, offer to make your appetizer.
7. Spread the tomato salad on the slices of bread, and stick under the broiler on low. Nervously pace kitchen, hoping you don't burn them. Remove once cheese is melted.
8. Eat and be extremely happy. Extremely happy. Promise at least twice to make this again. This week.
9. Be mad at yourself for eating them all before you took pictures.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Well, my laptop is officially dead, so no pictures yet, because my cords at my house, a place I have not been in a week and at this point have started to think of as a happy fantasy I dreamed about. Possibly at the same time I dreamed I was chewing a car and woke up chewing S.'s back. That did happen this week. Also:

- we listened to every classic rock station from here to Maryland. Because our options were classic rock, country, or bible passages.
- we survived gale force winds (they actually cancelled the Baltimore harbor fireworks, the wind was so bad)
- we survived the Polar Express 4d experience at the Baltimore aquarium (only one kid cried).
- we spent the first fifteen minutes in our hotel room taking pictures of the view
- I got so drunk on free liquor at Sonar that apparently my jeans picked up a vomit smell and I didn't notice. Also I made friends with half of the bouncers and the coat check girl. And some girl with a leopard print tattoo decided I was her new best friend, and screamed every time she saw me. I'm apparently instantly charismatic.
- Wu Tang took an hour to come on after they were announced. When they did finally come on, they were followed by three very bored looking not very hot girls who just stood on stage texting the whole show.
- One of the guys up on stage with them (don't know his name) was outside the show previously, and S. spotted him hawking tickets.
- Wu Tang Clan ain't nothing to fuck with.
- Method Man took a serious dislike towards S., and proceeded to scream unintelligible things at him from the stage. This is after Method decided to try crowd surfing and got promptly dropped on the floor. But not by us, much to the right of us. Maybe he though S. was his agent, and he was pissed off about that failed sitcom still? Edit: looking for some youtube footage of that night, I found three other videos featuring Method Man failing at stage diving. You think he would just give up at this point?
- Oh, Rza is hot. And Ghostface had this awesome letter jacket with Ghost across the back of it in sequins.
- New Years Day we woke up and I promptly had a hangover/blood sugar breakdown, and cried until we found me some crabcakes.
- I saw Rocky for the first time.
- Then he snuck me into West Virginia, to the casino, and I won 377 on the first slot machine I sat down to. I actually won another 250 later on the same machine, but S. was in the poker room, so I blew it all on the same machine, convinced it would pay out for me again. However I smartly gave the 300 to S. for safekeeping, so I still managed to pay for my entire trip. I say that like I did something for it, ha! There were lots of old people there eating giant waffle ice cream cones and blowing hundreds and hundreds on the 2 cent slots.
- We saw the World's Largest Teacup.
- We crossed the Bridge to Hell, into E. Liverpool Ohio, where we then saw a giant cross outlined in red Christmas lights on a hillside.

So yeah, Happy New Year! Mine was everything I wanted it to be, and my bloodstream is still, at least, 50% pineapple and vodka. I would go home now, where my poor kitty is still waiting for me, but S. took off for an appointment with my car keys still in his glove box. So I'm just gonna sit here and watch Bravo and drink hot chocolate till my eyeballs swim. The End.