Sunday, December 31, 2006

Why, People? Why Do You Disappoint Me So?

Top Ten Searches on Technorati:

So Long, 2006, Don't Let The Door Hit You On The Way Out

I'm not near as graphically talented as my friend Lori, so you won't get a spiffy chart. Instead here's the rundown on an exhausting year:

January - My grandfather dies, with all of us surrounding him, holding his hands and feet or touching some part of his body. After such agonizing, drawn-out illnesses, it was a surprisingly quick passage. I'd say it was a good first experience with a close death, very humane and special.

February - Our beloved cat Simon dies, unexpectedly and horrifically. Stella found his cold body next door, most likely an accidental poisoning but we'll never know. In a month I felt sure was sprinkled with serendipitous fairy dust, Chicklet adopts us a week after Simon died and I also meet the man with whom I will carry out a deeply emotional yet ultimately doomed love affair.

March - My biological father dies. My sister and I find out weeks later. I'd been estranged from him for...well, just about all my life. I am still waiting to feel something about this. I turned 31 on the 31st.

April - July - Inner dialogue: "Holy shit, is this really happening to me? Did I really meet someone so perfect for me, so amazing? Are we really going to try to make this happen? We are? Okay, fuck...let's do this. Wow, it's everything and more I could have hoped for. Yes, of course there are obstacles....when are there not obstacles? I'm in love! It's a miracle! Oh but wait...maybe love can't conquer all....boy, am I a colossal idiot. NOTHING COULD EVER HURT AS BADLY AS I DO RIGHT NOW."

July - October - Inner dialogue: "I refuse to let go of this. I refuse to passively let my heart break. Surely there's something I can do! As much as I'd like to wallow in self-pity forever, some shit has got to change. Too bad I can't even find a good THERAPIST..why are partnerships of any kind so fucking difficult to make happen? Okay, okay...Plan B. I don't need no stinkin' therapist. I know what I need to do...I've always known what I needed to do. First things first, get out of my mother's...then...get out of this soul-sucking job." And you know what? Done and done. Sometimes the hardest part is just deciding to change.

November - Settled in to wonderful house, healing with an amazing sister/roommate/friend/fellow recovering broken heart. Thank the universe every day for my daughter. Feeling the changes on the horizon.

December - Estranged from my mother. New job. It's intoxicating - this surge of confidence, knowing that I can do this job well and thrive in it. And...I have a date for New Year's Eve. A date? A date I'm actually looking forward to? May wonders never cease. It's a fitting end.

Whew...I'm worn out.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Sloth Makes Me Stupid

Remember when I would write about feminism and politics or tell stories from my crazy upbringing? I think I need the structure of a job to make my brain critically think. Today I stayed in bed until noon watching The freakin' Girls Next Door. I shit you not.

Sure it'd be nice to dash off a diatribe about Saddam Hussein's execution and the surrounding circus...or be disgusted by how much more CRAP we have in our house now, thanks to the baby Jesus, and how excess packaging is the bane of my existence. Instead I'll spend my last few days of leisure doing my nails, making playlists, and letting my mind atrophy into a worthless gruel.

Friday, December 29, 2006

There Are Worse Ways To Spend A Friday Night

Than with a glass of prosecco, researching better cameras. It is Friday, right? I've had all week off work and yes, I am rubbing it in.

I just realized I've posted way more pictures of drinks than food these past few days. Ahhh, the holidays.

No Guilt, All Pleasure

Justin Timberlake
Butterfinger mini candy bars
Getting my hair and nails done
"Since You've Been Gone"
Vogue's massive September issue
Just One Of The Guys
Sleeping until noon (0r later)
Brunch (drinking before noon)
George Clooney
Cover songs
Going shopping for a New Year's Eve party dress

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Past Three Days In Pictures

My niece loves earrings and pretty dresses. Like all the girls in the family.
I've become a Nintendo DS widow/mom.
Stella proudly wearing the ugliest shoes in the world.
Brother-in-law and niece. I just think it's a very sweet picture.
She really looks capable of stealing my breath.
Basin Park Hotel at night, blurred by shaky hands, no flash & whiskey.
Eureka at night.
Inside Chelsea's.
Interesting lights.
Closing time.
After closing time.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Not A Total Scrooge

Okay, I admit it. I love Christmas, when it's separated from family stress. I love Christmas songs* and togetherness and parties and cheer and food and Christmas lights and trees with presents piled underneath.

Wishing you and yours all the best,
Love, me and mine.

*Best ones: "Last Christmas" by Wham!, "Baby, Please Come Home For Christmas" by The Eagles, "Blue Christmas" by Elvis, "Santa Baby" by Eartha Kitt & "Happy Christmas (War Is Over) by John Lennon.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Santa's Workshop

Last year I stayed up all night wrapping presents and watching The 40 Year-Old Virgin alone, laughing my ass off. This year Stella has a friend over and I'm working out the kinks on my annual X-Mess CD, printing off pictures, making jewelry & collages and watching Sex, Lies, and Videotape on IFC. I cannot STAND Andie MacDowell. She's a horribly dull actress and her reactions are always a pace or more off, not at all natural. I don't know many women, though, who don't think James Spader is the hottest thing on the planet (and I'm sure I'll hear from the ones who don't). I'm especially partial to this lush, feathery mullet phase.

Playlist for CD:
1. Hurry On Now - Alice Russell feat. TM Juke
2. Last Call - Brazilian Girls
3. Tempted - Squeeze
4. Crazy For Leaving - Catfish Haven
5. That’s All - Genesis
6. Young Folks - Peter Bjorn and John
7. The Killing Moon - Grant Lee Phillips
8. I’ve Been Thinking - Handsome Boy Modeling School feat. Cat Power
9. Love Me Or Hate Me - Lady Sovereign
10. Seven Nation Army - Nostalgia feat. Alice Russell
11. Hand On Your Heart - Jose Gonzalez
12. Colours - Hot Chip
13. Saturday - Josh Rouse
14. Red Vines - Aimee Mann
15. Rainy Night In Georgia - Tony Joe White
16. Bizarre Love Triangle - Nouvelle Vague
17. Only A Fool Would Say That - Steely Dan
18. Consolation Prizes - Phoenix


Do I spend my Saturday late morning watching The Upside of Anger (never seen it) or Before Sunrise (seen at least four times)? I'm still in my pajamas, have had a cup of tea and a delicious spinster breakfast of one fried egg and a piece of buttered pumpernickel toast with orange marmelade. I'm ignoring the near future in which I'm taking Stella Christmas shopping. So do I watch a film I've only heard a little of? Joan Allen is always interesting to watch but...Kevin Costner? I get how his oily charm might construed as attractive...but I why do I need to be convinced? I'm intrigued by the title because, in case you haven't noticed, I'm angry these days. And it features a family of a mother and four daughters, a dynamic more than familiar to me.

But on the other hand is a beautiful, sweet, perfect little film I like to watch every few years. Before Sunrise is a film that seduces you into believing that connections between people that feel serendipitous must be meant to be. Thank god they made a sequel is all I'm gonna say.

Update: I'm watching The Upside of Anger and it's alright. I guess. I gave it up eventually, though.

Preparing For Family Time?

Last night I dreamt I was sharpening knives, swiping them up and down the whetstone at a 45° angle.

Friday, December 22, 2006

I'm Done!

I think I've earned this.
I have a ton of things to assemble and make now...but all the parts are purchased.

Cover Me, I'm Goin' In

I've got wrinkled dirty jeans and last night's smoky shirt on. All I need now is a double latte and I'm ready to do some fucking SHOPPING, y'all!

Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I Couldn't Help Myself

John Oates's exaggerated facial expressions (and oh, that glorious mustache), Darryl Hall's tucked-in shirt and pleated pants, the cheese factor cranked up to 11....this is the un-rockingest song ever.

Merry Christmas, y'all!

Thought Bubbles

Buying international flights for other people is a little stressful.

New delicious food discovery - pupusas.

Amended plan for holiday weight gain: drink plenty of red wine and wait for the bulges to disappear.

Nothing irritates me like those "Every kiss begins with Kay" commercials. What does that mean anyway? If I kiss my daughter goodnight do I have to buy her a diamond first? Is that their diabolical plan?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Trying To Wrap My Brain Around Such A Figure

So the CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, gets a $53.4 MILLION bonus this year. Over a million dollars a WEEK, if you think about it (yeah, yeah, taxes will take nearly half...but STILL...a million every other week then). If I wasn't so busy anxiously awaiting my pathetically small monthly child support payment I'd be thoroughly disgusted.

Did I mention that because of the timing of starting my new job that I didn't get a Christmas bonus AT ALL this year? Yeah...that stings a little.

How's about a small loan, Mr. Blankfein? Say...$1,000? You'd never notice it missing....

The Most Pathetically White Trash Thing I Do On A Regular Basis

Sit around waiting for my child support payment.

So degrading.

And somehow it doesn't become any less degrading when I share it with the Internets.

Some Series Really Should Be Retired For Good


I Don't Care

I don't care if Miss USA get to keep her crown or not.
I don't care about Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii or XBox 360.
I don't care what the weather is doing right now or will do next week.
I don't care about Britney, Paris or Lindsey.
I don't care how Wal Mart fares this holiday season.
I don't care how sick you are or how sick you've been or how sick your kids are.
I don't care what your picks for the best songs, albums or films of the year are (I haven't heard of any of them anyway).

Apparently I also don't care if I gain a hundred pounds this month. Bring on the baked goods! Yes to extra sauce! Seconds? Don't mind if I do!

I just want it to be Monday night....the holiday over and done with, surrounded by friends and select family, whiskey in glasses, fire in the fireplace and a whole week off of work.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Freaky Yet Fascinating Read

Pythons vs. Gators!

I prefer this to Alien vs. Predator.

Now's when I need my AstroLance picture....

Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures

Kelly sent me this, knowing how happy it would make me. This picture makes me so very very happy. If the stress of the holidays is getting to you, just take a moment to drink in the deliciousness of the gay N*Sync-er astronaut.

Another Good One

My same friend Julie, of "fool of a red eye" fame, also used to think that Billy Squire was singing "my candelabra" instead of "my kind of lover." But it doesn't end there. She also thought that a candelabra was a model of car and that he was singing about his car.

A Good Reason For Leaving A Clear Outgoing Voice Mail Greeting

Last night I got a phone call from a very nice woman who informed me that she's been receiving all my messages that I THOUGHT I was leaving for my friend S. I guess I entered her number wrong into my new phone. These messages involved several loud voice mails that included the terms "bourbon," "slut," and "guilt trip"....among other things. Who knows why it took her so long to set me straight - maybe she was scared.

Nog It

I was given a bottle of eggnog at our party the other night and quickly set it aside. Besides knowing that eggnog would NOT be the right choice on top of champagne, red wine and an empty stomach, I also instinctively knew that pre-bottled alcoholic eggnog would have to rely heavily on artificial binders and non-dairyness. Fresh eggnog isn't so bad, it can taste good, even, if it's made with quality ingredients and lots of nutmeg.

This is a good article on the history of eggnog, the annual holiday treat. Here's hoping I won't have to write the word "eggnog" for another year.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Huh...You Don't Say

Eating at The Olive Garden can cause nausea and vomiting? I never would have guessed.

Billy Jean Is At My Door

Okay most of us are familiar with the better-known mondegreens in popular music: "Excuse me, while I kiss this guy," "Wrapped up like a douche," "There's a bathroom on the right."

I like the weird ones, though.

My friend Julie used to think Sade was singing "Fool of a red eye" instead of "smooth operator." And Liz thought the Fine Young Cannibals were saying, "She tries to get pregnant" instead of "she drives me crazy." I used to think instead of singing about Dirty Diana, Michael Jackson was saying, "Her teeth are yellow."

I'm fascinated with the function of our brains that works so hard to create meaning out of random sounds.

What lyrics have you misheard and still sing along with incorrectly?

Terrible Of Me, I Know...

..And a sure sign I straddle the generation gap, but when I read the headline: "Dozens Poisoned By Grills" I couldn't help but think of:

Strangely Enough...

I haven't done a bit of Christmas shopping and I now have less than a week and I'm not stressed out. Not at all. It could be denial...or resignation. Maybe it's more like "it'll be what it can be."

ETA: Of course the knot in between my shoulder blades and a neck I can't turn without wincing could possibly be signs of internalized stress.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

He'p Me

I need every last lurker to comment and tell me what dance songs I NEED in my collection. I'm talkin' guaranteed ass-shakers. The goal is to create the superior-est playlist.

Friday, December 15, 2006


I REALLY love my new job.

God that feels good to say.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Hot Stuff

New Best Headline Ever

World's Tallest Man Saves Plastic Eating Dolphins.

Panic Seizing My Heart

I was just creating a fantasy Christmas list and was looking for the link to Kiehl's coriander line and IT'S NOT TO BE FOUND ONLINE. Does this mean they're discontinuing the best fucking smell in the universe? Who would be stupid enough to narrow down the already slim options for single-note good smells? Most blend perfumes are nasty and almost get there, but fail. Coriander was perfect in its spicy green simplicity. It's my signature scent..what's a girl to do if she can't smell like herself? Kate, or anyone near an actual Kiehl's store, please, find out if they still sell it. My life depends on it.


Senator Johnson has AVM. Just like Nate on Six Feet Under. Oh shit.

Hope Y'all Like Potpourri

I finally got around to uploading photographic evidence of my scintillatingly exciting life.Pork tenderloin with the sublime napa cabbage.
Gunther straddling the couch. It's the manliest thing he does.
Last night's sunset. Viewed from the living room.
The tree now flashes from the window, like a gay beacon at the top of Mt. Sequoyah. It's so beautiful and tacky, like Dolly Parton.

The Mind Races

My boss got to spend an uninterrupted hour with Bill Clinton yesterday. She said it was amazing, the depth and scope of his knowledge of the world and how it works. I can only imagine...

What would YOU do if you were granted the same opportunity?

Hoping For A Christmas Miracle

I don't care if you believe in god or not, please pray for Senator Johnson. I swear, this is like a bad movie where just when you think you can breathe and relax a little, the bad guy comes back from the dead. WE DON'T NEED ANY ADDED TENSION RIGHT NOW.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Probably Not The Best Way To Instill Gratitude

In keeping with my "Caustic Christmas" theme (see, comments from this post), I should tell you about one of my most memorable Christmas mornings....the one in which our mother returned our gifts.

It was the mid-1980s sometime, I want to say 1986. My sister and I had asked for Esprit clothes because we were dying to fit in with the other kids at school. Somehow our mashed bean sandwiches on homemade bread and choppy, uneven haircuts (also homemade, natch) weren't doing the trick. We knew our family didn't have much money but we were desperate for some token of conformity. So on Christmas morning we run into the living room and see the pastel flannel plaid Esprit shirts folded under the tree (the unwrapped gifts were "from Santa"). I was thrilled to see that the Esprit label was prominently stitched onto the front pocket, so even though the shirt wasn't what I wanted (I never liked plaid), I could at least feel secure in knowing that all the other kids in 5th grade would see that I was like them. But my sister and I failed to show sufficient gratitude for the shirts (it was the plaid) and that pissed our mother off so badly that she took them offer to replace them or return them for shirts we really did like. She told us we were ungrateful and disrespectful and she was taking them away from us as "consequences."

And you wonder how I turned out this way.

Freedom Seekers Welcome in Iran!

If the U.S. really wanted to do some good in the world, we should bomb the Iran Holocaust Deniers Conference. Of course I'm kidding. I don't REALLY condone bombing. Even after reading this article and my blood started boiling. The money quote?
"Iran is your home and is the home of all freedom seekers of the world," Ahmadinejad said. "Here you can express your views and exchange opinions in a friendly, brotherly and free atmosphere."

Homemade Curry

Maybe it was all that feminizing soy talk that made me crave tofu last night. I am fighting off a bug so I wanted something healthy, spicy and soothing. So I sorta made my own kind of curry.

First I ground, with the mortar and pestle, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, shallots, thai spicy pepper and lime juice. At the same time I was toasting cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, mustard seeds and cumin seeds in the oven. I ground them in the coffee grinder and added them to the spicy mush in the mortar bowl. I added a smidge of madras curry powder and maybe 1/2 a teaspoon of thai red curry paste to make it a true curry suicide. I added all that to 2 cans of coconut milk and a cup or so of chicken broth and let it simmer and thicken. Then I added chopped onion, Yukon Gold potato, carrots and the tofu I'd already fried a little bit to make it firm and crunchy. In the last 5 minutes of cooking I added the rest of the leftover chopped Napa cabbage. And because I'm still a hippy at heart I made brown jasmine rice instead of white.

It was creamy, spicy, pungent and delicious.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I Wonder What The Hazing Will Entail

Arkansas governer Huckabee to join Reagan & Elvis fraternity.

Okay I have a few favorite parts.

First, the "closed-door, one-hour initiation ceremony at the governor's mansion." I got one (disturbing) word for you - SEXY!

Second, "He's done an awful lot for the state as well as the country," said Kevin Mayeux, the fraternity's chief executive officer." An AWFUL lot, yes. Check out our awesome per capita income, poverty level and education rates!

And lastly, "Mayeux said belonging to the fraternity could expand the network of supporters Huckabee may find if he runs for president. Founded in 1899, the fraternity has 270 campus chapters and 200,000 living members." Way to lock up some votes and build a base, Huck!

Best Headline Ever

Here's another good reason to only eat tofu in Asian dishes:

Soy: It'll make you girly, gay and small-penised.* And probably kill your children, if it doesn't sterilize them first.

I hesitated to even link to this article. I think he's probably just trying to rile up the liberals. Don't take away my tofu, now! Next they'll come for my chai latté and New Yorker subscription!

*If you're a guy. Naturally, there's no mention of what it does to adult women.

Some Are Born To Sing The Blues

Here’s why it bothers me when something I’m interested in becomes really popular (i.e. cowgirl boots, martinis, Oprah)*: It has nothing to do with snobbery (oh no, nothing at all). It bothers me because it turns something that provides for me small, personal joy into a trend. Suddenly everywhere you turn, your special little happiness is mirrored back at you in increasingly degrading ways. I don’t want to share these things with you, America! I want it all to myself. Maybe it’s a big sister thing, but I resent having to share.

That’s exactly what happened to me with “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey. Yes, the triumphant song about not giving up on your dreams. For years it was laughably bad. Now it’s Ironically Bad. It’s on The O.C.! It pours out of karaoke bars and SUVs. Sorority girls sing it en masse.

I don't think they like it for the right reasons, though. Journey aren't for laughing at, they're for feeling with. Your heart should soar when you hear that guitar solo. Your veins should pump to the driving beat. Or else give that song back to me.

*That's a joke. Y'all can have Oprah.

My Little Chip

Last night my family took my grandmother to dinner for her 81st birthday. The restaurant is a popular place for holiday parties so I wasn't surprised when Santa Claus walked through, carrying big "presents" and trying to spread good cheer. He made the mistake of stopping by our table, probably because he saw my little niece and my daughter sitting there. Little did he know that Stella and I had just finished an argument wherein she thought she sounded cool by saying she "doesn't believe" in Santa. And because I'm an obnoxious mom who says things like, "Santa exists if you believe in him," I told her that if she didn't "believe" in Santa then she wouldn't get anything in her stocking. So Ol' Saint Nick, resplendent in red velvet, comes to our table and leans across to shake Stella's hand.

"And what do YOU want for Christmas, young lady?" He asked.

Without missing a beat she answered, "Your watch."

Mom? Is That You?

From today's crime report:

2: 17 p. m. A woman at 1005 Turtle Creek Drive reported “End World Hunger” spray-painted on her fence.

You can't make this shit up.

I Like Every Other Kind of Nut, Though

I've had to explain several times in the past few days that I don't eat walnuts. I know that sounds odd because I'll eat just about anything else (even McDonalds, if need be) but I draw the line at walnuts. And here's why:

When I was seven years-old or so and my sister Jessy was five, our mother decided that the family should fast for a day in honor of World Hunger Day. Because, you know, it's very important that seven and five year-olds really EXPERIENCE hunger in order to truly grasp the seriousness of famine. Of course we had no idea why we weren't eating, only that we couldn't, and we were too scared to rebel outright. We lived in an old farmhouse that had a root cellar. Because the house was built on top of a ridge it could also function as a tornado cellar, or, if need be, a nuclear fallout bunker (this was the early 80s). Mom used it to store bulk foods that she bought from the natural foods warehouse. So Jess and I snuck down into the dank, clammy room and started checking out our options. 25 pound bag of rice? No, not raw. Same went for the bin of oatmeal. And millet. But we found a gallon jar of walnuts and being very young and very hungry, we ate those walnuts until we were sick, which, I'm sure, is exactly what a famine-stricken orphan would have done on World Hunger Day as well.

So don't try to convince me to eat walnuts. The memory and experience of that day are too much a part of my DNA now.

It's probably not a stellar idea to make kids fast, for whatever reasons, either.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Sunday Night Dinner

Angie made the best damn dinner last night but I couldn't get a good picture so you'll have to feast on my description. She made pork tenderloin, basted in a combination of several mustards, orange marmelade and little apricot jelly. Perhaps there were other seasonings as well. The sauce she made was very similar to the marinade/basting liquid but more of a reduction. This was served with wild rice and sauteéd Napa cabbage. The flavors combined were incredible...not too sweet or spicy but just right.

As thanks I kicked her ass in Scrabble.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Fung Schway Day

We keep bringing in new plants (please, let these ones f'in black thumb). And rearranging.
This all might change after we get the fireplace cleaned tomorrow, but I like it.

From The Annals Of Creepy Advertising

The Burger King waxy-faced mascot is highly disturbing. Just look at his über-creepy doofus expression. Like a delusional, stoned psycopath.
And WTF are they doing making video games with him? Who buys this crap?

Probably the same people who eat this crap:
Yes, that's an actual Burger King burger. Mmmmm......disease on a bun.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

"Freedom Isn't Free"

This will probably alienate some readers and, well, I'm prepared for that...but I don't care for cartoons. There, I said it. South Park? No thank you. The Simpsons? Maybe a long time ago but not no mo'. Family Guy? No matter how many times you try to tell me it's hilarious I still won't watch it, same goes for Adult Swim, Aqua Teen Whatever Blah Blah or any of that ilk. This isn't new - I hated Ren and Stimpy and Beavis and Butthead. I only watch animated films for kids because I'm a mom. And oooh, I really hate this trend towards inside jokes for the grown-ups watching. It's gross. And annoying. And takes away from what should make movies appealing to kids.

However, that said....I relented to peer pressure and watched Team America for the first time tonight. Puppets aren't exactly animation but it's from the South Park dudes so I was verrrry skeptical. And okay, fine...I laughed. A lot. I blame the catchy tunes.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Employee Of The Year

So tonight was my very first party for my new job. Let me just enumerate the faux pas(s...plural for faux pas?) I committed:

1.) Arrived over an hour late due to happy hour margarita consumption.
2.) Did not wrap White Elephant gift.
3.) White Elephant gift was bottle of cheap wine.
4.) The majority of party attendees were a.) under 21 and b.) Muslim....thereby rendering my unwrapped gift both illegal AND disrespectful.
5.) In a fit of nervous energy I managed to spill an entire glass of red wine on both my boss and host's white carpet AND on my daughter.

I'm available throughout the holiday season to enliven your party, offend your guests, and ensure a steam cleaning!

All Crime Report, All The Time

These guys do it so much better than me.

And I can't make the police calls in Eureka any funnier than the Lovely County Citizen already does.

Looks like I need a new beat.

Upset Victory

My previous Favorite Celebrity Mug Shot Ever, Nick Nolte, has been usurped!

Meet your new winner, Rip Torn.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Oh gee, look, it's my bedtime.
Seriously, I just watched the sun set from the big picture window and I'm duh-rained. I should face the facts that I can't rock and roll all night and party every day. But I still can once in a while, right?

Even though it was a weird night where everything just, somehow, Dr. Dog were awesome once again. It was fun dancing to a few songs. I'm sick of that indie rock show bullshit where people just stand around in front of the band. They're playing songs for dancing, people. This isn't Footloose.


Attraction at the county fair or demonic ritual altar?

Maybe it looked funnier last night. Err, this morning. Ouch.

Think Globally, Eat Locally

I adore my grandmother and respect her immensely. However...we differ on a few key points. One, she hates cats. She insists that as a young girl she awoke to a cat putting its head in her mouth. There's no use in telling her that the whole "cats steal breath from babies" myth is just that, a myth, but who knows, maybe it really did happen. The point is she turned that event into a lifelong vendetta against cats, creatures for which I have a very strong affinity. And two, she's convinced we're all going to die from salmonella poisoning. When Stella was a toddler my grandmother called me out of the blue one day to berate me for allowing my daughter to eat cookie dough. She likened it to child abuse. "Oh Alannah, all those raw eggs! And with that young delicate immune system!" I brushed it off as the hysterical rantings of a woman who has made a career of worrying about her family. But I'm maybe coming around to her line of thinking.

Michael Pollan (I love this man. The Omnivore's Dilemma is a fascinating read) was interviewed about the latest food scares (E. Coli in spinach, Taco Bell scallions, etc) and offered up some potentially horrifying scenarios. Our food system is fucked. A big part of our country's problem is the centralization of our meat processing and distribution system, something Eric Schlosser (another hero) covered so well in Fast Food Nation. The chicken you buy at the store has already come in contact with hundreds of other chickens from all over, both when it was alive and after slaughter, in its journey to the plastic package in the grocery store. There's no easy way to trace a strain of disease in the food supply. It's because of the Standard American Diet's obsession with meat that we've moved to this centralized assembly line mode of meat preparation. We eat far too much meat so we want it to be cheap and easy. It SHOULD be expensive and more of a luxury. I have no problem paying $10 or more per pound for local organic meats. I don't buy or prepare it that often, which is better healthwise anyway, but when I do, I know where it comes from and trust the source.

My grandmother comes from the era of raising your own food supply. The only meat she will eat is beef, possibly because my great-grandfather and great-uncle were both cattlemen. She's a healthy 81 year-old woman so it might do me good to follow her advice. But I won't ever stop eating raw cookie dough.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Maybe It Was Opposite Day

Arkansas Governor Huckabee Welcomes Hispanics. Welcomes them to what? To the "Political Animals Club (that) meets monthly to hear from political figures and experts?" To America? To Arkansas? To his church? Certainly not to government. Somehow I get the feeling that the Political Animals Club is a bunch of rich old white dudes sitting around a hotel convention room table and probably NOT the most welcoming group. Still..this is an example of political rhetoric at its most ridiculous.

His statement is just such a lie it's not even funny. Most halfway educated people in Arkansas have figured out that it's not cool to be racist...but racism is only against black people, you understand. It's still perfectly acceptable to make all the assumptions and embarrassingly crude and outdated prejudices about Hispanics, Latinos or "native Spanish speakers." I know this because I live here. I see it and hear it all the time.

It's the way that Huckabee presented this that's so our influx of Hispanics is God's way of allowing the good people of Arkansas to atone for the sins of our racist past. Um, no, actually God had nothing to do with it, Huck...I think Tyson and other manufacturing companies that aggressively courted workers in Mexico and at the border starting back in the 80s probably had a lot more to do with it. Welcome! Come work in our factories gutting chickens and cleaning our bathrooms! We'll try not to lynch you!

Aphex Twin - Windowlicker

One of my most treasured possessions is a VHS tape of this video. Who buys a single video on tape? I do when I become obsessed. And I was pretty obsessed with this video. Back in the 90s ('member those days?) I used it as a litmus test. If the subject laughed appropriately and loved the video's surprises then I knew I could relate to him/her. If the subject balked or seemed offended or "didn't get it" then I knew that person would probably never get me either.

So take your time (it's nearly 10 minutes long), sit back, and and be entertained. Lisa..this one's for you.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Ways To Fight Back

I wrote about my daughter's first experience with sexual harrassment and how infuriating it was as a mother to watch my daughter learn how difficult it is to protect even her own personal space. Feministing had a short piece that led me to Holla Back, a tool for women to fight back, either with photos of the offenders or by writing about their experiences. I see there's a Holla Back Arkansas but it's an invitation-only blog so I'm hoping I can make the cut. It's too bad because that sort of information should be made public, like photos of deadbeat parents at the Post Office. Just this past weekend I went to a nice upscale restaurant alone for a glass of wine while waiting for friends. It didn't take 15 minutes for some pushy old drunk dude to sit next to me and attempt to monopolize my attention and time, asking me personal questions and commenting on my appearance. Just because a woman is alone does not mean she wants to be spoken to or hit on!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Dear Diary...

All three of my sisters were here this weekend. Jess had a 30th birthday party at a house in the woods that sorta reminded me of the house on Mt. Rushmore at the climax in North By Northwest. I'm drawn to that mid-century, modern, native stone chalet style. I'm in so in love with my 2 yr-old niece that I didn't mind driving all over tarnation in search of impressive "Twissmas Lights." Kate has turned so cynical that she scoffed at me when I said I'm not able to stomach reruns of Seinfeld since the whole Michael Richards n-word debacle. It's not necessarily an act of protest...I just can't look at Kramer without thinking of "if it were 50 years ago you'd be hanging from a tree with a fork in your ass." And, well, that's an awful thing to think of. Suzannah had no idea what we were talking about. That's life on a commune for you. I wonder what it must be like to live that removed from celebrity current events ("Now who wasn't wearing panties this week...?").

From now until at least January I'll be one of two speeds: high or off, no medium or low. I'm either doing a hundred things in one day or I'm watching Bravo and napping. And it's only going to get worse as this month progresses. All's I gotta say is - don't ever watch that Real Housewives of Orange County show unless you want to hate overprivileged, white, IDIOT assholes even more. God, it's galling how stupid these people are. Like David Cross said, when I watch this shit I hate America with a jihadic zeal. Little ol' me. But do I turn it off? Oh hell no, I can't look away from the horror. Then I watched something even worse. I'm actually a little embarrassed to admit that I knowingly and willingly watched two episodes of the latest Real World, in Denver. These people ARE NOT REAL. They can't be. Who is this stupid? Who is this self-consciously hammy and sleazy? Are their agents telling them to act this way?

In other news, both premature and overly hopeful, I really like my job. Although it's very strange to be back on this same campus seven years later. I love being around international students, though, and hearing many different accents. Maybe it's because it's an environment where interpersonal contact is crucial to learning, but everyone is super friendly too.

Wow, it's time for bed.

Friday, December 01, 2006

I don't Know Why This Insults Me

...but it does.

Algae-filled Hummer?

Wicker seats?

Wood panels?

Don't be ridiculous. Like any of those would be a viable alternative to the majority of the buying public. They just seem preposterous and "science from the future" and will never happen.

Or am I being overly cynical?

How Do You Pronounce This Word?





It's impossible for me to sleep in even when it's a Snow Day.

The cats are slutty bedhoppers. I never know who I'm going to wake up next to.

Robert Redford. Sigh. Still.

I have to get a new phone today. I hate making technological decisions, even more than driving in this weather.

The first day of the month is exciting - new Astrology Zone horoscope. And it's a good one, people.

This is the most spinsterish post yet. Last night we were all sprawled on the couches with the pets all over us, watching The Office and eating pizza when Stella told us, "I think I'll be one of those cat ladies when I get old." Ang and I looked at each other. "Um, I think we already are."