Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Legend of the Christmas Bat

A friend of mine reminded me of this lovely Christmas legend which she has been regaling me with as long as I've known her...and that's a long time. It's adorable and totally appropriate for the season!

The Tale of the Christmas Bat

Okay. This is how it goes. Long ago, when organization had been invented, but before stockings really caught on, Santa was developing a pattern. He would make toys all year, with his helpers, they'd all work like crazy just to get everything done. He'd take a couple days off to relax, and then off he went on his sleigh, delivering presents. But some always fell through the cracks.

You know the ones I mean--the little ones. Holiday earrings, rings in padded boxes, the tiny little trinkets that sometimes mean so much. Holiday ornaments, small glass animals, teensy little stuffed and jointed bears. Later on, gift certificates, gift cards, pens, pencils, and erasers--all were falling away. Few made it through.

Santa finally decided he needed to do something about this.

So he looked around, looked high and low, for someone to help him with the little things. He pondered in the snow fields and he pondered in the kitchen. He pondered in the stables and he pondered in the barn. And while in the barn, he saw the bat. The lowly little bat, quietly sleeping, brown in the rafters of the barn. Santa pondered. Santa pondered the bat.

"Hmm," Santa said. "That little bat can fly. And I bet if I ask him, he could carry the little presents for me. I bet if I asked him, he could help me in my nightly task. He is, after all, nocturnal."

So he asked the bat, and the bat said yes, and thus, the Christmas Bat was born. For it is he, the little Christmas Bat, who's responsible for the little things. It is he who flutters down the chimney or in through the mail slot to tuck gift certificates in bright red envelopes under the tree. It is he who flaps through the house, dropping gelt into stockings. It is he who struggles with the holiday mandarins, one per child, and he who flies in candy cane, and holiday chocolates, and rings and necklaces and bracelets.

It's just, sometimes he's a little absentminded, and that's why the little stuph sometimes arrives late.

[So, for those wondering...I still don't know where I got this from. My mother tells me I first related the story of the Christmas Bat to her Christmas morning, 1969. Yeah, I was two. But it's been a family tradition ever since.

[Feel free to spread the tradition, if you like. I know that would make the Christmas Bat very happy.

This story is by my friend Jeanne, who also goes by Pirate Jenny and sometimes by Kelandris. And on LJ she's Nematoddity.

Batty Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

It might be the cabin fever but this article pissed me off

When this article first appeared in the NY Times, back on Dec 9, I didn't pay a lot of attention to it because it didn't seem relevant. In fact, I didn't read it all the way through. But then I heard the author interviewed on "Hardball" (I blame cabin fever) and I realized that she is the reason I sometimes deny being a feminist.

...But today, women constitute about 46 percent of the labor force. And as the current downturn has worsened, their traditionally lower unemployment rate has actually risen just as fast as men’s. A just economic stimulus plan must include jobs in fields like social work and teaching, where large numbers of women work.

The bulk of the stimulus program will provide jobs for men, because building projects generate jobs in construction, where women make up only 9 percent of the work force.

It turns out that green jobs are almost entirely male as well, especially in the alternative energy area. A broad study by the United States Conference of Mayors found that half the projected new jobs in any green area are in engineering, a field that is only 12 percent female, or in the heavily male professions of law and consulting; the rest are in such traditional male areas as manufacturing, agriculture and forestry. And like companies that build roads, alternative energy firms also employ construction workers and engineers

She goes on to suggest that "human capital" is "most important infrastructure" and that is where women have the majority of jobs, like social workers, child care workers, teachers, and librarians. She posits that for the jobs creation program Obama is proposing to be fair, he needs to give added weight to those kinds of jobs.

Some of you may see her point and agree. I don't. If there aren't enough women in the fields of construction, engineering, agriculture, manufacturing, etc, WHOSE FAULT IS THAT? No, I do not accept that fewer employers accept females in those roles. It's just not true. If nothing else, they had the same equal opportunity laws to work with as the libraries and pre-schools had. Not to mention, affirmative action has been pushing women into those fields whenever possible. I think the problem is that women like this one encourage us to see "clean" jobs as being more feminine. (The exception is that she includes law in her list of male jobs, and how often do lawyers allow themselves to become visibly dirty?)

Even though I work in a a traditionally female job, I resent being told that I need special consideration because so-called male jobs are getting better treatment. If that's the case, then we need to make the traditionally male jobs less traditionally male. Women need to get into them.

Lots of my friends have little girls (and some not-so-little girls.) They can become anything they want, INCLUDING construction workers, engineers, you-name-it. If they are encouraged at any step along the way to go into the more female jobs For Any Reason, I charge their parents to intervene.

When Megan and Zoe take over the world, with Rainy and Hazel as their loyal staff (and chairing the loyal opposition and designing skull covered ball gowns and taekwando uniforms for everyone) I want to hear that this attitude has been abolished!

But it could just be cabin fever. My boss just called. We're closed again tomorrow. That makes it a week since I've been to work and two weeks since I was in with a full department. Sigh!

I think I'll go drink more tea and then watch "Countdown," and Rachel Maddow and the like, then maybe sew or bake or something. I'm teaching myself intarsia, at least I'm trying to, while watching news and so on.

Speaking of none of that, it appears my baby cousin Andrew has found something to occupy his time while unemployed. Unfortunately, his publisher seems to leave something to be desired, IMO. Yay, Murdoch. I'm so proud.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Let's try this again

Apparently the Fraggle Rock video I posted yesterday disappeared almost immediately. So here is another version of the same song and I hope this one lasts longer.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The right song for the right season

Here's the right song for MY season!

Idiots living in the past

There's the website/blog/blathering called which purports to be "Monitoring Air America Radio [TM] so you don't have to."

I went back through the beginning of November. They talk about two--and only two--AAR personalities: Al Franken and Janeane Garofalo. Who have both long since left AAR: Franken in the spring of 2007 and Garofalo in the summer of 2006. Last mention of Randi Rhodes (also no longer heard on AAR) was last September. Mike Malloy? July of 2007.

I could go on if I chose to but I didn't go any further back. This was all I needed to see. These people really DO live in the past.

By the by, if you haven't yet discovered a wonderful AAR invention, check out Maron v Seder. It's an online only program. I'm in love! I can't usually watch live, so I've been grabbing it as a podcast to watch the following morning but since I've been sick (and then today on a snow/ice day) I've been able to join in the chats and it's great. This is a good idea and I'd like to see more like this. Of course, I'd like to see it at hours when I can watch it, of course...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

In case anyone reading this is in Raleigh, NC or nearby

I have been asked to cross post this but instead will just send you to the link

This way if you lives in Raleigh, NC or near enough to make it feasible for you to have seen anything about this missing child, you can click and get the info for yourself.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Someone thought of the perfect replacement for Alan Colmes

Hannity and (Stephanie) Miller? Why Not? I feel kind of sorry for Alan Colmes. He really thought (I'm sure) that he was doing a Good Thing by being the liberal on a supposedly balanced talk show. He didn't count on the fact that the right wing media types know they have to go for vocal volume and lack of respect first, then think about brain power second. So Colmes, a bright and personable man outside of the Hannity killing field, did his best. But he wasn't up to the challenge. And, for his sake, I'm glad he has quit. But he needs to be replaced by someone as liberal, if not moreso, AND someone who is capable of our-shouting and out-obnoxious-ing Hannity.

Stephanie Miller. Ah, Stephanie, the beautiful host of a morning radio talk show who, while her show aired in Portland, kept me sane as I recovered from the shock of losing Air America Radio's "Morning Sedition." The one who hangs out (sometimes) with Barry Goldwater's granddaughter. The one who once embarrassed herself at an Oprah Winfrey sponsored fund-raiser for Barak Obama. The first talk show host I listen to who supported Barak Obama right out of the box. ("Mama's for Obama," she would say.) Yeah, her and Hannity. I might even watch that. (Until Hannity made me puke and then I'd send Stephanie my love, support, and some airline barf bags...)

Proof that there is a Divine Entity and It loves me

Ann Coulter's Mouth Wired Shut In Time For Thanksgiving I

t might not be the definitive trustworthy source but the headline alone made me laugh so hard I think my blood pressure dropped three points!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sound familiar? In a good way....

So does this sound like a previous President?

Obama said his plan would launch "a two-year nationwide effort to jump-start job creation in America and lay the foundation for a strong and growing economy. We'll put people back to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, modernizing schools that are failing our children, and building wind farms and solar panels," as well as producing fuel-efficient cars.

WPA, maybe? Hey, it worked during the last depression...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Faux Snooze is BACK...or, to be more precise, never left.

From an email I received from Jonathan Alterman (Altercation). There are links in the email but I can't get them to copy over.

Altercation, by Eric Alterman
Mike Huckabee -- past and probably future GOP presidential contender, and of course host of a Fox News show -- says gay rights is a "different set of rights" than civil rights, and notes that gays aren't getting their "skulls cracked," so nobody's rights are being violated. Well, that's not really true, as Think Progress notes, but, needless to say, physical violence shouldn't be the bar for discrimination in this country.
Of course, there's all this:

In the course of his mocking diatribe, Fox News host Greg Gutfeld inserted an off-color, homophobic joke about Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA): "Look, I don't dispute that aliens exist, but there are more urgent threats than wrinkly creatures with a knack for anal probing. But enough about Barney Frank."

After Dennis Miller said that President-elect Barack Obama "ought to flatten these punks at AIG [American International Group]," Bill O'Reilly stated, "OK, and then arrest Barney Frank, correct?" Miller replied, "Barney might want to be arrested." In response, O'Reilly said, "Oh, jeez. Ugh," and shuddered. He continued, "OK, Dennis Miller, everybody. I told you to hide the kids."

On The O'Reilly Factor and in a article, Bill Sammon suggested that Rep. Barney Frank allowed his relationship in the 1990s with Herb Moses, a Fannie Mae official at the time, to improperly influence his conduct as a member of the House Financial Services Committee.

Radio host Lars Larson played a spoof "Barney Frank for President" advertisement, in which a person said: "Now remember, this Erection Day -- Election Day, vote for Barney Frank for President. I'm Barney Fag -- uh, Frank and I approve this massage -- message."

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

My family should all have lived to see today

My mother just called. She's still in tears. She went to bed at 10 her time, hopeful but not sure. Something woke her around 2 AM and she turned on her TV to find that something she never thought she'd live to see had come to pass.

When my mother was a child, she and her family spent some time in Miami. Since my Bubbeh (grandmother; I called my maternal grandmother that to distinguish her from Grandma, the paternal grandmother who haunts me...okay, she doesn't HAUNT me but she watches over me...) was unable to drive, she took the bus everywhere. One day, she saw a young black woman board the bus carrying several heavy looking bags. Bubbeh moved aside and motioned for the young woman to sit beside her. The woman refused, because it was illegal for a black person to sit in the front, or white, part of the bus. Bubbeh was insistent and to avoid causing a scene, the young woman sat down. The driver stopped the bus and threw both my Bubbeh and the young black woman off the bus. He also contacted the police who threatened both with arrest. Bubbeh was having none of this and she gave both the driver and the officer a large piece of her mind.

My mother cried last night and is still crying. She lived to see a black man win the Presidency of the United States. Okay, she said, yeah, he's biracial but that's even more astounding to her. The sight of so many black faces on the stage there, as the next President of the United States spoke to the crowd made her so proud. And it made her so miss her own mother, who dreamt of this moment.

Somewhere out there, Bubbeh (Manya) Kirtzman is laughing, cheering, and saying, "I told you so!" Grandpa (Kolya) Kirtzman is holding her hand and cheering alongside her. My father is there somewhere, trying to cheer but I'm pretty sure Grandpa Johnpoll is interrupting him and saying, "Hey, we got a pinochle game going here, pay attention!" (Grandpa Johnpoll had this strange way of never actually noticing skin color. Stephen Colbert claims to do it. Grandpa Johnpoll did it.) And Grandma Johnpoll was here last night, as she frequently is, nodding and laughing at me for doubting. (The dear departed have this annoying habit of doing that, don't they?)

I have a problem, though. My Nanowrimo novel is a dystopia based on a continuation of the policies set by the Shrub Disadministration. I don't see that in the future anymore and I just plain can't write it. Help? Someone? Plot Ninja, plz?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

One of my fondest dreams has just come true.

I got to hear Jon Stewart announce that Barak Obama is the next President of the United States.

MSNBC Widget

It appears to work, given that no polls are closed yet.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

I forgot to post this yesterday.

I VOTED!!!!!!!

I proudly stand as a good American citizen, one who has done her part to change the course of the nation. If the election goes against my favorites, I have at least earned the right to protest it.

I have no desire to live in the nineteenth to early twentieth centuries. That route lead to two world wars. I want to live in the future.

And Not-Joe the Not-Plumber? Neither do you, pal.

They're grasping at straws with a vengeance

I've heard the same political ad three times this morning. It's all about Rev. Wright again. Is that an act of desperation or is it a clever tactic to scare last-minute voters away from the polls?

I'm in love with "You don't need to boo, you just need to vote." Yay, Sen. Obama! I wonder if you came up with that all by yourself.

I think I'll turn off the tv and return to Nanowrimo and the depressing world I've invented for it.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

It takes too much energy for me to get up and go into the next room to change the channel.

So this means I've been listening to the shrill screeching of Sarah Palin and senile ramblings of John McCain. And both of them have a very strange way of attacking Obama these days. They know that Obama has answered all their charges about raising taxes and socializing medicine. They know most Americans have heard him do so. And thus they are on a "he will have to" kick. They say, "His plan cannot be implemented UNLESS he....(raises your taxes, gives government control of your health care, gives lots of money to bail out banks, whatever.)" And they keep pumping up Not-really-Joe the not-really-a-plumber. They say he unearthed Obama's so-called "real goals" for America. Never mind that Obama answered not-Joe's question differently than not-Joe is claiming. (And, btw, the Obama campaign has NOT "investigated and attacked" not-Joe. In case you hear that idiotic claim.) And never mind that not-Joe now wants to be a big name, highly paid, talentless (okay, I don't know that part for a fact but I can only guess that he is based on how hard he's working to get those contracts he wants even with his built-in publicity...) celebrity. Sound familiar? Like, something McSame claimed Obama was?

Why do they keep bringing up JFK as a comparison to Obama? Do they think it makes Obama look young and green to compare him to the equally young if not quite as green JFK at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis? Do they not realize it makes the comparison between Obama and JFK stronger, makes Obama look better? I mean, we pretty much won the Cuban Missile Crisis! So I say, go for it! Remind us how much BA is like JFK. Works for me....

Does the fact that the audience automatically boo's the name Barney Frank strike anyone else as some anti-gay slant? Oh, sorry, yeah, that one went without saying, didn't it?

Is no one really paying attention to the timing of a World Series game? Obama did not delay the start of it with his infomercial. In fact, Fox News (for once not Faux) issued a statement to that effect.

The bottom line of all this is, dammit, I have to get up and change the station. And then get dressed and bundled up to walk to the library with my ballot. Maybe drink some coffee before. During. And after.

BTW, do my use of shrill screeching and senile ramblings sound like sexism and ageism? Too bad. She represents what is worst about some kinds of women and my father was that senile and I still loved him...but wouldn't trust him as Preznut.

My last ditch effort to be sure no one reading my words thinks Palin is a good choice for anything.

#23 Sarah Palin and First Dude Todd have close ties to the Alaskan Independence Party, which seeks to secede from the United States.

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Friday, October 31, 2008

A few morning videos

The drain bamaged person who posted this video asked that it be shared and since it made me laugh I figured I'd oblige. I just hope no one thinks *I* took this seriously.

Before you go off and worry about the alleged Obama/Khalidi buddyship...

You don't have to watch all of this. (My limit on Gov. Palin's voice is about 80 seconds before I need something to throw.) The phrase I'm looking for you to hear is from the very end of the first minute and the first few seconds of the second minute. There's one phrase alone I want you to think about, because I am unsure if Palin meant it the way it sounds or if she's just that stupid. Listen to it and then tell me, do you think someone wanted her to say "'hood" instead of "neighborhood?" I realize it is a perfectly appropriate word in this context, except that if "lipstick on a pig" means Obama was dissing Palin, don't you think "in the neighborhood" could be Palin being racist?

Just asking.....

Now I'm not really sure that Palin deserved the worst of the worst in last night's "Worst Persons in the World" from Keith Olbermann, but I'm not a baseball fan (except insofar as it works for me better than Ambien) so I can't imagine what Pennsylvania baseball fans think. But his second place "winner" seems to me to be the perfect gold medal winner in this not-really-a-competition. And if you want to read the whole article he's talking about, it's here. Just remember, Pamela Geller (no relation to Sarah Michelle, I pray!) makes Matt Drudge look both respectable and honest. And next to her he writes well. (BTW, she complains that Wikipedia, keeps taking down the information she's quoting from there. She sees conspiracy. I see correcting false, inflammatory information. But that's just me...)

If anyone can get me an icon based on the "bridge" picture in the following segment of The Daily Show, I will love you forever and ever. If the embedded video doesn't work you can find the video here. I did manage to print it from the flash player menu and will try scanning it but it's already getting blurry in just the initial direct print. Grrrr.....

And now I think it's time for coffee.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

In 2007 Sarah Palin offered $150 to every hunter who hacked off the left foreleg of a wolf shot from a plane

I should think that a $400,000 budget item geared towards bypassing a federal law constitutes something akin to, if not worse than, a porkbarrel earmark. But that's just me, yanno?

#4 In 2007 Sarah Palin offered $150 to every hunter who hacked off the left foreleg of a wolf shot from a plane.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Best Palin-snark of the week

We were in the car discussing politics and the issue of Sarah Palin's alleged foreign policy experience came up. And I explained that she claims that Alaska under her governess-ship sent trade delegations to Russia, while various pundits have checked and discovered that there have been no such trade delegations.

And Matthew, Kim's beloved, said, "Amway doesn't count."

I'm still giggling.

It's getting close to Election Day? Do you know where your registration is?

If you need to check the status of your voter registration, do so NOW. Go HERE. It doesn't do anything weird with your information, just directs you to your state voter registration site.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Dear John McCain:

I am NOT your fucking friend! I am your fellow American, one of the "folks" and lots of other things but I. Am. Not. Your. Friend.

Stop calling me that.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

I noticed it, too.

What I wish I could find was the point where she almost said it right. Because she did. And then she corrected herself. Or, rather, Uncorrected herself. Or something.

I have a cold. And the last thing I want to do is make myself feel worse. And "Primeval" isn't on for a few hours yet. So I think I'm going back to bed.

The true cost of the war

Thanks to my bud Arkham4269 for finding this. I can't say I understand the math (I'm an accountant but the real life kind, not the theoretical kind) but I follow the logic used to set up the math.

Friday, October 03, 2008

101 Thinks You -- and John McCain -- Don't Know About Sarah Palin

#65 In 2005, Sarah Palin completed Humpy’s Anchorage Marathon in 3:59:36.

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This is from a book that I would dearly love to get but I suspect by the time it's published and shipped, it won't be relevant anymore. At least I hope it won't.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Oh no she din'nt!

Sarah "Woman on Dog" Palin is playing the "old man" card when speaking of Joe Biden. Sarah "Lipstick on a Dog" Palin, running mate to the oldest person ever to be nominated by a major party as its Preznutial candidate, is making old man jokes about Joe Biden.

"I do look forward to Thursday night and debating Sen. Joe Biden," Palin said before mocking the Delaware senator's more than 30 years on Capitol Hill. "I'm looking forward to meeting him, too. I've never met him before. But, I've been hearing about his Senate speeches since I was in the second grade."

From the ABC News website.

I have to wonder, now, what sort of shenanigans (I saw "Juno" a couple of weeks ago and that word has been my favorite ever since) the Repugnicans are going to be up to on Thursday night. Are they going to produce a miraculous error on McCain's birth certificate making him younger than Biden? Or is Tina Fey - oops, I mean Bible Spice Barbie (gotta mix yer metaphors while you can) going to play the "oh, the mean old man said nasty things and made me cry!" game? (The latter being the more likely scenario.)

I can't decide if Thursday night's debate is going to be a laff riot or a scary portent of things to come.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Dear Gods! The fight was dirty before. I'm not sure what to call it now.

My sister lives in Dayton. I was on the phone with her when she picked up her newspaper a couple of days ago. She saw that a DVD had been inserted and she wasn't sure (because she didn't have a hand free to pull it out and check it, being on the phone with me and all) but she thought it was this hate film called Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West It is being distributed in battleground states (even Oregon, and I didn't know Oregon was a battleground state!) via newspaper inserts and direct mail by a group called the Clarion Fund. Who is behind this Clarion Fund? The filmmaker. Who funds this Clarion Fund? I can't figure that out in the short amount of time I have before I must leave for work but I suspect this will be today's obsessive search at lunchtime. The horrible implications of this "advertisement" have already come to fruition. See below. The event happened a day or two after my sister found that DVD in her newspaper. (She is protesting to her newspaper, but since when she canvasses for Obama she sometimes meets people who "would NEVER vote for no n****r for anything" she suspects she's in the minority in Dayton.

Chemical irritant empties Islamic Society of Greater Dayton's mosque

By Kyle Nagel
Staff Writer

Saturday, September 27, 2008

DAYTON — Baboucarr Njie was preparing for his prayer session Friday night, Sept. 26, when he heard children in the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton coughing. Soon, Njie himself was overcome with fits of coughing and, like the rest of those in the building, headed for the doors.

"I would stay outside for a minute, then go back in, there were a lot of kids," Njie said. "My throat is still itchy, I need to get some milk."

Njie was one of several affected when a suspected chemical irritant was sprayed into the mosque at 26 Josie St., bringing Dayton police, fire and hazardous material personnel to the building at 9:48 p.m.

Someone "sprayed an irritant into the mosque," Dayton fire District Chief Vince Wiley said, noting that fire investigators believe it was a hand-held spray can.

According to fire dispatch communications, a child reported seeing two men with a white can spraying something into a window. That child was brought to the supervising firefighter at the scene.

Wiley would not discuss that report, but said the investigation has been turned over to police. Police were not commenting.

cont'd at link above

Thanks to The Amazing Jill who had this news story near the top of her blog this morning or I still might have missed it.

Friday, September 26, 2008

May I get a show of hands of everyone who is surprised?

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Debate Is On
By The New York Times
Senator John McCain will attend tonight’s first presidential debate in Oxford, Miss.

Brian Rogers, the campaign spokesman, put out the following statement:

Senator McCain has spent the morning talking to members of the Administration, members of the Senate, and members of the House. He is optimistic that there has been significant progress toward a bipartisan agreement now that there is a framework for all parties to be represented in negotiations, including Representative Blunt as a designated negotiator for House Republicans. The McCain campaign is resuming all activities and the Senator will travel to the debate this afternoon. Following the debate, he will return to Washington to ensure that all voices and interests are represented in the final agreement, especially those of taxpayers and homeowners.

So does anyone think this was a lower-expectations gambit?? Or was it really a Hail Mary on Palin's behalf? My mother is convinced they're going to drop Palin because she's such an embarrassment anymore, and replace her with Lieberman. That's who McCain wanted initially and now I'm wondering if selecting Palin was his way of pandering to the radical religious reich, and he did it with every intention of letting her hang herself. And then McCain can say, "I'm sorry, I would love to accomodate you but your choice didn't work out and now it's far too late to break in a new candidate. I'll HAVE to choose Lieberman because he's the only person ready to jump on the campaign trail right away." And while I'd be less scared with Lieberman that heartbeat away rather than Palin, I'd be no less disgusted by the whole process.

I'm kind of looking forward to the debate tonight. Not sure why, though...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Aaron Sorkin gives Obama some advice.

Jed Bartlet really was the best President we never had... Here, Aaron Sorkin allows President Bartlet to share his sage wisdom (isn't the repetitive?) with candidate Obama. I'm reproducing it in full because I couldn't find a good place to cut it at, but please do visit the link in the title so that I don't feel like I'm both infringing on copyright AND being rude about it.

September 21, 2008

Aaron Sorkin Conjures a Meeting of Obama and Bartlet By MAUREEN DOWD

Now that he’s finally fired up on the soup-line economy, Barack Obama knows he can’t fade out again. He was eager to talk privately to a Democratic ex-president who could offer more fatherly wisdom — not to mention a surreptitious smoke — and less fraternal rivalry. I called the “West Wing” creator Aaron Sorkin (yes, truly) to get a read-out of the meeting. This is what he wrote:

BARACK OBAMA knocks on the front door of a 300-year-old New Hampshire farmhouse while his Secret Service detail waits in the driveway. The door opens and OBAMA is standing face to face with former President JED BARTLET.

BARTLET Senator.

OBAMA Mr. President.

BARTLET You seem startled.

OBAMA I didn’t expect you to answer the door yourself.

BARTLET I didn’t expect you to be getting beat by John McCain and a Lancôme rep who thinks “The Flintstones” was based on a true story, so let’s call it even.

OBAMA Yes, sir.

BARTLET Come on in.

BARTLET leads OBAMA into his study.

BARTLET That was a hell of a convention.

OBAMA Thank you, I was proud of it.

BARTLET I meant the Republicans. The Us versus Them-a-thon. As a Democrat I was surprised to learn that I don’t like small towns, God, people with jobs or America. I’ve been a little out of touch but is there a mandate that the vice president be skilled at field dressing a moose —

OBAMA Look —

BARTLET — and selling Air Force Two on eBay?

OBAMA Joke all you want, Mr. President, but it worked.

BARTLET Imagine my surprise. What can I do for you, kid?

OBAMA I’m interested in your advice.

BARTLET I can’t give it to you.

OBAMA Why not?

BARTLET I’m supporting McCain.


BARTLET He’s promised to eradicate evil and that was always on my “to do” list.


BARTLET And he’s surrounded himself, I think, with the best possible team to get us out of an economic crisis. Why, Sarah Palin just said Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had “gotten too big and too expensive to the taxpayers.” Can you spot the error in that statement?

OBAMA Yes, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac aren’t funded by taxpayers.

BARTLET Well, at least they are now. Kind of reminds you of the time Bush said that Social Security wasn’t a government program. He was only off by a little — Social Security is the largest government program.

OBAMA I appreciate your sense of humor, sir, but I really could use your advice.

BARTLET Well, it seems to me your problem is a lot like the problem I had twice.

OBAMA Which was?

BARTLET A huge number of Americans thought I thought I was superior to them.



OBAMA I mean, how did you overcome that?

BARTLET I won’t lie to you, being fictional was a big advantage.

OBAMA What do you mean?

BARTLET I’m a fictional president. You’re dreaming right now, Senator.

OBAMA I’m asleep?

BARTLET Yes, and you’re losing a ton of white women.

OBAMA Yes, sir.

BARTLET I mean tons.

OBAMA I understand.

BARTLET I didn’t even think there were that many white women.

OBAMA I see the numbers, sir. What do they want from me?

BARTLET I’ve been married to a white woman for 40 years and I still don’t know what she wants from me.

OBAMA How did you do it?

BARTLET Well, I say I’m sorry a lot.

OBAMA I don’t mean your marriage, sir. I mean how did you get America on your side?

BARTLET There again, I didn’t have to be president of America, I just had to be president of the people who watched “The West Wing.”

OBAMA That would make it easier.

BARTLET You’d do very well on NBC. Thursday nights in the old “ER” time slot with “30 Rock” as your lead-in, you’d get seven, seven-five in the demo with a 20, 22 share — you’d be selling $450,000 minutes.

OBAMA What the hell does that mean?

BARTLET TV talk. I thought you’d be interested.

OBAMA I’m not. They pivoted off the argument that I was inexperienced to the criticism that I’m — wait for it — the Messiah, who, by the way, was a community organizer. When I speak I try to lead with inspiration and aptitude. How is that a liability?

BARTLET Because the idea of American exceptionalism doesn’t extend to Americans being exceptional. If you excelled academically and are able to casually use 690 SAT words then you might as well have the press shoot video of you giving the finger to the Statue of Liberty while the Dixie Chicks sing the University of the Taliban fight song. The people who want English to be the official language of the United States are uncomfortable with their leaders being fluent in it.

OBAMA You’re saying race doesn’t have anything to do with it?

BARTLET I wouldn’t go that far. Brains made me look arrogant but they make you look uppity. Plus, if you had a black daughter —

OBAMA I have two.

BARTLET — who was 17 and pregnant and unmarried and the father was a teenager hoping to launch a rap career with “Thug Life” inked across his chest, you’d come in fifth behind Bob Barr, Ralph Nader and a ficus.

OBAMA You’re not cheering me up.

BARTLET Is that what you came here for?

OBAMA No, but it wouldn’t kill you.

BARTLET Have you tried doing a two-hour special or a really good Christmas show?


BARTLET Hang on. Home run. Right here. Is there any chance you could get Michelle pregnant before the fall sweeps?

OBAMA The problem is we can’t appear angry. Bush called us the angry left. Did you see anyone in Denver who was angry?

BARTLET Well ... let me think. ...We went to war against the wrong country, Osama bin Laden just celebrated his seventh anniversary of not being caught either dead or alive, my family’s less safe than it was eight years ago, we’ve lost trillions of dollars, millions of jobs, thousands of lives and we lost an entire city due to bad weather. So, you know ... I’m a little angry.

OBAMA What would you do?

BARTLET GET ANGRIER! Call them liars, because that’s what they are. Sarah Palin didn’t say “thanks but no thanks” to the Bridge to Nowhere. She just said “Thanks.” You were raised by a single mother on food stamps — where does a guy with eight houses who was legacied into Annapolis get off calling you an elitist? And by the way, if you do nothing else, take that word back. Elite is a good word, it means well above average. I’d ask them what their problem is with excellence. While you’re at it, I want the word “patriot” back. McCain can say that the transcendent issue of our time is the spread of Islamic fanaticism or he can choose a running mate who doesn’t know the Bush doctrine from the Monroe Doctrine, but he can’t do both at the same time and call it patriotic. They have to lie — the truth isn’t their friend right now. Get angry. Mock them mercilessly; they’ve earned it. McCain decried agents of intolerance, then chose a running mate who had to ask if she was allowed to ban books from a public library. It’s not bad enough she thinks the planet Earth was created in six days 6,000 years ago complete with a man, a woman and a talking snake, she wants schools to teach the rest of our kids to deny geology, anthropology, archaeology and common sense too? It’s not bad enough she’s forcing her own daughter into a loveless marriage to a teenage hood, she wants the rest of us to guide our daughters in that direction too? It’s not enough that a woman shouldn’t have the right to choose, it should be the law of the land that she has to carry and deliver her rapist’s baby too? I don’t know whether or not Governor Palin has the tenacity of a pit bull, but I know for sure she’s got the qualifications of one. And you’re worried about seeming angry? You could eat their lunch, make them cry and tell their mamas about it and God himself would call it restrained. There are times when you are simply required to be impolite. There are times when condescension is called for!

OBAMA Good to get that off your chest?

BARTLET Am I keeping you from something?

OBAMA Well, it’s not as if I didn’t know all of that and it took you like 20 minutes to say.

BARTLET I know, I have a problem, but admitting it is the first step.

OBAMA What’s the second step?

BARTLET I don’t care.

OBAMA So what about hope? Chuck it for outrage and put-downs?

BARTLET No. You’re elite, you can do both. Four weeks ago you had the best week of your campaign, followed — granted, inexplicably — by the worst week of your campaign. And you’re still in a statistical dead heat. You’re a 47-year-old black man with a foreign-sounding name who went to Harvard and thinks devotion to your country and lapel pins aren’t the same thing and you’re in a statistical tie with a war hero and a Cinemax heroine. To these aged eyes, Senator, that’s what progress looks like. You guys got four debates. Get out of my house and go back to work.

OBAMA Wait, what is it you always used to say? When you hit a bump on the show and your people were down and frustrated? You’d give them a pep talk and then you’d always end it with something. What was it ...?

BARTLET “Break’s over.”

Sunday, September 07, 2008

A recipe for no apparent reason

I invented something today and it's extremely good and I want to share. No politics. No weird goings-on. Just a recipe.

Maple Zucchini and Apples
(Serves ?)

1/2 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 small onion, sliced thin
1 medium sized zucchini, sliced thin
1 small apple, pared, cored, and cut into wedges
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon maple syrup (do not substitute maple-flavored or "breakfast" or "pancake" syrup.)

Melt butter in saute pan over medium heat. Add oil the minute the butter has melted completely, then add onion. Saute until softened, then add zucchini and continue to saute until one side is browned. Flip the zucchini over and add apple to the pan. Continue to saute until the other side of the zucchini is browned and the apple is soft. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add maple syrup and swirl pan to be sure everything is combined. Allow to sit a few moments before serving.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

I was in Alaska last May

And being who I am and being who I was with, much politics was discussed with as many people as we thought it was safe to discuss it with.

No one mentioned Palin by name but everyone mentioned hating their state government. When we were in Juneau and passed the governor's mansion (more of a governor's big suburban tract home) our tour guide (previously established as not only safe to discuss politics with but impossible to shut up on the subject) spat out some rather hard words aimed at the office in general. In Sitka, my mother engaged the physical therapist she met in the pharmacy in a conversation wherein it was revealed that health care workers in Alaska NEVER look to their state government for help under any circumstances. (He then had her experiment with a half dozen canes and taught her how to use the one he deemed best for her. My mom, what a character!) I got to talking to the woman behind the counter in the Russian tschotchke store and while the conversation started out being about the Russian government we finally got from her that she doesn't trust anyone on her state level, either. My sister chatted with the check out clerk at the pharmacy while my mother was being charmed by the physical therapist and says that the clerk had nothing but contempt for any government above her own local level.

We asked several people about the perceived need for a road into Juneau. THAT is the "road to nowhere" that we keep hearing about. It is not to be confused with the "bridge to nowhere." That road was promoted by the predecessor of the present governor; the latter then nixed the plan immediately upon taking office. Environmental concerns were a big part of the decision (someone needs to make an issue of this, you know...but I digress) but the lack of general state-wide support for the road (which would have gone to Haines, not exactly a major interstate and there still would have been a ferry involved at points. Ain't Wikipedia grand?) suggests a lack of state-wide support for their state government.

What am I getting at here? Why, nothing. {bats eyes innocently} Nothing at all. Why do you ask?

I need a cookie and I'm out of them and it's getting too dark to walk to the store. I think it's time for fried eggplant. I just made some and the smell is driving me crazy. Then I need to make pie. Mmmmmmmmmm pie!

Uppity/ball-busting...po-tay-to/po-tah-to Or not!

First a Congressman from Kentucky referred to Obama as a boy. And now a Congressman from Georgia calls the Obamas "uppity."

Do we get to hear that in the south those words mean something different than they do here in the (elitist?) north? (Sorry, since I live in the "wild west" I guess I shouldn't say here. )

And if someone calls Sarah Palin a "girl" will there be a backlash? How about if someone calls her a "ball busting broad?"

I realize she's the VEEP candidate and Obama is the "real" candidate (oh, was that offensive? Oh, I'm SO sorry.....yeah, right!) and thus the comparison is unfair. But to whom? And why? They're both minority type candidates, and it could be argued they share the distinction of winning their slots by being minorities. He got a lot of national exposure due to his race and she came to the attention of the Repigs partly by having a vagina. So IMNSHO it's fair to look at the epithets likely to be hurled at each by virtue of their shared minority status as candidates.

Use some of the nasty names applied to Hillary Clinton against Palin and you'll hear at least a dozen righty bloggers cry out against you for being mean to such a lovely, elegant, etc. lady. Use some of the nasty names Sen. Clinton's supporters used against Obama and you'll be a righty blogger. Or equivalent to them. And yet how many of the left wing bloggers are scrupulously avoiding using the gender-based terms against Palin simply because it's not "right" to call a lady those things?

I'm going to forgive myself right away for any nasty gender-based epithets I hurl against Sarah Palin. I'm just warning you all. Don't give me any shit about it. I'm not going to use racial epithets against Obama because, well, I like Obama. Also, since I'm female, using gender insults against another (gods, I love Samantha Bee) Vagina-American is fair. In the same way, I'm sure Condi Rice could get away with calling Barak Obama some racially charged things. But Condi, for all her blind loyalty to a moron, is a lady and a scholar and she would never utter such words. By comparison, Sarah Palin is a bitch and an addle-brained broad.

Up until the minute I heard the name Sarah Palin, I was worried that McSame would choose either Joe Lie-berman or Condi Rice as his running mate. The Lie-ing man scared me because he could bring a lot of Dems to the Repig side. Condi scared me because she's (a) qualified as hell and (b) not only African-American but female, giving the ticket a one-two-THREE punch. But Condi is a follower, not a leader. And Lie-er is, if you can imagine it, an even less energetic speaker than McCain is. And the choice of a weird fembot from Alaska, while surreal, makes a kind of sense, I suppose.

And now I need a breakfast cookie. I can tell this election is going to cost me in the effort to lose weight. Every time I feel my blood pressure rise I grab a glass of wine and a cookie.

At least it's heart-healthy red wine. And not before noon.

Friday, September 05, 2008

In case anyone reading my blog doesn't know what a community organizer is...

(and if you're reading my blog and don't know what a community organizer is, I want to know why you read my blog...)

I found a good article about this at, of all places, Time Magazine's blog.

Additional information can be found at the always fascinating Wikipedia, and Ability Maine (an online resource guide for folks in the Northern Star State) has a guide for community organizers that also explains quite a lot.

And anyone who believes in smaller government ought to BY NATURE believe in community organizing.

Okay, I've bellyached myself to a headache. I'm still getting over the irony of Rudely Giuli-9/11 speaking to a crowd that booed the concept of eastern elitists. For that matter, the irony of that description coming up for ridicule from the mouth of Mitt Romney, former governor of eastern elitist MASSACHUSETTS is making my blood magnetic. I think I'll go eat a cookie and settle down now.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Sometimes I think "The Daily Show" writers have it too easy.

Palin’s 17-Year-Old Daughter Is Pregnant
September 1, 2008 12:25 pm
By Katharine Q. Seelye

ST. PAUL — The 17-year-old daughter of Gov. Sarah Palin, John McCain’s running mate, is five months pregnant, Senator McCain’s campaign advisers announced today.

The daughter, Bristol, plans to marry the father, the campaign said.

In a statement, Governor Palin said: “Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows that she has our unconditional love and support.”

The announcement was intended to counter rumors by liberal bloggers that Ms. Palin had claimed to have given birth to her fifth child in April when, according to the rumors, the child was her daughter’s.

Groups that oppose abortion rights had been thrilled with Mr. McCain’s selection of Ms. Palin, the governor of Alaska, as his running mate, partly because of her opposition to abortion. It is not clear how social conservatives will respond to the latest news.

The campaign intends to cast this as the kind of situation that ordinary American families face.

The McCain campaign says it was aware of her daughter’s pregnancy before it named her as the running mate on Friday.

The family’s statement said: “Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family. We ask the media, respect our daughter and Levi’s privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates.”

At a rally at a ballpark Saturday evening in Washington, Pa., Bristol did not join the rest of her family on stage.

“Then we have our daughter Bristol, she’s on the bus with the newborn, and then we have our daughter Willow, who is here, and our youngest daughter Piper,’’ Ms. Palin said as she introduced her family. “On that bus we have our son Trig, who is a beautiful baby boy we welcomed into the world just in April. It’s his naptime, so he is with his big sister on the bus. But we thank them for being here. “

“And speaking of Trig, and other things, some of life’s greatest opportunities come unexpectedly,’’ she said. “And this is certainly the case today. I never really set out to be in public affairs, much less to run for this office.’’

Michael Cooper contributed to this post.

I have no words. I don't think I need them.

I am struck by the irony of this statement from Palin: We ask the media, respect our daughter and Levi’s privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates.

Did this start after the Clinton presidency? Because Chelsea sure got into the limelight more than anything she did warranted. And let's not even discuss Amy Carter. Yet every time the media started to look at Dumbya's Hiltonesque twins, it got shot down within days. And we were somehow "spared" the news of Ron Reagan's homosexuality for years after his dad left the White House.

Bitter? Me? Nah, just curious.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Michael Moore can kiss my ass!

Note the very first thing Moore says about the hurricane approaching the Gulf Coast:

"Gustav is proof that there is a God in Heaven."

Then he back-pedals a little. But FUCK YOU, MOORE! Are you so much of a jerk you are CELEBRATING this?

I'm a little peeved with Olbermann, too, but I get the feeling he's just trying to recover from his guest's faux pas. (You can tell he doesn't understand a whole bunch of what Moore is talking about.)

I'm pissed. I used to like Michael Moore and I may again but right now I'm so pissed at him!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

And this is a good idea..........why?

Please, no offense intended to any future Junior G-Men reading this but WTF does the FBI think this is going to accomplish?

New Guidelines Would Give F.B.I. Broader Powers

Published: August 20, 2008

WASHINGTON — A Justice Department plan would loosen restrictions on the Federal Bureau of Investigation to allow agents to open a national security or criminal investigation against someone without any clear basis for suspicion, Democratic lawmakers briefed on the details said Wednesday.

The plan, which could be made public next month, has already generated intense interest and speculation. Little is known about its precise language, but civil liberties advocates say they fear it could give the government even broader license to open terrorism investigations.

cont'd at link above.

The FBI is not a bad agency. I would like to think I can trust them, at least, if not all the federal law enforcement agencies. There are some mighty smart people working for the FBI, smart and HONEST. In fact, in the lead-up to 9/11, some of the FBI agents were downright heroes, even if their supervisory political appointees chose to ignore them in favor of toeing the party line. So why is it suddenly a Good Idea to let the FBI get warrants without such niggling little details as, say, evidence?

I think I'm gonna start answering my phone "Hello J. Edgar" again, just to be on the safe side. (Someday I'll explain why I used to do that when I was 16.)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Brilliant use for plastic bags

I tend to reuse the plastic bags I get at the grocery store as garbage bags. But sometimes I have way too many of them to store. And when that happens I'm going to turn them into "plarn."

Plarn is yarn made out of plastic bags. I'm loving this idea. I'll update once I get something made.

Meanwhile, I have two loaves of homemade bread (one with rosemary and garlic, the other with cheese and Italian herbs) and a zucchini casserole ready to go to Amy's birthday party. And after that I will need to keep crocheting. Just because I missed the Ravelympics deadline doesn't mean I'm not still making the Torchwood afghan, silly!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

I would SO wear this!

Having watched the latest installment of this season's "Project Runway" and finding myself less and less enthralled with the contestants this time around I went looking at last season's collections to feel better. And I found this from Chris March.

I would SO wear this! (If my figure would only support it. I'm kind of shaped like Chris himself, if you know what I mean.) And what's more, that stole? I think I can make it. Once the Ravelympics is done with.

And for those who are interested in PR, here is a really good video recap that almost echoes all of my feelings on last night's episode.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The part the mainstream news doesn't let you see

For once, it's about Paris Hilton and I'm not trying to tear my hair out.

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

The part you don't normally get to see is the first part, where she compares McCain to the Crypt Keeper. This makes the response from the McCain campaign even funnier. As I read the following, it seems like they are trying to recruit Paris Hilton into their camp:

Sounds like Paris is taking the 'All of the Above' energy approach that John McCain has advocated -- both alternatives and drilling. Perhaps the reality is that Paris has a more substantive energy plan than Barack Obama.

Now, if I were advising Obama's campaign (which I'm not, of course, because they don't read my blog...) I'd say they should ignore the whole McCain/Hilton thing. Because McCain is doing just fine campaigning for Obama in this case all on his own.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Two tidbits from the news

The first one I read on the way to work and I had to bite my finger to keep from laughing hysterically and getting thrown off the bus.

In Spain, Human Rights for Apes

Now, there is obviously more to the story but that doesn't alter the impact of the headline. I'm pretty sure it's firmly connected to the whole evolution debate, and it will eventually just be ignored but the headline certainly catches the eye.

And then there's this one, that totally pissed me off.

Obama's Private Prayer 'Leaked'

One of the basic concepts behind leaving a prayer at the Western Wall in Jerusalem is that it's between you and the deity. It's similar to the concept of the Tibetan prayer flags. As the medium disintegrates, the prayer becomes part of the Cosmos. There's a considerable crossing of paths between orthodox Jewish mysticism and Buddhism. But that's neither here nor there. WTF is up with some "orthodox seminary student" grabbing it out of the Wall? Nothing in the rules says the prayers of non-Jews are unwelcome. And I hope this brat's teachers do something to make his life holy (and I do mean holy) hell for this. Now, that said, I did (of course) read the prayer and am deeply touched by it. Even were I cynic enough (and, btw, I am) to say that he left it hoping for it to be found and publicized, it remains a lovely sentiment.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Now, then, what do Joss Whedon and crocheting have in common?

I'm not sure but for some reason he seems to feel he needs to be interviewed by a crochet magazine. To what do you attribute the far-flung coverage and buzz about Dr. Horrible, considering there's been little to no press for the series?

Whedon: Fact is, there's been some buzz, but it hasn't reached the places it would normally. Where's our write-up in Crocheting Monthly? (I did a very sexy shoot for that one.)

And the website Crochet Me has taken up the challenge.

I'm not sure what it is about Whedon's creations that inspire the geek knitters and crocheters but it's not JUST the Jayne hat.

There's GOT to be more to it than just that. I am thinking of all the Willow hats and crocheted Mr. Pointy-stakes and on and on and on (I can't find the picture of the River vest but I've seen it once before and it's lovely.)

So if you are so inclined, feel free to go to the link above which I'm repeating here, and add your name to the cry. If nothing else, it'll be funny as hell once Whedon finds out about it. If he hasn't already.

I still think he would make an awe-inspiring President, but he's doing some inspiring of awe as it is...

NY Times visits eastern Washington

It's not news. It's not Earth-shattering stuff. It probably doesn't even impact the upcoming election.

But the series of short video commentaries about a road trip along Washington State's Rte. 20 is really interesting and shows a piece of the Northwest that I didn't know existed but I'm glad I got to see a little of.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Add to the list of things that make me happy

I have two words.

Rainier Cherries.

(a picture is worth a thousand words.)

I got a lot of fun stuff at Uwajimaya on Friday but the Rainier cherries are the best part of the haul. (In second place I have to say is the pineapple bread stuffed with red bean paste.)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I didn't think it was Steampunk, I thought it was Alternate History

Your result for The Steampunk Archetype Test...

The Roguish Pirate

There is treasure on those airships flying back from the Imperial colonies and you can be found wherever there is treasure. Sometimes you don’t know what you prefer, having the loot or getting the loot. You have your own crew of engineers, bodgers, tinkerers and fians to keep your airship fast and powerful. Those lumbering cargo ships can’t withstand your assault after you fire off the grappling hooks. Oh there is always a fight, but that is part of the fun.

Take The Steampunk Archetype Test

Monday, June 30, 2008

I'ze been tagged

Audrey M, the creator of the Baby Adipose crochet pattern, tagged me with this meme and as you all know, the memage must be obeyed!

(Audrey, if I've credited you incorrectly, please let me know...)

1. What I was doing 10 years ago:
July 1998? I moved to Oregon in January, and by June had started to work for the most gods-awful CPA of all time. Well, he was a good CPA. He was an unpleasant person. Even his wife said so.

2. What 5 things are on on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):
1. work, primarily finish up fiscal year write-up
2. go to grocery store
3. buy July transit pass
4. crochet baby adipose for an LJ friend (this can be done on the train, of course)
5. walk Faraday if it isn’t too hot for the two of us

3. Snacks I enjoy:
1. cheese and crackers
2. celery (no, I’m NOT kidding)
3. ice cream
4. popcorn
5. these things that have no name but are a Mexican bread stuffed with Mexican (hot & spicy) chorizo and Queso Oaxaca (similar to mozarella) and with a pickled jalapeno that I always pull out because, really, enough is enough.
6. salad (again, not kidding)

4. Things I would do if I was a billionaire:
1. Pay off as much of my debt as that’ll cover. (Only mildly sarcastic)
2. Travel and then travel some more.
3. Endow someone to invent a truly cheap electric car
4. Fund an entire Head Start classroom for a couple of years
5. Buy a car, hopefully the aforementioned truly cheap electric car
6. Send all my friends who want it to the university of their choice. Including me.

6. Places I have lived:
Oh, you’re serious? Okay, here’s the list. I’m not combining duplications.

1. Boston, MA
2. Trevlose, PA
3. Perth Amboy, NJ
4. Oneonta, NY
5. Regina, Saksatchewan (Canada)
6. Albany, NY
7. Delmar, NY (kinda cheating here as it’s a suburb of Albany but has grown into its own metro area in recent years…)
8. Boston, MA
9. Djursholm, Sweden (just outside Stockholm)
10. Brockport, NY
11. Los Angeles, CA
12. Denver, CO (technically, Aurora, CO)
13. Portland, OR
14. Vancouver, WA
15. Portland, OR
I left out anyplace I lived for less than a year. Whew!

I can't tag anyone from this blog but if you'll follow me over to my Livejournal account, where unsuspecting victims try to hide, I will do so there.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

I am not going to try this. I'm not I'm not I'm not

Although in principle it sounds decadent and interesting...

Brown-Sugar Salami Chips
Arrange one layer of thin salami slices on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 325ºF until edges are crisp, about 30 minutes. Remove from parchment and blot dry on paper towels. Combine 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar and 1 tablespoon water in a large, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave about 30 seconds until bubbly. Add chips, stir gently, and return them to the oven on a fresh sheet of parchment to bake 3 to 4 minutes at 300ºF.

In less horrifying food news, I've discovered that storing my pancake batter in the refrigerator until I want it is a great idea, just not for hot summer days.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


We get it. Tim Russert was a great man, a giant among journalists, a wonderful father, a loving son, a writer par excellence. We get it. His death was unexpected and tragic. We get it. We've gotten it since Friday. Enough already!

When I turn to my TV for 24 hour news, I generally go for MSNBC if they aren't running "To Catch a Predator" or "Lockup" episodes (which they play more often than they do actual news) because any network willing to give both Tucker Carlson and Dan Abrams their own shows (although Tucker's finally died for apparent lack of viewer interest) deserves my attention at least once in a while. And I did rather like Tim Russert, even if I did recognize his weaknesses. I mean, he's no Chris Matthews. Matthews remains a complete moron. Russert had his moments, true, but as a rule he didn't shoot his mouth off without running it through his internal word-check first.

But it's been over 2 days since Russert's untimely passing. And I'm still stuck on CNN Headline News. Because MSNBC is so devoted to mourning Tim Russert I'm amazed they've been showing the half hourly headlines. And Faux News still makes me want to chuck up everything I've eaten in the past 48 hours. CNN Headline News isn't exactly in depth or even relevant but at least I can find out more or less what's going on other than Tim Russert dying two and some days ago.

And I just looked at the Windows Live Messenger window and discovered that every headline appearing at the bottom is about Russert. I want to grab my one WLM friend and ask her a question but I'm working up the guts to see yet ANOTHER Russert headline...

I am supposed to be at Amy's this afternoon for crafting and fun but as my current project other than some knitting involves wood stain that stinks up the entire neighborhood, I don't know what I'll bring along to do. This wood stain is soooo stinky is it? Well, I'll tell you. I did the staining outside. I left it outside to dry. I left it outside a few hours past that. I brought it in at midnight. This morning, I woke up smelling the wood stain. The project was left in my kitchen. I had my bedroom door shut. I'm impressed. Not pleased, but impressed. Hopefully it won't rain for a few more days because it needs several more coats of stain. (I'd leave it out overnight except dew would be a problem.)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

This is so wrong

This is so very, very, very wrong.

It's so wrong that I won't tell you what it is. I can't bring myself to type it. You'll have to read and be horrified for yourself.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Ramps and Morels

Does this sound decadent or five-star or something? Because it just sounds farmers' market to me.

I went with friends to the Portland Farmers' Market on Saturday. I got three things. (Five if you count each type of mushroom as its own item.) And three basils and a nicotiana start. I still need one more basil, though. I'm a basil freak.

Anyhow, I got ramps, rhubarb, and three kinds of mushrooms (shitake, maiatake, and morels.) For breakfast yesterday I sauteed up some of the sliced ramps and morels in butter and olive oil and served it over scrambled eggs. It was unbelievably good. I absolutely must make that again while ramps are still in season. Too bad it's such a short season, but perhaps shallots would be a good substitute.

I love getting unusual mushrooms at the farmers' market but the selection wasn't all that fantastic. I'm holding out hope for the Interstate Farmers Market on my way home on Wednesday. And I might give the Hillsboro Tuesday Market a try next week if I'm up to the commute.

And for those who read it here rather than Live Journal, I will tell the sad tale of how I had to choose between buying gas or paying for my car. I chose gas. The credit union objected. I now have to pay for neither. In about 6 to 8 months I'll start looking for a car that'll take me to the park and ride, but that's the last time I'll be driving 24 miles each way for work. I'll get up ungodly early and knit on the bus and Max. I'd been feeling kind of carbon-footprint-guilty, anyway, and this just forced it for me. I'm calling it a Good Thing for the time being.

Courtesy of The Walrus Speaks

The Walrus Speaks has many other versions of this song available here but this one is by far my favorite. You'll see why. And from this I see it IS possible to sing dang near anything to dang near any melody...

Monday, April 28, 2008

I'm sharing this with you because obviously I hate you all

I get a joke of the day email from who-knows-where. And here is today's. I'm sharing it because, frankly (and no I won't leave Frank out of this!)people at work didn't get it.

Two goldfish were in their tank. One turns to the other and says, "You man the guns, I'll drive."

This is even more pathetic than my previous joke that I would share because I hate everybody:

"Two maggots were arguing in dead Earnest."

I now return you to your regularly scheduled lives.


Grouchy (Grouchy was already taken.)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

It's damn embarrassing when we have to find out these things from foreign media...

Secret US plan for military future in Iraq

Document outlines powers but sets no time limit on troop presence

Seumas Milne The Guardian, Tuesday April 8 2008

A confidential draft agreement covering the future of US forces in Iraq, passed to the Guardian, shows that provision is being made for an open-ended military presence in the country.

The draft strategic framework agreement between the US and Iraqi governments, dated March 7 and marked "secret" and "sensitive", is intended to replace the existing UN mandate and authorises the US to "conduct military operations in Iraq and to detain individuals when necessary for imperative reasons of security" without time limit.

The authorisation is described as "temporary" and the agreement says the US "does not desire permanent bases or a permanent military presence in Iraq". But the absence of a time limit or restrictions on the US and other coalition forces - including the British - in the country means it is likely to be strongly opposed in Iraq and the US.

(cont'd at link above)

The only part that surprises me is that the agreement uses the word temporary. Doesn't sound like they mean it, though.

x-posted to my Live Journal.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Some days I invent the best stuff!

I'm doing a brickload of cooking this weekend. Part of this is because I haven't done
it in a long time and I finally have had the mood hit so I'm taking advantage. Part of it is that Amy is about to have a baby and I promised her some dinners for the freezer so she and Jason can have a few easy, or easier, at any rates, nights to look forward to. And so I'm not cooking for two lunches, but for one dinner for two and for a lunch. I made Baked Ziti with my homemade pasta sauce with pancetta, and Pinot Beef (like Burgundy but with a marvelous Oregon Pinot Noir and no pearl onions) and right now there's a Pumpkin Sage Bread Pudding in the oven next to Apple Pumpkin Pork Balls (I'm hoping they'll turn out well and deserving of the humorous name, to be eaten alongside the savory pudding.) And I invented a Chicken Piccata variation.

I couldn't help myself. Ever since this season's "Top Chef" opener, when one of the challenges was to make a good Chicken Piccata, I've been craving it. And so I got out a couple of chicken breasts, beat the snot out of them (well, beat the fat out of them, although my finger started aching so they never got as thin as piccata should be) and started sauteeing. And adding interesting things. And invented something totally delicious. To whit:

New England Chicken Piccata
Serves 4

Oil for frying
2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Lemon Pepper, and marjoram or thyme if desired
4-6 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 stick butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
Water or broth if needed

Heat a skillet to medium high and heat the oil. Put chicken breasts between 2 pieces of waxed paper and pound to as thin as you can get it. (I left them fairly thick and sliced it up afterwards.) Season chicken on both sides with lemon pepper and additional herbs if using. (Note that I never add salt while cooking so you can add it here if you want to.) Start oven preheating to 300. Brown chicken well on both sides. Remove to a baking dish and put in oven to finish cooking. Add lemon juice and butter to pan to deglaze. When it starts to thicken, add maple syrup and mustard. Taste and adjust for personal preference, adding water or broth if mixture gets too thick. Keep sauce warm and serve over chicken when it tests done. Serve over rice or noodles.

This stuff is so damn good I can't wait to have it for lunch!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Chris Matthews is a big, fat idiot.

It can't possibly be on YouTube yet because I heard it five minutes ago live. Talking about Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama, he said that something Hillary Clinton had said indicated that she was ready and willing and able to go

"mano a, how do you say woman?"

Anyone who has finished first year first semester Spanish recognizes now that Chris Matthews is a fucking moron.

For those who took French, Latin, German, or any of the myriad other languages gracing our good Earth...mano doesn't mean man. Man is Hombre. (Silent h.) Mano is hand. Mano a mano means hand to hand.

Christ Matthews is a fucking moron.

If this shows up on YouTube I'll eventually link to it. But I had to bitch RIGHT NOW.

Because that's the kind of mano...uh...mujer (woman) I am...

Monday, February 11, 2008

In my family, NOT getting this result would be a catastrophe!

What's Your Political Philosophy?
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You scored as Old School Democrat

Old school Democrats emphasize economic justice and opportunity. The Democratic ideal is best summarized by the Four Freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mike Huckabee scares me

I honestly think I'd rather see Giuliani as Preznut than Huckabee. At least Giuliani knows what real life in the marriage lane can be like. Sounds to me like Huckabee is blaming divorce for all the nation's ills. Catch this stunt he pulled in 2004.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Gov. Mike Huckabee and his wife plan to convert their nuptial vows into a covenant marriage during a mass ceremony on Valentine’s Day, giving a public push to the movement that seeks to strengthen marital ties and make it harder to get divorced.

The governor, a former Baptist minister, said Monday he hopes more than1,000 other couples will join him for the conversion ceremony at a North Little Rock arena. Arkansas has one of the highest divorce rates in the country.

Covenant marriages, which also are an option in Louisiana and Arizona, usually require pre-wedding counseling and allow divorce only in cases of adultery, imprisonment, abandonment, abuse and after a substantial waiting period.

Does this make anyone else think Unification Church thoughts?

Luckily, I think the nation is ticked off enough at ALL Repigs that this isn't likely to matter. But that's today. By November who knows what might have been staged to change the nation's mind?