Saturday, April 05, 2008

What's a girl to do

On one hand- I like Kettle One vodka and hate Absolute.

On the other hand, I like pissing off anti-immigration racists. A lot.

The good news is, my favorite vodka- Pravda, seems to be outside the loop on this controversy.

Rick Steves brings teh Awesome

I love Rick Steves' guidebooks. Without them I would never have known of the Chagall museum in Nice or how to count on my fingers anywhere in Europe.

I love Rick Steves' politics. I grew a major brain crush on him and Arther Frommer when they were talking about how ridiculous it is that the US government restricts our travel to Cuba. They both see it as a stupid and unconstitutional form of government interference.

I love Rick Steves' form of religion. He's the type of progressive Christian, like my darling cousin, that makes me feel a wee bit bad for lumping fundies in with them. Then the fundies say yet another stupid thing and well, I stop feeling bad.

I love Rick Steves' generosity. He bought a large apartment building in Everett as an investment, but instead of renting it at market rates, he leased the whole building for 20 years to a program that provides transitional housing to homeless mothers and children.

And while I am not a pot smoker, I love Rick Steves' for the infomercial he stars in that has been haunting late night television. It is a smart, well informed tirade against marijuana laws. All from the least likely person to ever be busted for sporting an eighth.

He's a wee bit too wholesome for me to completely crush on him, but the world would b e a much sadder place without people like him in it.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Seriously not ready for the 3am call

Go read Bluelyon's post about Obama and and 9/11. Go ahead, I'll wait.......................................

OMG! Not predictable? WTF! What the hell was the 9/11 commission about if not for proving that George McShitty Pants ignored credible intelligence that planes were going to be hijacked?

And Obama wants to be the next president clearing tumbleweeds and reading books about goats when shit hits the fan.


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Scarier than a naked Rush Limbaugh

NKOTB to Reunite.

Snippets of google chat- I am the Second coming of Jesus

Sylvia: MeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowMeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeow!!!!!!!!!
me: bad kitty
Sylvia: I have started sleeping with a spray bottle by my head. Now when Jax tries to get too annoying, I just spray him in the face and he runs away!
It works great.
me: whee- kitty torment and sleeping, two of my favorite things
I need a nap
a four hour nap
Sylvia: Does coffee help?
me: not so much
I've been sucking down gallons of caffiene and i still sleep 12 to 16 hours a day
Sylvia: Hm. Maybe in France your chemistry got switched around, and maybe now you need to drink de-caf.
Or not...
me: or maybe I've developed some weird european sleeping disease
Sylvia: Maybe George gave it to you!
The Curse of George!!
me: I would so love to blame this on him
That is it- france was lovely, george made me ill
Sylvia: Makes sense to me. That about sums up the trip pretty well, too!
me: Yep, so it would totally figure that the effects are lingering
Sylvia: Well, it's good that you're going to get whatever it is checked out soon.
me: yeppers
I'm just bummed that I won't be my normal sparkling self this evening
Sylvia: Well, you'll just have to show him enough of your sparkling self to make him want to see more!
me: or drink heavily
Sylvia: So this is wierd.... I just found a random Slog entry about a random painting titled "The Bible Doesn’t Mention It, But Jesus Loved to Sleep Twelve to Fourteen Hours a Day". You're just turning into Jesus!!!
me: OMG- I am soooooo the second fucking coming
That explains so much

Much ado about nothing

So a NYC mom lets her 9 year old son take the subway home by himself after he had been pestering her for months to let him do it.

So of course there are all sorts of freaks who think she is the Worst. Mom. Ever!

How dare she try to teach her child to be self reliant! How dare she teach him not to be terrified of the world around him and to explore it instead. OMG, this poor child may actually grow up to be independent!

Since the Kid was in 4th or 5th grade, about the time he regularly started missing the yellow school bus in the mornings, I've let him take the metro bus by himself. He used to take it home twice a week too after chess club. And to meet his friend William at William's mom's work.

The only reason he doesn't take it all the time now is that his school is walking distance (about half a mile) and William moved to Sacramento. But he takes himself to the grocery store and the video game store and the library all by himself all the time. And he has, since he was 10.

I am not a believer in sheltering kids from reality. They never learn how to protect themselves if they are kept out of the world. The Kid has had a few problems on his own, but always from other kids. And he has learned how to deal with them. He knows that he is fully capable of standing up to a bully (or 3). He also knows that the number one cardinal rule of our house is: DO NOT FREAK OUT THE MOMMY. This means being where you say you are going to be, coming home when you say you are coming home, and answering your cell phone (this last one got him grounded when he didn't get any reception in the library and didn't answer 24 missed calls).

A (Quasi) Daily Meme

You Are a Lemon

You have a very distinct personality. And if you're not being sweet, you're a little hard to take.

You're a bit overpowering, especially in one on one situations.

And while you are very dominant, sometimes your power is needed and appreciated.

You can liven up a dull situation, and you definitely bring a fresh outlook.

You are a bit of an acquired taste, and you tend to grow on people over time.

People feel refreshed and rejuvenated after spending time with you.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Dear Ann Coulter:

Some WASPs do and have thought about blacks, and not just in the Driving Ms. Daisy, fetch the help kind of way.

I am not a WASP (cause I don't subscribe to the religion thing) but I come from a long line of them. My mother (mostly a WASP- she converted to Catholicism later) picketed the insurance company she worked at when they promoted the less experienced white guy over the much more experienced black woman.

But even before that, my dad's very WASPy family were abolitionists prior to the civil war. Actually, I think they might have been the original Lincoln Republicans, back before republicans were all evil and stuff. You might not remember that though, cause you're all soaked through with the evil.

And even though I don't have the protestant part anymore, I still think about blacks. I live in a minority neighborhood. My son goes to a school that is 60 percent minority students and I see daily the disparity between the treatment of white and black students.

So please, as with pretty much everything else you say, kindly shove it up your ass.

H/T to Shakes

Silly jokes from children

Sent to me via text message from the kid

Have you heard of the dyslexic devil worshiper?

He accidentally sold his soul to Santa

Go check out

Kim@Religiarchy's I am Hillary post. It's awesome and so is her site. And her piece on Clinton at Huffpo.

And to all the Obama supporters who think Hillary should drop out now to save the party- if your candidate isn't up for a practice match with a fellow dem, he is most certainly not up for the real deal come November. This is a lightweight round with massive padding compared to rethuglikan tactics.

I promised you clown make up

and clown make up you shall get.

So little known fact about me. Back when I used to be a skinny aspiring anorexic, I wanted to be a fashion designer. I love fashion still, but the silliness some designers use to make their mark just blows me away.

So from the City Magazine Paris comes the following must have Printemps (Spring) Styles

For example- bright yellow Hammer pants. Yep- you can't touch these.

Now I know these are shown with the hip (cough) gladiator sandals (do you remember wearing these last time around? Do you remember that all those extra straps mean dozens of new fun places to get blisters?) but I think they might go better with these:

No, those aren't baby booties. They are powder blue moccasins for grown up girls (ew). Now let me say hurray for shoes that won't sprain your ankle (unlike the heel-less heels that were fall's folly) but these have to be some of the ugliest shoes ever made.

So now that we've got your bottom covered, let's talk about your top. Specifically, make-up.

I bet you didn't even know there was such a thing as "sexy clown" style. But if that much color is not your thing, try this:

It's a little bit Hitler, a little bit Robert Palmer, and definitely affordable as all you will need is one oversized black kohl eyeliner.

Now on to something serious. I am all about the one giant piece of gawdy costume jewlery trend and have been looking for a suitable ring for months. I found this darling piece of bling at the St. Ouen flea market (where we were discouraged from going because the brown people there would rob us blind- I shit you not)
This baby cost me all of 6 euros and I totally would have haggled it down but Ruth wimped out on me.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Things that make me sad

When I started the little "I am Hillary Clinton" meme, I set up a google alert so that when other people did it I could keep track of them and add them to the list.

Over the last few weeks I have gotten a hundred or more alert emails for the phrase "I am Hillary Clinton". I did not remember how common the words I and am are (silly, I know) so ALL of those alerts were for things other than my little meme.

And every single one of them was negative. Every one.

But there is no sexism out there folks, really.

One more reason to be thankful for Bush

Food Stamp Users are now at record numbers.

I would like to point out that my own state has the most dramatic increase at 25 percent. Sweet. Couple that with the rising numbers of people living in poverty and all I can say is:

Thanks Georgie!

And BTW, the thrifty food plan and freezing of the standard deduction are really lovely ways of sticking it to the poor. I am pretty sure that we could take a wee tiny bit out of your dickswinging military budget to make sure that all those poor people can get enough to eat without also risking homelessness.

African Sleeping Sickness

Or the French version brought on by being bitten by a Boeing 777 has wracked my body the last few days. 16 hours of sleep a day, and I could do more but I did have to come to work today.

I perhaps don't have it in me to be too angry/ranty today- so like the song says- tell me something good. Are you desperate for season 4 of BSG to start while simultaneously sad that it is the end of the series (I am). Are you desperate for a spring that never comes? Do you wish you could find truly good store bought beef broth so you could make awesome French onion soup without spending days roasting bones? Did you just rediscover that henley shirts make your rack look fab in a totally not trying way? Cause I'm doing all those things and i want a cookie.

Entertain me peeps. If i can get my camera to work I will have funny commentary on french fashion magazines tomorrow (hint- clown make-up is sooooooo in for spring, I shit you not)

Monday, March 31, 2008

Pardon me while I vomit

You peeps are going to have to bear (or bare- I can never remember) with me for a bit. I am still processing a week's worth o' stupid and you may be getting snippets of conversations for the next few days.

George: What's funny is that the Mormons don't practice overt sexism

Me: Let's see, a woman can't get into heaven unless her husband dies first, I think that's pretty overt.

George: I'm not talking about religion, I'm talking about their lives. You see all these successful, professional Mormon men, but never women

Me: Cause keeping the ladies at home, pregnant and with no income of their own isn't overt sexism? Besides, how is that different from any of the Christian religions that want wives to be submissive?

George: You can't compare two religions, nobody does that. If you did it would be way too complicated.

Me: Actually there is a whole line of academics devoted to comparing religions. It's called Comparative Religion of all things.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

This is what an ugly american looks like

So I have learned a VALUABLE lesson- do not go on a week long trip with someone you don't know very very well. George (previously known as hot doctor, now know as BIGGEST ASS IN THE WORLD) has got to be the worst kind of American tourist ever.

It started as soon as we met in the airport. He started loudly proclaiming that the French should be catering to his every need because we liberated their ass in two world wars. Funny thing is, George is only recently an American. While my grandparents actually did storm the beaches of Normandy and help liberate the French from the Germans, none of George's ancestors have ever fought in an American war. He was not terribly pleased when I pointed this out to him. Later, when he was trying to get "frisky" and I wasn't in the mood, he was PISSED that I wasn't going to roll over and spread my legs for him. When I said that acting like an ugly American tourist was a giant turn off, he couldn't understand why I didn't get that he was just kidding.

So the next day I tried to be nice and he "tried" to be nice. But he turned all his pent up ugly American behavior on me instead of on the French and proceeded to argue with Every. Single. Thing.I. Said. I stopped being nice when George woke me up from a dead sleep because he couldn't figure out how to turn off the bathroom light.

Bernard and Ruth had both decided to keep in check their jokes about how med school would be easier than being mathematicians and Bernard has mad jedi skills at diverting George when it became obvious that his behavior was going to cause me to stab him in the eye. By Tuesday, I stayed home and slept while they went to the Eiffel tower. By Wednesday, George's bitching about wanting a cheeseburger and only drinking diet cokes was making me nauseas. As was his screaming at lovely French waiters in English and interrupting Ruth when she talked to them in French.

I became openly hostile. He deserved it. While watching a French fireman work, George thought it was appropriate to scream at him in English "Success! Success!". The look the firefighter gave George was priceless. It said "Some of us have real jobs you asshole frat boy".

By Thursday, after having George the wonder ass disparage everything I said without having any sort of well rounded knowledge in anything, I took to treating him like an imbecile. At Versailles he made the genius discovery that there was "a lot of Roman influence" to which I replied "yeah- it's a whole art movement called Neo-classical, you dumb ass". He then decided to be bitchy because he wanted a cheeseburger. In France.

George had to leave early (thank god) because he said he had a patient having problems back home. True or not, he still was there about 6 days longer than I could tolerate.

I think I know what was wrong with him though. I think he has the citizen equivalent of "New Money" syndrome. The newly rich go through great pains to show off their wealth and importance as a way to prove that they have arrived. Old Money doesn't have anything to prove. I think as a new citizen, George may feel the need to prove his American-ness by being every ugly stereotype of us there is: arrogant, loud, rude, aggressive, ignorant, uncouth, un-read, incurious and abusive.

That doesn't excuse his behavior, and he is still the only person I have ever felt I really had to restrain myself from stabbing through the eyes. The great thing is that Paris was awesome in spite of George, particularly Friday when we had a lazy frittata breakfast and much informed rambley discussion about life and politics and everything before heading off to the Pompidou where I got to play art historian for Ruth and Bernard. To contrast the behaviors, Bernard who likes art but doesn't know much about it asked me about who "that guy that makes the big square paintings is". At first I thought he meant Mondrian, but then I figured out he meant Rothko. We searched the museum so I could find him the 2 Rothko's they have and I explained how you can tell when a Rothko painting was done by looking at it because they get darker and sadder later in his life, right up until he committed suicide. I also got toe explain the industrial scariness of Leger and how it was very timely with two world wars and the industrial revolution and how Picasso was not the inventor of nor the only person to do cubist figures. I showed him Braque and Gris and Klee and the distorted figures of Modigliani and we all marveled at Niki de St. Phalle's The Bride.

Despite speaking no French and having no art background, Bernard was easily able to deal with the French politely and show a sincere curiosity and humility. George did neither. I am not the most humble of people, but I do think think that travel requires you to act like a guest in someone else's home. Tread lightly, be polite and don't demand respect without giving any.

RQ Cooks- Lazy French Frittatas

I wish I had taken pictures of these- but we ate them too fast.

After wandering around one of the moving farmers markets (that happened to be on our street twice a week from 6am to 2:30p,) Ruth and I went a wee bit produce and cheese crazy. We bought these giant green onions that were perfectly mild and lovely, the best gouda ever, mushrooms, chervil, a bunch of thyme so fresh it still had dirt clods on the end, dill (I LOVE DILL!) olives and peppers, and so much more.

Ruth has all sorts of weird food allergies (no wheat, nothing that ever came from or touched a cow- so no beef, butter, yogurt, or milk, most beans except soy, and a few other randoms veggies like potatoes and bell peppers) so having a kitchen was a huge blessing in making sure she was fed all week and not sick ( a big problem when she travels and the reason I found an apartment to begin with). One of the things I love about my friendship with Ruth is that cooking for her is like an iron chef challenge. She is the reason for the all vegan but the turkey Thanksgivings (she can eat turkey)

After our little farmers market trip I made breaded veal with spring veggie rice pilaf. I also made a couple of lazy ass frittatas- one made with coppa, a thin sliced round shaped bacon and the other with smoked salmon. The recipes for both are the same, though the awesomeness of fritattas means that you take eggs, whatever cheese you have handy, and whatever veggies are dying in your fridge and have an awesome breakfast.

So- Smoked Salmon or Coppa Frittatas:

Pre-heat oven to 375.
Grease a 7 x 9 inch baking pan (I used french butter- the best butter in the world for the bacon one and veggie oil for the salmon cause Ruth can't do butter)

Lay salmon or bacon (or ham or prosciutto) in bottom of the pan in strips. Pull some of the strips up the side so that little bitts will stick out of the top of the egg mix and get all crispy.

Mix 7 eggs with enough water or milk to loosen eggs up a bit, like a quarter cup. French eggs come from super happy, healthy chickens so the yolks are bright orange and they are thick as hell when whisking. Yuo will develop massive arms whipping french eggs. Whisk until little bubbles form at the sides of the bowl.

Grate in a generous about of cheese. For the salmon I used a mild sheep manchego and for the coppa I used gouda. I've also had greek style frittatas with good feta (throw the feta in in largish chunks)

Add whatever chopped veggies and fresh herbs that you like. We used chervil (which has a mild anise scent) dill and thyme. Also a few chopped mushrooms and some of those giant green onions. Leeks would work almost as well as the french green onions, but you could use shallots or a yellow onions too. Or even a red onion if you want the color. You could also throw in a handful of spinach and make a cheaters quiche lorraine or some flat leaf parsley. Some zucchini or yellow squash is also lovely. Or some bell pepper strips.

Generously salt and pepper egg and veggie mix. Pout into baking dish and bake until eggs are firm and set (our oven was weird and slow in france, what should have taken 10 minutes took 20) so check it regularly by pulling out pan and seeing if the eggs shake. When they don't shake anymore and the middle is firm it's done.

That's it. Easier than omelettes cause there is no flipping and you only have to make one for a crowd of peeps.

Dear President Sarkozy:

I have just returned from a trip to your lovely country. As will come to no surprise to anyone with a pulse, the food, the wine, the art, the bread and the cafes were all lovely and awe inspiring. But being that I am an American (who was traveling with a couple other Americans) we thought it would be in your best interest to fill out this little comment card about France so that you may improve your customer service skills.

1) Please soften all French tap water. It is the hardest water in the world, I am sure. I think France has the best beauty products because without gallons of lotion and creams, French women would molt out of their skin because of the hardness of the water. After just a few days of drinking the water, my friend Ruth and I were both oddly bloated and dehydrated all at the same time. Actually, I reacted so badly to the water that my feet and ankles are still swollen to an unusual size. Which brings us to...

2) Please please please get Volvic to import their flavored, fake-sugar free waters to America. What a brilliant idea to flavor water with fruit juice and 2 whole grams of sugar (about 8 calories for the calorie freaks out there- less than a handful of tic tacs)instead of a shit load of cancer causing brain rotting sucralose. I discovered the lemon flavor one last time I was in France, but this time I will be having dreams about pammplemousse (grapefruit) water forever.

3) Cobblestones dude- what is up with the fucking cobblestones? I get them in the old places like Versailles, but you cobblestoned the entire outside of the Pompidou. WTF? Cobblestones hurt, they twist ankles, they make me cry. Please replace all cobblestones with sensible concrete, or maybe bouncy rubber sidewalks.

4) The Metro- WANT! Can you loan your metro system to my fair city for just a week? Pretty please? Friday night we were completely across town in the Bastille area having dinner when it was getting close to metro shut down time (12:30pm). At 12:11 we caught the first train we needed to get back to our apartment in the north end of the 18th. 5 minutes later we got off at the Champs Elysees and caught the next train up to Guy Moquet. We were home before 12:30, including the kilometer walk back to our apartment from the metro stop. In Seattle, I would still have been waiting for the 48 at 12:30 (the 48 is always late is almost a nursery rhyme for bus riders here)

5) Dude, we need to discuss the goat cheese funk. I love goat cheese, don't get me wrong. But goat has a very particular rank ass stink to it. It permeates the grocery stores and cold storage boxes at the farmers markets. A goat brie stank up our kitchen until we figured out it was not something that had gone off, but the natural eau de goat from the cheese. Marie Antoinette had her animals perfumed, I would think you could find a way to eliminate goat funk from cheese.

6) Versailles started off as a home for the elite. Now it is packed full of screaming children (and a better advertisement for birth control than even this commercial

Please either muzzle the children or have child free days at the palace. I am quite sure none of the Louis had gangs of screaming middle schoolers roaming the the grounds. Send them to Euro Disney instead.

7) Speaking of Versailles, it is HUGE. I don't think it would ruin the aesthetics to install moving sidewalks like they have at the airports.

8)Charles De Gaul is the most evil airport in history. Most airports have signs telling you where certain airlines check in desks are. CDG has four giant terminals and not a sign in sight. I am pretty sure that I hiked about 15 miles with a heavy backpack from the train stop to the Continental desk today, all because there was no way to know where the hell i was going without walking for days.

9) Your idea to have French schoolchildren each adopt the history of one Jewish French child killed in WWII is brilliant. Don't let the haters stop that.

10) The Pompidou makes my heart happy. Can I please have a tiny closet to live in on either the 4th or 5th floors. I will happily give art history lessons to hapless American tourists in exchange for a sleeping closet. Pretty please, with sugar? On just those 2 floors I saw works of art by at least 10 and more like 15 of my favorite artists of all time.

I am sure that if you take these few minor requests into consideration, Paris will be the most awesome travel spot in the world. Thank you for your hospitality and attention to these matters.


Welcome Home Your Majesty!


Now get ta bloggin cuz we's all been bored whiles you was aways!  ;)

What I mean to say is, we hope you had a wonderful trip and we missed you.