Friday, December 12, 2008

Positive Thought Bullets

All right peeps, RQ needs some helpful thinking.

I just submitted my resume for my dream job (working to get low income people into affordable home ownership through a community land trust).

And this job, my little friends, comes with benefits. And decent pay.

So I need you all to band together and think happy thoughts for me. I want this job, I am SOOOOOOOOOOO qualified for this job, and I need this job. But the job market is ugly right now.

Since I've tweaked my resume and written the best letter of interest ever, I now must wait, not so patiently, for a call or email. I need you peeps to help make the call happen. Think happy.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The invisible hand needs to be slapped

Those fricken capitalists will tell you (even when all things prove otherwise) that the invisible hand of the market keeps corruption from happening because if a merchant keeps his thumb on the scale then people will shop elsewhere.

Except, we don't live in tiny hamlets where the guy who grows the tomatoes is the same guy selling the tomatoes at the public market. Word of mouth on consumer goods doesn't actually work in a global market where prices are set long before goods get to the supermarket and you can't go spy on your neighbors farm to see if he's trying to sell meat from downer cows.

Case in point: a New Jersey man is now facing jail time for price fixing canned tomatoes. The dude basically bribed wholesale buyers' reps into paying more for goods and buying from his company exclusively.

But how can we regular people know that the price of tomatoes went up because some asswipes were making a personal profit shafting us? We can't be at the canning factory meetings. We aren't privy to the buyer's luncheons where sellers woo clients with cash bribes. We just go to the grocery store and discover that canned spaghetti sauce is now twice as expensive.

And this doesn't just apply to tomatoes. It applies to oil and plywood and health care. Think about that the next time some libertarian fuckwad bitches about government interference. And then offer him a lovely salad of downer cow beef carpaccio and ecoli spinach with price fixed beefsteak tomatoes. When he ends up in the hospital and his insurance has decided it wasn't enough of an emergency situation to warrant their paying for the out of network fees, ask him how that invisible hand is working for him.

Workers of the World Unite!

The Republic Windows and Doors workers who locked themselves in the factory to get their back pay and benefits have won!

I wonder if i should stage my own little sit in at the lab here?

RQ Cooks- Buffalo Chili

After reading my little food post from the other day, Ruth went to the grocery store and bought chili makings (I've been promising her chili for awhile). Sweet!

Anyways- Ruth has all sorts of food allergies including beef, most legumes, and bell peppers. Which makes chili kinda hard. So this is the non allergic Ruth version.

Half pound to a pound of ground buffalo
1 Anaheim pepper- chopped
1 poblano pepper- chopped
2 large onions- chopped
lots and lots of chopped garlic (I used an entire head)
3 cans of black soy beans, rinsed and drained
2 large cans of chopped tomatoes
salt, pepper, chili powder, cayenne, a tiny bit of cummin
a splash of apple cider vinegar

In a large skillet, sweat onions and garlic
add meat and brown
add peppers and cook for just a few minutes.

Throw everything into a large crock pot (Thanks Tobes!)including beans and undrained tomatoes and splash of cider.

Season as you like (remember that chili powder intensifies as you cook it) Set to low and cover

Leave overnight. No really- I cook this chili on low for up to 24 hours. The longer it cooks the more the flavors marry and deepen.

It also works with ground beef, or black beans, or kidney beans or no meat (where I put in some corn and extra veggies for fun). You can get creative and use some adobo sauce to get a really deep smokey sweet flavor to the chili. Or if you are too lazy to figure out your own spices- throw in a jar of your favorite salsa.

Serve with copious amounts of cheese.I'm also making homemade garlic tortilla chips to go with this.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I <3 Dee Dee Myers

Myers (former Clinton Press Secretary- remember when press secretary didn't equal dancing clueless monkey assface?) on the Favreau nastiness

"I can’t stop thinking about this picture, and I confess I find it really upsetting. And, no, it’s not because I don’t have a sense of humor. I like to think I have a well-earned reputation for often irreverent, sometimes ill-advised humor. But I’m not laughing now"

And to Obama- how many of your lackeys are going to keep making sexism part of your schtick? Cause I'm bored to tears by it. Really, dudes. Bush was/is HORRIBLE for women, but at least he never treated his attempts to put us little ladies back in our barefoot and pregnant place as a humorous endeavor.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Fuck yeah!

Some of you may have heard about Republic Windows & Doors. For those who haven't, here's the short version:

Republic Windows and Doors went out of business, giving their employees only 3 days notice instead of the federally required 60 days. Then it came out that Bank of America, the great socialist institution known recently for getting a piece of the cushy federal bailout, told the company that they wouldn't extend their credit so they could pay the workers the 60 days of wages plus back vacation and sick pay that was owed to them.

So the workers took over the factory and refused to leave until they got their pay. Yay! Workers of the world unite!

But now the state of Illinois is refusing to do business with Bank of America until the extend the credit and pay the workers. From Il governor:

On the one hand, powerful special interest get the money to bail them out, the banks, and yet the purpose of that money was supposed to be to provide a line of credit to businesses like this to keep workers working and keep people employed, and yet the Bank of America has yet to step up and say they're going to be helpful to this company

Hey BofA- you fuckers! Please eat shit and die. And to the Republic workers, I am right there with ya.

Home Economics- the great big time suck

I had one of the most happy making phone conversations today with Ruth.


Me: Hey sugar plumb! What's up?

Ruth: Do you want leftover veggie stew for dinner?

Me: Oh hell yes!

Ruth: Ok, I'm going to pick up some rice. Oh you need rice for fried rice too, don't ya?

Me: Oh yeah.

Ruth: Do you need anything else?

Me: A winning lottery ticket. Oh and soda. I will clean the nastiest thing in the world for you if you buy me soda.

Ruth: Sure thing.

Now this may sound like a simple conversation between roomies who happen to like each other, but for me this is the first time since I was little that the day to day responsibility of dinner isn't always mine. And Ruth has an esp like sense for when dinner is just too much for me to deal with.

Dinner seems like a simple thing. People gotta eat. They like to eat. But feeding yourself (and a growing boy-man, and often a large hairy boyfriend) is not exactly simple. Especially when you are super poor. I probably spend an hour everyday just planning for meals.

First- there's the money part. Ok so I have $40 bucks till the 15th, I also have $13 on a Safeway giftcard, but Safeway is an hour out of the way by bus, plus I need an extra $3.75 to get there and back (by bus). Let's see, $40. I need 8 days worth of dinners plus breakfast and lunch for the weekend. That's $5 a day. Not gonna make it on that. Fuck. So let's see what I can do that will get us close.

Second- What have we already got? There's a leftover ham bone in the freezer. $2 worth of split peas and you've got soup. That's 2 dinners. There is the dregs of a pork roast (mainly fat with a bit of crackly bits in it). If Ruth buys rice then I just need a couple of bucks worth of veggies and we've got fried rice. That will only do one dinner. But we've got 3 down and I'm at about $10 bucks. Oh and there's frozen chicken enchiladas in the freezer. That's 4 dinners. And leftover veggie stew tonight. That's 5.

And that is as far ahead as i can think right now. And I'm ignoring one big problem. I need lunch and caffeine. Ugh!!!!!!!!!

Now having money makes this problem only slightly better. You still have to spend way too much time thinking about, planning, and shopping for food. It is tedious. Yet it is a job that most women do everyday for their families without anyone giving a second thought to the time and effort that goes into it. I mean we eat every day. Something that you do everyday shouldn't be that difficult. But I have been known to snap when the Kid asks me for the millionth time at 3pm "What's for dinner?"

Sometimes, I just want to live in a world where food shoots magically out of a tube and no one ever has to do dishes or scrub pots. In lieu of that I would like credit reflected in my social security check when I am older for all the hours that I have spent ensuring that the next generation doesn't die of malnutrition. Just cause it's women's work doesn't mean it's not real work.