Monday, December 29, 2008

The importantance of labels

I'm trying to clear out my freezer. As a way to save money I'm trying to use up what I have, and discover what the heck is on the back shelf. I've already thrown out chicken and a really thick but brown lamb chop.
I have found little bits of meat and bone and fat I know I set aside for stock. Problem is I didn't label these random bits and have no f-ing clue what animal they came from. I can only eliminate goat. Maybe after defrosting, I can discern if it is chicken. I have bought ham hocks to flavor peas and beans. So there is a chance something could be pork. Huge chance something maybe lamb, and a possible chance of beef.
Today as part of my soup making I'm going to do something with chicken dated 6/23. No year. I'll smell it as I defrost it in the microwave and then I'll boil it. If the smell is off it is going into the trash. If I die anytime soon, you'll know why.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Random recipies- Creamy mushroom

The thing I love about cooking is that if you make certain things long enough you can start making up stuff. Today was mushroom soup. Yesterday as pumpkin soup. Not a big fan of pumpkin. Don't ask me why I cooked it.

Anyway, loosely, very loosely based on a Martha Stewart recipe-

Take butter- heat
Saute chopped onion in butter
Slowly add dustings of flour
Add a little veggie stock to keep moist as you dust with flour
Keep adding stock and flour dust till you get a nice thick sauce.
Add thyme
Add 2 sprigs of parsley
Add bay leaf
Add more thyme
In the non-stick IKEA pan heat butter
Add chopped mushrooms
Add salt and a wee bit of lemon juice
Then dump mushrooms in the floury - stocky stuff
Repeat the cooking of the mushrooms until you've cooked up a whole package worth of mushrooms
Add salt to taste
Add brandy to taste
Add sherry to taste
Add a little bit more sherry
Slowly add half-and-half to mix whilst slowly stirring.
Take off heat.
Eat/ Put in containers to freeze.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What we need in an emergency is booze

Reading some blogs on emergency food preparation and storage. I went to a website with a food storage planner. I have a goal of using my basement as place for food storage and I hope one beautiful day to have 4-6 months of supplies. I already have what seems to be a year's supply of TP (thank you Costco). I just bought a 20 lb bag of brown rice, that should last me 4-5 months.
Reading the food storage planner they say, store what you use. So I began listing the items I would store. First item that came to mind. White wine. Second item. Red wine. These were followed (in order) by port and other wines, vodka, water, rice, tomatoes, oil, sweeteners (sugar, fake sugar, maple syrup, and honey), flour, salt, tea, nuts, dried fruit, grains, pasta, beans, onions, and dried mushrooms. Vodka, I must say has other uses besides drinking. It makes a lovey cleaning agent. I have cheap wino vodka, and that stuff is only good for cleaning things with, certainly not drinking. And I do cook with wine and I'm constantly running out of it.
There are no spices on my list because I have some pretty old spices so it is pointless to buy them in bulk. I can never seem to keep garlic. Another challenge is shelf stable food. I'm gonna have to learn canning.

Monday, December 22, 2008


We all make choices, and those choices have consequences.

I chose to go to college, despite having no money.
I chose to drop the whole business school idea and become a liberal arts student. Okay that was mainly due to the fact I suck at math. But I chose not to struggle with the math.
I chose to go to grad school. Twice.
I chose not to go into the 'exciting' career of records management. I could do it, and it is more money. However, I hate doing RM for any length of time and mentally, it's just not worth it to me.
I chose to stay with the government and make it a priority with my job search. I chose to leave the government with the goal of returning. I came back to Uncle Sam.
I chose to buy a house in a 'transitional' neighborhood.
I chose to buy an old house.
I chose to get a humongous 2nd mortgage.
I chose the bedroom the size of a closet.
I chose to have roommates.
I chose to live without a car.
I chose to live without cable.
I chose to impose my own dress code at work
I chose today to break the code due to cold weather.
I chose to make Christmas gifts
I chose to learn how to make lemoncello
I chose to go to the gym at least once a week.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Gifts that I want that I know I won't get

It is Christmas time according to the semi-secular leaning calendar and thus gift giving time. Once again I'm not spending too much time giving thought to what I might get. My biggest hope is 'not crap that I can't get rid of'. So here is some thought to what I'd like, but know I'm not going to get.
In the G-d shines upon me, miracles do happen department:
Peace in the Middle East
1 trophy husband with job
Return of trophy boyfriend minus my desire to kill him
Agency branch opens up in Florida ( I don't care where, Jacksonville, Miami, it's all good) with position for me (run Jeb run)
Loss of 20 lbs that doesn't involve near fatal illness or loss of limbs

Under eh, it could happen:
A button up sweater with pockets
Same sweater in cashmere
Tickets to Shakespeare Co or Studio Theater
Mike Henry answers his phone and we talk long time
Dinner with someone at Corduroy or 1905 or 1789 or Equinox
A warm winter
A lovely roommate who is hardly home who rents for 6 months, seriously can I advertise for a workaholic lesbian with a life elsewhere?
iTunes gift cards
A full day with Biggie Al where he doesn't do that stupid Indian accent.
A complete day spent with friends
Certain people retire
Jelly babies
I lose 7 lbs after a touch of the flu
A date with a guy who knows to open doors

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mass but harder

Second time at Our Lady of Perpetual Suffering (aka Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church)'s Latin Mass. I don't think I've cursed so much in my head (not like I'm actually going to let the words escape) as I do with the Latin Mass. The Latin Mass has some things going for it over the Saturday Mass (29 minutes or less or your next mass is free). For one, there are songs I can sing. Saturday, no singing. Sunday there is a sheet but no music, and I need to see the music even though I am semi-musically illiterate. Unfortunately tonight someone decided that one of the hymns should be sung in Latin.
Okay, Latin. I took Latin in college as a mistake. That was the semester I learned you should add classes before dropping them,, during Add/Drop. I got a C. I made up shyte and the instructor didn't care because she couldn't get tenure so what was the point of trying. Once I get comfortable with Latin, I'm sure I will hear it as a beautiful language. But for the time being, I'm thinking Iuesus f* what the f* was that, where are we now? Imagine that while I'm flipping through the missal trying to match up the rhythm of what Father is saying with the English portion of the page to find the Latin side of the page and match up whatever the f he's saying with the funky Latin pronunciation that's screwing me up.
As I wrote, this was my second Latin Mass. I'm sure after a dozen Latin masses Il have it down and will be able to sing the Nicene creed without resorting to mumbling 'whatever.'

For added linguistic fun I've been listening to the French Canadian band Mes Aïeux (guess whose blog I've been reading) but the remix of Dégénérations here and here.
Regular with English Subtitles

Saturday, November 22, 2008

So cold.. So So cold

The thermostat says 70, but I'm wearing a scarf and I'm still so cold. I think I need to move around. Playing CIV for 6 hours is probably to blame.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Big Tent of Conservatism

Had a lovely chat with Norma Bombay about various topics, one being the Republican Party. She suggested the party splitting, I disagreed. Yes, you have your Pentacostal bible thumpers on one side and your green shade fiscal conservatives on the other, but the two aren't divorcing anytime soon. Fighting, yes, spliting, no.
For one, whoever leaves gets turned into a meaningless 3rd party. Oh wait, there is a meaningless 3rd party. No need to create one. Sadly, that party's candidates won ziltch in DC, but did gain/keep some posts in Central and South Florida. Maybe I should be more fiscally supportive of the DC Libertarians....
Also it's not like the bible thumpers don't care about fiscally responsible government, lower taxes and the like. They do. As well as others between the thumpers and the green shades.

Friday, November 07, 2008

The Good Life

On the crunchy end of things, from crunchy conservative book to crunchy orthodox Jew blogs, both have got me thinking of the "Good Life", that is eco-friendly, non-materialist, and genuinely rich. And so an image, a flicker of a scene pops in. I did write a short story, but deleted it as it suffered from the thing that all my short stories suffer, loaded details.

The image is Poppa is king of his castle, and Momma is the queen, and there are children squealing in delight in Poppa's arms. Friends drop by to visit and the hostess does her best to make the guests feel welcomed. The food is locally grown, either backyard local, down the street at the community garden local, suburban farm local and a few states over local. There are non-local items, like wine, and items that in their nature store well.
In this image of the good life relationships matter more than things. The long term, deep relationships are cultivated and the institutions or functions that support these relationships, be they friendships, familial ties, neighbors, co-workers, lovers or what -have you, are valued.
Quality is valued over quantity.
Charity to all is encourgaed.
Rreading dead wood pulp is preferred over bits & bytes.
And napping is not just for pre-preschoolers.
Speaking of napping.....

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Who is raising your child?

When you have the State help raise your child, don't be surprised when it asks for custody.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

One step closer to the happy place

That 2nd floor reading room with the comfy couches? I went into it. The guys at the desk said I could. Now if I'm allowed to bring in my own reading material (food and drinks are verboten), give me 1/2 of a lunch break and I am so in heaven. I sat on the couch, it is comfy. It just needs a foot rest.
Yes, my main wish is to have a loving husband and children. But since I ain't getting that give me a comfy couch in a big room, a good book and a dynamite lunch. Maybe followed with a nap. Yup, that's living.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Another Happy Place

I've been meaning to add this.
Well I have the main happy place being the 2nd floor reading room with wait service.
Now add the bar of the 701 Restaurant during lunch hour reading something good over mussels and Darjeeling. The only thing that I would change abut that moment is I'd give myself a better wardrobe and accessories. Last week I popped in because I was confused about a lunch meeting with Mr. Young Charming and Handsome, aka my ex-roommate. So I didn't have my lunch with me. I didn't feel like standing in line at Teaism and nothing at D'Aqua grabbed my eye. Unfortunately the $15 wine & lunch at 701 has gone missing. I can't have wine at lunch anyway, it makes me sleepy.
I had carted the Thomas Merton Reader with me, and so far the book had been a chore to read. However, halfway though my mussels I hit a chapter that I connected with and truly enjoyed. Also at that moment, the tea, which was in the first teapot that never spilled on me, was at it's most excellent. The splenda had been hanging at the bottom of the cup, mated with the lemon and it was an excellent cuppa.
Yes, my happy places have reading and dining.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Birth control not it

After a gathering I walked out with someone who was annoyed by something and remarked that people needed more birth control. He was on an anti-child tiff. It happens. I get annoyed with other people's children, but I haven't lately wished for their non-creation. I countered, but honestly not looking for a fight, that it is better to grow your citizenry domestically lest you have to import them.
But anyway, even if you gave birth control away for free, introduced it to middle schoolers you'll still have people having kids, and I'm sorry you'll still need to pay taxes for schools. People in general and poor people are going to have kids. It's a part of life. The sex ed may curb the under aged pregnancy, but teens aren't your only broke people having kids. Looking at the CDC's data sheet on pregnancies, and remembering the book "Promises I Can Keep" about low-income unwed mothers, the bulk of births seem to come from ages 18 and up. I'm avoiding the "teenage" label because 18 and 19 year olds are teens, teens who can vote and sign legal contracts. Of the unwed teenage pregnancies, roughly 2/3rds of them are 18 and 19. Of all the unwed pregnancies, the 20-24 years olds have everyone beat. The 25-29 year olds are kind of equal with the under 20s. The smallest unwed group is the under 15 crowd, with 6 thousand births, trailing behind the next lowest group 40-54 year old women at over 21 thousand unwed births. Pregnant 15 years olds bad, pregnant 40somethings.... so what's the story there?
So your problem, if unwed pregnancies are a problem, I'm going to leave that judgment aside for the mo, ya got to get after the 20-24 yr old women. You figure at that age they are perfectly aware of birth control and how babies come into the world. My sister got pregnant in her twenties, I believe she was aware of birth control. It's that regularly taking it everyday part of the birth control that screws that up. And condoms.... ha. There is something that happens in a relationship where the condom is a symbol of something, dirtiness, distrust, prostitution, and the like. In the book Tally's Corner, about street corner men in the DC Shaw neighborhood, men would not wear a condom with a girl/woman they considered 'nice'. There is also another thing that I seem to see between the lines of these studies involving poor women and childbirth, despite being a bad marriage candidate the women seem to want some lasting connection with the guy and being his baby-momma makes that connection permanent.
What exactly can you tell a 20 or 24 year old woman not to get pregnant if she's unmarried? Well, besides arguing moral reasons that sex should be saved for marriage or stuff like that. Staying school? At 20 high school should be in the past and it would only appeal to those in college already, but then what percentage of women 20-24 are in college. Really at 20 if you're not already in college what is your motivation to start now?
In Promises I Can Keep, it was having the kid that provided the motivation to go to school or get a job or better job. I can see that with Sis. Okay she was not completely responsible after the first, or third kid, but she became more responsible with the kids than prior to their being.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Don't Loan Money to My Sister

I'm still opposed to the bailout/rescue whatever because it still wants to keep credit available to people like my sister. I love my sister, but she's broke, and to loan her money will only make her broker.
Giving my sister more credit, so she can have credit debit does not make her rich. My sister has bad credit. Credit so bad I had one of her collectors call my house. I was so pissed at this I called mom.
But I know, even with sis' bad, bad credit, someone wants to loan her money. And when she fails to pay them, they get what they deserve, nothing and a bunch of unanswered phone calls. And we're in this mess because banks and others kept lending money to people like my sister.

On a side note my roommate said that it was a small but local minority against the package and he didn't know anyone against it. I'm against it. But I didn't call my Rep. because I have no vote in Congress. But you know, I think we all hang out in our own little echo chambers, sticking with like minded people, drowning out or silencing opposing views. This is worrisome for information gathering. Who's going to win the election Who knows? People who dislike Obama for non-socially accepted reasons, won't say. They'll say what they think you want to hear and do their own thing.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What me worry?

My Wachovia stock is down to the value of a take out order of sushi from the medicore sushi place. The lossed value is equal to that of eating out at a really good restaurant or Cafe Atlantico's minibar for two, with tip and a bottle of wine. Not the bottle at the reasonable price that allows you save face with the waiter, no the higher priced wine, the $150 bottle. But I'm ok. It's a good price to pay to not be liable as a tax payer for something the government was going to screw up. As for the loss, I'll just write it off my taxes.
I looked at my Roth, it's crap. And then I looked at my TSP, it is fine. It's down, but it has been down for the past 6 months. And I'm not retiring for another 20 years, so no big deal.
I'm thankful for my guvmt job, my fixed mortgages, my paid off credit card, my credit union, and my health.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thoughts running through the head

Parodies of songs
Math (simple)
Re imagining what I see
Debating myself
Debating what I'm listening to
Punishing myself with painful thoughts (think fingernail breaking in the wrong spot)
Trying to remember when L&O comes on
Envisioning possible futures
Wondering what any given relative or friend is up to right now
Making up excuses of not to do something
Bargaining with G-d
Complaining to myself
Imagining my happy place (it's a library with wait service and a very good menu/wine list)
Inventing games
Wondering about statical data
Narrating whatever is going on around me

The above are just a few of the things that go streaming through my head. I was thinking of this when watching Torchwood. One of the characters got a necklace that allowed her to read others thoughts The problem was she keyed in on the most negative and base thoughts of others, which I don't think is representative of what you'd pick up, and also not everyone can be doing a narrative.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Diversity among Women

Sort of like diversity among blacks and diversity of [insert name of ethnic/gender/affinity group here]. Not one size fits all, not all marching to the same beat. Maybe some more marching to a particular beat than others, but not all are the same.
The whole Palin thing has made me more at peace with whatever happens in the Presidential race, but the Palin thing has also revealed something that needs revealing, diversity among women.
For simplicity's sake I'm making up two camps. Women who dislike/hate/ revile Palin vs women who like/ love/are over-joyed with Palin. From one side, which tends to fall on that of the Left. And from what I have read, the find Ms. Palin to be an insulting choice or unqualified, or a hypocrite (bc of her daughter), a zealot, a liar (valid point on the bridge thing), or any mix of the above. Women on the Right love the fact that she's a working mother, pro-life, Christian (well pro-religion), working class, and a woman. I like her, thus the comfort, though I'm still voting for Obama (I have no good reason 'cept for race), is because she is a woman whose conservatism helps me feel better than my own.
Anyway, the diversity of women pundits and commenters and whomever with a keyboard has revealed a wide range of thought regarding Palin. My favorite on the left is the comment that Palin is not a woman or as the Div. Prof said, "Her greatest hypocrisy is in her pretense that she is a woman." And there are several other comments on the left that she is bad for women. But who are women?
Yeah, I know, critters with boobs and a zillion dress sizes that don't match (what is a size 12 these days). But the problem is we women don't all feel the same about the various political issues. There are pro-choice women and pro-life women. There are women who hate guns, and pro-gun women. There are women for Canadian/UK style healthcare and women, like myself, who are a bit suspicious of government run healthcare. So I am taken aback or offended at times when the diversity of women's views and positions are not acknowledged.
One last thing, I [heart] Camille Pagila. Why? Because she wrote:
In terms of redefining the persona for female authority and leadership, Palin has made the biggest step forward in feminism since Madonna channeled the dominatrix persona of high-glam Marlene Dietrich and rammed pro-sex, pro-beauty feminism down the throats of the prissy, victim-mongering, philistine feminist establishment.
She made a Palin, Madonna, Dietrich cocktail, and my it is yummy. But then again Madonna and Dietrich tend to be the vodka and rum of many of her concoctions.

Friday, August 29, 2008

No matter who gets to be president I win

When McCain announced his running mate of a little unknown woman governor from a state I may never visit, my first though he had lost his cotton pickin mind. But then, letting it sink in I started grooving on the idea. Mainly because if I don't get my black President, I get the consolation prize of a woman 1 heart attack, or Alzheimer's spell (or other health ailment common for a man over 70) away from the presidency. I will join packs of citizens to yell BOO! and surprise McCain to startle him or strongly suggest that he really eat that chili cheese dog fried in lard. Not that I dislike him. No I really like him, but, you know....
I'm still voting for Obama. Because of the Black thing, which is stronger right now than the conservative thing. And that does sadden me, as it reveals that I'm a crappy conservative. But I have a rationalization in that a Black president would hopefully shut up those who share my ethnicity who are stuck in the victimhood mindset. Second, Obama is courting those who proclaim their faith and that's something I'd like to encourage and see more of from the Left. As opposed to the anti-Christian rhetoric that deems anyone who believes as a fool.
So no matter who wins the White House, I'm happy. Thanks Mr. McCain.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Music and the problem of getting older

The problem is you actually wind up listening to, and contemplating the lyrics. The only way I can explain my love of some songs during my youth is I paid more attention to the beat then what the heck anyone was saying. in Culture 11's (conservative version of Slate) article on music and weddings, Lil John's "Get Low" is probably not the best thing to play at the reception with Grammy and the 5 year olds around. Neither would most of 50 cent's stuff. Golddigger is fun to dance to, but poor taste, even bleeped, for a wedding.
When Nora Bombay and I were in the car the other day we noticed the lyrics of some song, I forgot what song exactly, but they were not good. Songs we like can be degrading to women and contain the bleeped N word, which she can't say and I won't.
There are mixes I can't listen to because the crude graphic sexual descriptions are too much. Good beat, great hooks, but really I don't wanna know what you do with some random man or woman you picked up at da club for sporting sex. Not causal sex, recreational almost like a sport like activities.
Maybe that's why I'm fonder of the blues and jazz. Yes, Eartha Kitt, total money grubbing slut in her music, but there is much to leave to the imagination.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My Super Villian

For a few weeks I have been imagining a super villain. The problem is her only super power is the ability to raise large sums of cash.
She is Dr. Emily Vahl (E. Vahl) head of the pro-Eco anti-human non-profit whose goal is to knock the human population down to 1 million people. 1 million because it is under a billion and the shock of that amount of human loss should help with greenhouse gases and other human caused population. Her organization funds and enhances wars, and develop deadly diseases particularly in 3rd & 2nd world countries. In industrialized countries they try to promote activities that would promote terrorism, and sterilizations. The organization's goals are met in two ways, prevent people from being born and knocking off the ones who were born.
Dr. Vahl sees herself as an alien, sent to rid the Earth of the worst of humanity. She believes the world is better off without humans. There is something mysterious about her that leads her to believe that she isn't human, but it would defy logic to believe she is anything but human. Going in a theological direction, she is an agent of Satan whose job it is to exploit the worse of human behavior and use that to destroy humans. The reason why she heads a pro-environmental group is it is her way of denying the evil of her plans and actions. By making the environment an excuse for her actions she feels justified to do what she does.
I haven't thought of a hero perfect enough to fight her. I did imagine a hero of sorts who also works for a non-profit that likes to go to 3rd world countries and save lives. But the problem is that it costs money to chase Dr. Vahl around. Money, better spent on vaccines.

Friday, August 08, 2008

G-d as It.

It. Not he, not she, but it.
I was just thinking of the 3 in 1, the trinity and specifically the Spirit, which sometimes defies description. G-d the Father, he, he who is the great I AM. G-d the son, describes the Father as male. There may be some translations and other great theological interpretations as to the masculinity of the Father, but here, now, the Father is he. The Son, being born of a virgin and raised from infancy to adulthood, I'm going to take a leap and say he was male. However the Spirit, that grace, that love, that gaaaah [waves arms wildly] seems neither male nor female, as the joy we experience when encountering a friend or the relief of forgiveness is neither inherently male nor female.
This neither male nor female it, is neutral. Well, the most un-neutral neutral thing ever as a powerful force that can change lives and make the impossible, possible, that can possibily be. And this Spirit, is one and comes from the Father and the Son, and is part of this great trinity.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Great Pudding Failure of 2008

The mistake was using 2% milk. I thought I was being clever. I thought I was being smart by not using cream and using a lighter dairy product. Well, I was very, very wrong.
I've made chocolate pudding twice. Both times I got wonderful yummy pudding that went well with the Dutchess of Duke Street series I was watching. I mean how can you watch a character whos life's ambition is to be the best cook in all of England. Say that with a cockney accent. So I imagined myself as an Edwardian working-class English woman making up the best pudding fit for the Prince of Wales. And viola, great pudding.
I tried my hand at vanilla pudding. The recipe was different and said cream was optional. I think that was my mistake. So I wisked and stirred for what seemed like forever. I wisked for about an hour it seemed when I gave up and added more cornstarch. I wisked over medium heat some more. It still did not really thicken. It tasted like pudding but it didn't have the texture of pudding. I finally gave up and threw in a bit of gelatin left over from the mango sorbet I made. Now I have a freak pudding/panna cotta monster in my fridge.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Oh but the Big Ben Looks so lovely from the Thames

Today I had a lunch meeting/appointment with Fr. LEV of Our Lady OPS. It was a good talk. However, afterwards I feel less ready to cross the Tiber. Yes, there's like gang warfare over on the Thames side of things, but really, is it that bad? There's actually a nice peaceful part where you can hardly see the waters churning.
I'll probably try a one on one RCIA, see how that works out. It may work out, it may not. Let's see.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Normally this would go over to the more popular blog but I want to hash it out a bit here.

Growing up in FL there was a community center that was about 3 blocks from the house. Attached to it was a swimming pool where we paid .50- 2.00? for entry and the right to splash around. From as early as I can remember to even now, I have made use in some way of this community center. As a kid the greatest thing about it were the swings, where you could swing real high and jump off. Rubbery seats that were as hot as all get out in the noonday Florida sun and metal chain link served as an object of fun. Inside the center, lame board games, basketball you couldn't play (other kids bigger & better players than you) and an adult who was busy doing something else. As I got older, it was the place I went to vote. Last year, it was the place where the family had the repast for my grandmother (not the mean one, she's still alive).
Now, when people speak of community centers around Shaw, I question if those places would serve me as well as the one in Florida. I doubt it. The focus is on kids. Well I don't have any and I'm not one. I'm sort of doubting that the ones on my block would go to a center as their parents and guardians keep them on a short leash. As in don't leave the block and be where I can see/hear you leash. There might be a few others who may get permission to go, but I wonder realistically how often they'd go, and what else they'd fill their days with?
The Kennedy Rec Center is a nice center and does get to a variey of people in the neighborhood and probably does more in the way of reaching out to community. Not just the kids, though they make up a huge block of who I see. I also see adults of the white mid-class variety on the tennis courts. There are classes offered that reach out to seniors and not-so seniors. There is meeting space, a weight room, in other words, other things for non-youths that would bring not just 1 or 2 segments of the community.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A bunch of superheroes

The man to runs the joint where I work likes to be called "professor" as opposed to "the Archivist" or Dr. Such N. Such. "The Professor" sounds like a comic book character, like Professor Xavier of the X-Men.
So say we had a agency of superheroes within the agency. So up top we have The Professor, who can only appoint powers. Then we have the Librarian who can access any published material in English with just his mind. The the Conservator, who has nifty weapons like the spatula of DEATH, and glues, and tape and mylar. The Conservator can trap bad-guys in mylar so tough that they can escape. The Electronic Archivist who is like the Librarian but can access any thing that is in any computer, despite firewalls, that is linked up somehow, with his mind. The Intern who can copy anything, documents, voices, appearances at will. And lastly, the Records Manager who can walk into any building and and immediately has knowledge of every record, electronic, A/V or textual in said building right down to every single Post-it Note.
Over at the Library of Congress the other Librarian (there would be several in this universe) has a whole team of minor librarians with superpowers as well as the Poet, who has the power of suggestion. The Musicologist, who can do fancy things with notes and can play ever know musical instrument. And the Cataloger who can put anything in oder, not so much a superpower but rather OCD on steroids.
The superheroes go out and fight waste and corruption in he government until their operation is cut down by their arch nemeses, the President of the United States. The Conservator goes rogue and becomes a murderess for hire and the Records Manager becomes a corporate spy. The Cataloger goes insane and is locked away, forever.

Friday, June 06, 2008

BSG and why

I am loving Battlestar Gallactica. I would love it even more if the Sci-fi channel would post the episodes on-line a little sooner. But tis my fault for not having cable.
The ex-nun Barbra Nicolosi, with her blog, got me curious about BSG, and I see some of the depth of the show. There are some deep questions like if should we exist (do we have the right), and how we treat others defining who we are. Really what is the difference between a regular old human and a skin-job? Besides resurrections and goo-baths. And if we find that humans and skin jobs are pretty much the same with very little distinquishing them from the rest of the human race, what does that say about humans who have treated skin-jobs inhumanely?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Duh Vinci Code

I'm all out of BSG, so I'm back to watching regular movies with the odd British TV DVD thrown in. One of the films on the Netflix que was DaVinci Code. I watched it, and well... I'll review two movies.
Let's pretend I don't know a thing about Christianity, never heard of it. With that it had good cinematography, lovely locations, and action. However the heavy dependence on puzzles started to annoy me. Also I'm not a big fan of conspiracy theories. Working at the JFK Prez library led me to believe that there are too many kooks out there with conspiracy theories. Unfortunately, suspense of belief only goes so far with me. What only 1 guard in the Louvre? Offices in the museum part? Of the museums where I've worked the admin stays as far away from the tourists as possible. No security cameras around to catch the killer? Seriously, Law & Order: Paris would have had the murder of the curator wrapped up in 20 minutes.
Second review, as a Christian. Good lord, where do I start? When you bother to remember the Eastern Orthodox Church, the history given is garbage. Then again most of the history is garbage. Second, Mary M. goes to France/Gaul. Why? Why not settle in Rome? Or Egypt? Why the F Gaul? Third, JC, who was he because if not part of the trinity, who cares? Scenario A: JC not son of G-d, but a prophet with mystical powers. Wouldn't that be Islam's take on JC? So it wouldn't matter if he had kids. Mo hammed had wives and kids, so same diff. Scenario B: JC, son of G-d, father of some French peoples. Irresponsible cad. Let us remember he did bother to take time out from suffering and dying (Can't remember where in NT this is):
JC: Hey, you there, apostle.
Apostle: Who me?
JC: Yes, you. Old boy (imagine this all with ox-bridge accents), I'm in a bit of a pickle. I'm going to be leaving, but I will return at some point, but in the meanwhile I'm going to need someone to look after my dear ole mum. Could you swing that for me?
Apostle: Um, sure.
JC: Mummy.
Holy Mother Mary: Yes, dear?
JC: That dear fellow over there is your new son. Apostle chap, this lovely woman is your new mum. Mummy, apostle, apostle, mummy. Now I'm going to get back to suffering for the world's sins while you two get acquainted.
So, if regular JC took care of his mother, why not his "wife". And if anyone's womb is all that and a bag of chips, it would be that of the holy mother.

Monday, May 12, 2008

It was time

I will miss my roommate.
But it was time for him to move on. The Love Shack weekends chased me out of the house, but besides that it was great. I will miss having a 1/2 dressed handsome young man running around the house. Men are interesting creatures.
He and his girlfriend cleaned his stuff out this weekend. And as I thought, it took him more than a day to clear it out. We're still doing final clean up and damage. The damage is minimal, and he's taking care of it.
Tonight, on one pass by to clear out the little stuff, he brought me a dozen yellow roses. I'm a sucker for cut flowers. He is a really sweet boy and I will genuinely miss him and wish him the best.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

That fish recipe

There was a dish I made but sadly failed to print it out, save it, bookmark it, and now it is in my crap-shoot memory. Based on past failure and last night's success, this is what I think it is:

Salmon or Steelhead trout & Honey

Salmon/Trout skin on
Orange juice and/or pink grapefruit juice

Mix lots of honey, grated ginger, and the juice together and marinade the fish for about 1/2 hour. Then take fish cook on stove in pan. Butter was used, but I'm kinda doubtful it was needed as I just wound up pouring the marinade in the pan and it cooked in that. Cook skin side first then later flip over. Don't over cook, leave slightly uncooked. Remove fish and reduce liquid by 1/3. Pour reduction on to fish.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

For the kids

Sleepy angry 2 year old
Originally uploaded by In Shaw
On another blog I posted about another subject relating to government programs to, I guess, help poor people. While writing that up I got to thinking about a podcast (back when they had those available) lecture about effective compassion, where the lecturer asked if your brother (or other immediate relative) was in need, what would you want to help him? So looking at the pictures of my nieces and nephew, I thought, well I sure as heck don't want them in any sort of sorry city run 'job program'.
I want the mean 2 year old (pictured), the exceptionally smart 8 year old and the bourgie blacexican 5 year old to have careers. I'm not too worried about my nephew, he's been legally adopted by my aunt & uncle who have successfully raised two college educated children, one of them a boy. It is pretty much a given that he will attend college, hopefully, he will not get a B.A. in English.
I have been informed of my purpose on this planet by one of my aunts. And that purpose is to put the 8 year old through college. If she goes to UF, then that is totally possible to cover tuition, with enough time I may be able to spring for housing and a meal plan. If I have enough left over, then the angry 2 year old. But right now, I'm thinking community college for her, provided she doesn't knock over a liquor store before then.
So no, no 2-3 month job training for these kids. No, I want them to get a crappy minimum wage job at 16, go to college and do work study, then graduate and get a crappy entry level salaried position. So crappy, they begin to think..... grad school, and really, they are on their own for that.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Virtue and goodness

Cross-posted from another blog:
I think it was Law & Order:Criminal Intent where the Dentist was found dead and the kids rifled through his stuff. They saw the deaceased or dying DDS, went through his stuff and left. In the interrogation the mother of one of the boys claimed that "they were good boys". Then the detective pointed out if they were good boys they would have called 9-1-1 instead of doing what they did.

To me this pointed out our definition of 'good' is completely messed up. I understand the mother's definition of good, as in lack of doing incredibly evil things and the detective's definition as proactive goodness. This made me think of something I read from the Eastern Orthodox tradition in trying to make a point distinguishing themselves from the Roman Catholics, about it's not the avoidance of evil but the pursuit of virtue that we should concern ourselves with.
The minor characters (the boys) should have chosen the more virtuous path, trying to help the dentist, or calling the cops, or reporting it to an adult.

We blame the citizenry of a country or state or city for tragedies and injustices when that citizenry stands back and does nothing. Even if they did not elect the monsters in power, or even if they did not participate actively or passively in the wrong doing, they are blamed. Because they did not pursue the virtuous path.

So what if our judgement stands on what we have done, and not what we haven't done? Like some standard college test where the right (virtuous) answer gives you points, the wrong answer subtracts points, and no answer neither adds or takes away.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I still don't want your d*mned pity

I think, and I'm not 100% sure, that I was the subject of someone's pity. I hope I am wrong. Though the more I think of it the madder I get. Luckily, if my theory is correct, it has blown back into the pitier's face. And that gives my little sadistic self, joy.
The reason for the anger, is the problem with pity (as opposed to compassion), in that you just see the problem and not the person. Yes, I'm imperfect in many ways, some that I readily acknowledge, but many of those imperfections are not really worth pity. I just find it insulting that I'm defined by my problems and imperfections. Another problem is I believe I'm everyone's equal. Well, in general. Yes, there are people better than me when it comes to math, science, theology, etc, however when it comes to my worth as a person, I believe I'm your equal, and by the same token you are mine. Pity, to me seems to mess with that notion of equality.
But I'm not innocent. I have pitied. I pity because it is cheaper and faster than compassion.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I don't want your pity

I've been thinking about the difference between pity and compassion lately. I first heard of the difference with the Acton Institute lecture. Then something else got me thinking about the diff recently. Sleepy now so more later.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The need for humility

I received some praise recently and I felt myself wince at it.
I like praise, but more accurately, I like feedback. Constructive criticism and pointing out what was done right. I get a thrill when something I've done has done someone else good and that someone tells me about it. I like to know when I've best served my fellow man. I find it helpful when someone points out something I've done, that could be done better without wandering away from my main goal. However inflated praise, I'm not too keen on, it screws up with my attempts to be humble at times. So I wince.
Please do not mistake humility for low self esteem. I'm a child of G-d, nuff said.
The reason for this posting is a slight annoyance with persons who in their roles as experts and people in positions of leadership/other who do not approach/serve others with humility.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

For me, and maybe others, dreams are not like movies. I'm not simply observing a random mess of events. No. In these dreams I already have back story, there are symbols that I , as a participant can interpret, and I feel. There can be feelings of love, loss, burning hate, deathly fear, and crankiness. If strong enough the feelings can linger into the waking moments or be the reason for the waking.
So last night I had a dream of betrayal and humiliation. Oh, that sounds so soap opry. Well it featured a Bollywood actor, and goodness knows Bollywood is not the bastion of deep cin-nee-ma. There was a Bollywood movie I saw once where apparently all the white people in England died out as the buildings were pretty much British as was the school style, and three men, waaaay older than their characters played young men at a school. One actor, playing the cool leather jacket wearing guy, wore some serious cake make-up. Anyway, a similar character in the dream, with the make-up. Really, the make up was its own character. In the Bollywood movie I remember the actor from, he has one of the more steamier and more modern dance numbers. Whereas there is traditional dance (all edited together representing what I don't know) for another female character who is part of another couple. See lotta back story, which makes explaining dreams not worth it.
I can sum up the dream better, than explaining it. Don't trust actors. Or maybe dancers? Dance played a part in dealing with the betrayal, that and backleading. I let the Bollywood guy lead and in dancing the lead is supposed to look out and take care of the follow so she, will follow. The lead in this case did something that violated my trust as a follow, and upon realizing my trust was misplaced I took the only control I could and back-lead to save as much face as I could.
What lingered in the waking hours was white hot pain of a feeling of a trust violated. I haven't felt that lately in real life, thank goodness. But it was so strong that I'm fired up to prevent ever being in that position. And maybe I need to rent that stupid film again.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Last night and this morning I was haunted by the memory of a (should be now former) head of the medical association that I once worked for. During the DC convention (the following year's convention left me stranded in Denver on 9-11) this head, a surgeon born in Malaysia, took a number of the staff out to dinner to a Malaysian restaurant just south of Dupont Circle.
Addressing the crowd of family, association members/doctors and staff he spoke of his humble beginnings and how the Methodists educated him and he credited them for the doctor he had become. The Methodists provided his primary education and seemed to have been an influential presence in his life.
Maybe it was seeing Major Barbara, member of the Methodist spin off Salvation Army, and thinking about missionary work.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

12/19/2000 10:54:39

Is the time and date I got annoyed and pissed off at my parents. That is the date stamped on their "Final Judgement Dissolving Marriage". Beyond that, I am so hearting the Internet.
I went on-line to see what was up with the family homestead. Mom owes the county less than $200 to pay the property tax on the house and the lot, which are roughly 1/4 the size of my block. The county, though not having the prettiest (actually it looks very, very lame, I expected to see fluttering butterflies & dancing groundhogs lame) website, does have some good stuff linked up. Not only was I able to bring up the property, see how much that worthless piece of dirt is worth ($40K), but got links to liens and my parent's divorce judgement, which... I see that "Husband shall transfer to Wife by quit claim deed all of his right, title and interest in the house and land at XXX NW XX Avenue, BFE, Florida." Daddy has failed to sign over a quit claim deed, mainly because mom has failed to get a loan just for the house. If I get a promotion the first thing I'm doing is buying crap house from the parents and clarifying who owns what and selling it to my sister and the illegal Mexican.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hating Poor People bc They're Poor, Makes As Much Sense As Hating the Rich bc They're Rich

I was in a situation where I encountered what definitely had a whiff of 'ew, poor people' about it. Diversity isn't without its challenges. When I advertise the room out I try to weed out the people who just can't deal with poor people period. However I'll take the people who will later have solid reasons for disliking certain poor people. But I digress a bit.
Coming from an impoverished American background and now being quite and unapologetically bourgie, I do meet other members of the middle class, raised that way, who have no patience or sympathy for the poor. Or maybe what I'm sensing is a lack of obligation to the poor, particularly when the poor people in question live in the same friggin neighborhood as you and you have to deal with them as people and not as an abstraction. The spirit of the dislike of the immediate poor seems to me to have the same air about it as the dislike of the rich for the simple fact that the rich are rich.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Not by faith alone

Last evening, I ran into one of my neighbors, Bry who was sweeping up the sidewalks and the gutters. Bry and his wife are great neighborhood assets. The bought their troublesome (water problems like you would not believe) house after years of renting. They had come from Chicago, where they lived between the territories of a Latin gang and a Black gang, oh and they're white. As a way of dealing with the gangs, Bry would sweep up the trash and pray for the dealers... quite audibly. Anyway, he still sweeps up trash, usually on the weekends, but he said the weather was so nice, why not that evening?
Bry besides his pay the mortgage job of non-profit faith based grant something or another, is an artist. And we got on the topic of Christians and art and I was so relieved to find another soul who despises bad liturgical dance as I do. Sadly, I've only witnessed one example of good lit dance, most of it, as Bry said, are girls waving their arms going 'look at me, look at me.' As an artist, Bry finds that sort of thing offensive. We talked about how important it is to be skilled and programs to train Christians to actually be good at something and be in the secular world. The purpose not being to aggressively push the gospel, as agnostics and atheists might interpret the activity. But rather, to be a presence and minister when the opportunities present themselves.
So I leave you with this:
Say no to bad Christian Art
Say no to bad christian music
Say no to bad christian dance
Say no to bad christian movies
Say no to bad christian novels
And avoid the Left Behind Series like the plague.

Monday, January 21, 2008

I should be asleep

But I'm not.
My sleep has been disturbed for the past few nights for one reason or another. To be fair, I can blame a mouse for one of those nights. Right now booze is not helping and I'm not going to go with Nyquil, my fav knock out drug of choice. Guess the only thing to do is read more books.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Well the plus side that Ron Paul finished ahead of Rudy Giuliani at 10% in Iowa. The downside is that he finished behind the 3rd place ties of Fred Thompson and John McCain.
Mike Huckabee looks like he's gaining weight, just saying, that or he needs better fitting clothes.
Also I'm quite happy that the Chosen One*, Obama, kicked Clinton butt. I just don't like her. I like her husband more than her, but her husband ain't running.

*Cause Oprah said so.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

So it's 2008 big deal

I was reading another blog, that I normally don't read, but I was reading the comments and a poster said that it was 2008 now and things are different. Actually, I find statements like it is the 21st Century or it's 200? and we're all supposed to beyond a certain kind of thinking or living or whatever, tiresome and meaningless. In years past I have heard that because it is whatever year it is, that Jesus, religion, conservatism is out and in the past, as proclaimed by folks who cared little for, or downright hated, those things.
It's 2008 and Jesus is still big in my life, as is the great I AM, and that fuzzy hard to explain Holy Spirit thing.
It's 2008 and I'm still cooking from scratch, because I like to know what I'm eating, and revel in the joy of creation.
It's 2008 and I can't wait till Spring when I can experience the miracle of life when I plant seeds in the soil and food and flowers come forth.
Yes, 2008 will be its own unique year, as was 2007, 2006, and so forth. And each day as I have done since the day I was born, I will change a bit by bit and the direction I grow or prune is not determined by man or other proclaimers.
And the clock is never turned back. People going back to the land, picking up old skills, near lost languages, neglected customs, revisiting practices associated with the past are not turning back the clock as those who do come with the knowledge of what it is like not to have those things as a part of their life. I return to cooking from scratch with the knowledge that though microwave cooking a prepared frozen meal might be quicker and simiplify parts of my life, that prepared stuff has obnoixous amounts of salt, contains ingredients I can't pronounce, and is limited in the kind of variety that I can get. I know what the alternative is, and though it is the future, I don't want it.

Nightmare for the new year

This is of no interest to anyone but me.
But last night I had a disturbing but good in some ways, dream.
One of the disturbing bits of the dream was a married man tried to kiss me twice. The good part, was though the attempts were made, and they weren't without their attractions, I resisted. Asking, who's driving the car? (It's a dream, these things don't make sense) and what the hell are you doing?
The other disturbing bit was I lost my job. Because I didn't show up. Showing up is one of the things I do best. In this dream, I can resist the affections of a handsome married man, good, but I can't show up to work? Bad. And on the phone I get an offer for a GS-5 job that I have to be at around 6pm, but I don't leave the house till 6pm. And that's when I woke up. The job losing/ not being able to show up on time scenario was too disturbing.