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Monthly Archives: October 2010

Obligatory go vote post. Etc.

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Watch how I STEAL YOUR PRIVILEGE, AMMURIKA!

You know what, it’s coming over all election-y, and so, I feel the need to do a mandatory please for the love of the Deity (Or non) Of Your Choice, get out and vote. Please. Not you, teabagger, you can gtfo my blog.

You, exhausted liberal lady. And you, fence hanging independent.

Please. I know. We don’t really have a liberal progressive lefty party. We have moderate conservatives and WHOA OMGWTFBBQ!!!11!!1!! far far far right holy babby cheezhoss tealibaners. I know it’s tempting to throw up your hands and say “fuck it, and fuck you. Fuck you democrats for not actually giving a shit about my interests. And FUCK YOU republicans, for being hypocritical authoritarian racist lady hatin’ liars who lie. And now, I’m moving to the Falklands because GAAAAAAAH!”

But don’t. It turns out that sea lions are total douchesicles. Really. Check out this smarmy bastard:

Mmm, I'd like you better if you weren't so...common.

So. Also, there is the fact that the libertarian/repub/conservative/teabagger movement is primarily comprised of  two (2) kinds of assholes. The first kind is the asshole who will throw a woman to the ground with his buddies and stomp on her head neck and shoulders whilst wearing a “Don’t Tread On Me” t-shirt, and then somehow handwavingly declare that said lady, by clearly labeling herself a liberal protester, was an OMGsleeprcellterriristicomuslinmixedfabricimmigrantthreat and also he has a bad back and HER HEAD GOT IN THE WAY OF HIS SHOE, DAMNIT! She should apologize, too.

http://jezebel.com/5674654/kentucky-head+stomper-wants-an-apology-from-victim

The second kind is the asshole who privately applauds the first kind for putting that uppity bitch in her place, and then issues milquetoast apologies urging “both sides” to calm down. Because of all that far left communist Molotov cocktail throwing that’s been going on….oh wait. Yeah.

Disgust is a reasonable reaction to this shizz. But apathy just can’t be on the table with these asshats.

Also, enjoy some facts. http://ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2010104222/false-things-public-knows-they-go-vote

So, go vote to show that most of us aren’t racist, that most of us don’t appreciate the 2.5 million Muslims who also happen to be Americans being painted as terrorists, that most of us do know and believe that church and state have no business being in bed together, that most of understand that our taxes pay for the infrastructure upon which businesses and citizens rely, that most of us believe that everybody deserves healthcare, food, shelter and safety.

Please. Or just fuck off and go hang out with these douches

Douche1: I AM SO TIRED OF PAYING FOR ROADS! Douche2: I KNOW! I only wanna pay for roads that I use. I don't wanna pay for roads that poor people who refuse to pull themselves up by their flippers get to use! Douche1: YEAH! PRIVATIZE EVERYTHING!

Hey, we’ve been ogled a thousand times! Dance party!

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In Remembrance and Hope

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Purple Flowers for Spirit Day

 

Today is Worldwide Spirit Day, in remembrance of the LGBTQ teens (and adults) who have committed suicide due to harassment, bullying and hatred. Purple stands for Spirit on the LGBTQ flag, and that is what we want these people to be remembered for. The idea for worldwide spirit day originated with a teenaged woman (yeah, she is definitely owed more than a “girl”) in Canada, and more info can be found here: http://www.glaad.org/spiritday.

I know it may be too late in the day for some of us to wear purple, but I hope that we can all take a moment to remember their lives, to think of them as more than just statistics, but as people, beautiful, imperfect, and whole. I hope that we can remember these people and think of how we collude in the bullying and harassment when we say nothing, when we refuse to see that there is a problem between people, and within our institutions. We are all responsible. There is no neutral place. There is no excuse.

Speak out when you hear others being homophobic, transphobic, queerphobic. It is your problem. It is my problem. Speak out against institutional discrimination. If our schools, workplaces, churches, or governments are unjust, then we are called to make them just.

If you have hetero-privilege, use it to advocate for the safety, rights and happiness that LGBTQ people are denied. It may be too dangerous for them to advocate openly. Be a safe haven. Be kind. Be compassionate.

If you notice bullying, confront the bully with empathy. Offer the bullied an ear and a shoulder and a shield.

 

Paprika’s Guide to Not Being a Total Douchecanoe

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I work two jobs. I have a full course load (fifteen credits). I try to maintain a relatively active social life. I drink a lot of Red Bull.

And, you know, here’s the thing: if I’m going to go to work, I want to know that it’s worth my while. The Writing Center is always worthwhile, of course—the pay is good, the work is fun, and we always have a full dish of candy. Our communal mini-fridge and microwave are nice touches as well.

But waitressing. Well.

The sexual harassment is bad enough. A few days ago, one of the line cooks (who happens to look like a Motley Crue reject) put a paper towel over my mouth and asked if it smelled like chloroform, because, rape jokes! Funny!

Then there’s the fact that I’ve spent the past couple weeks waitressing while injured—yay for knee-wrenching bike accidents! My co-workers have been nice about it, offering to take upstairs tables so I don’t have to climb, but it still blows.

Oh, and then there’s the owner of the restaurant, who wears his ROYAL DICKBAG crown with pride and hates me for reasons unknown. I’d care, but then again…he’s a royal dickbag.

I can deal with this. Well, most of it—the chloroform rag incident is probably getting reported. But people. Pathetic, douchey, dining people. A three dollar tip on a forty dollar ticket is not. fucking. acceptable. You know why? Because waitstaff are legally required to claim ten percent of their sales as tips, and when you tip me less than ten percent, you cost me money. I actually get taxed on money I never received. All because you are a cheap piece of shit.

And lest you think my regular wages cover the various costs of my life, I get paid three dollars an hour.

Yep. Three dollars. So, y’know. Not exactly a living wage.

I’ve heard people bitch about having to tip at all, and while I agree that restaurants should pay waitstaff a living wage, I would also like to point out that, were this to actually happen, restaurants would have to find a way to compensate for that money spent. And how would they do this? Hmm. Well. Golly, I just don’t know…oh wait!

They’d raise the prices on your food, dumbass.  And you’d probably end up paying even more per meal than if you had just left a decent tip in the first place.

Also, sometimes shit goes wrong in the kitchen, and that sucks, and I’m sorry—but it’s not my fault, so don’t let it affect my tip, alright? One of the cooks at my restaurant is paradoxically addicted to both meth and oxycontin, and one night a couple weeks ago he was only the cook working. Luckily we were dead, but even so, he screwed up three steaks and let my order for a bowl of soup sit for six minutes without even looking at the ticket. He didn’t have any other orders up, so I asked him if my soup was coming, and he actually yelled at me.

BECAUSE SIX MINUTES IS NOT THAT LONG AND GOD WHY WON’T ANYONE LEAVE HIM ALONE HE’S ONLY GOTTEN TO SMOKE ONE CIGARETTE SINCE HIS SHIFT STARTED AND ALSO IS TOTALLY CRACKED OUT SO YEAH.

Of course this person should never work in a kitchen, and I am genuinely sorry that his hands are touching your food, but it’s still not my fault if he screws up. Hell, I’ll gladly yell at him on your behalf, because I really don’t give a shit what he thinks of me, but again—if it doesn’t work, it’s not my fault.

And yes, I realize that you, dear customer, have no way of knowing that our only working cook shoots up in the alley, but really, let’s think about this.

You are one of the only people in the restaurant. My service has been (fakely) cheerful and efficient; your drinks have been promptly refilled, and I have made a point of coming to your table to explain that there is a delay in the kitchen but your food should be out shortly. In the meantime, I offer to bring you some fresh bread so you have something to snack on while you wait.

Who do you think is at fault for your missing entrée?

Me, the friendly server striving to make your dining experience something better than dreadful? Or one of the incompetent asshats in the kitchen?

See, I’m not a very forgiving person. I never have been. If I see someone behave horribly, it takes a lot for me to give them a second chance. But then again, if I don’t know why things are messed up, I try not to assign blame—and I wish more people would do this.

Because it’s true—you just don’t know. And on a stressful night with cracked-out line cooks and six entrees on the 86 list, when our soda gun is malfunctioning and we somehow managed to run out of tequila, an awful tip from a pissed-off table just makes everything worse.

There are so many people involved in the successful running of a restaurant—managers, cooks, waitstaff, dishwashers, bussers, host/hostesses, whoever runs the delivery truck that has our food, the guy who failed at fixing our dryer, the owner who refuses to let us just pick up some damn Cuervo at the liquor store, etc. So when something goes wrong, well, it might be your server’s fault, but it could also be any one of those other people—and unlike your server, they all get paid minimum wage or better.

“Tips” is a stupid word, really—it’s not money you give when the service is exceptional and you want to show your appreciation, it’s money that you should feel absolutely, 100% obligated to give, unless the service was hostile and aggressively rude. Tips are what your server lives on—her hundred dollar biweekly paycheck doesn’t exactly cover rent.

So don’t be a dickbag. Don’t leave a dollar fifty dollar tip on a twenty-five dollar ticket. Don’t start yelling when you run out of ketchup. Just be a decent human being—because I’m not sure how many more of you assholes I can take.

Money-making Schemes!

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Alternative Medicine!

So, Paprika and I are both poor, like many of our fellow Americans blahdi blahdi blahity blah recession blah yadda underemployed-di-blah. Being the kind of hard working entrepreneur’s that we are, our first thought was “what totally unnecessary product could we hawk to the unsuspecting public?” This is what came of that particular brainstorming session.

 

Then we realized that turn of the last century snake oil potions probably weren’t selling the way they used to before the stock market fell– so we’ve decided to try and get a cut of that sweet sweet paranormal romance novel money that you hear so much about on the intertubes these days. Now, Paprika and I don’t read those things, baby cheese-hawse knows, but that shouldn’t be an obstacle when you have the writing skills like us!

We’ve decided to launch our careers based on charming paranormal coastal town family trilogies. Mine will be based in the small aptly-named Oregon town of Filbert Cove (Because it’s a cove. Where they grow Hazelnuts. Magic Hazelnuts. Stop.Looking.At.Me.Like.That!) Whereas Paprika tells me that her flavorful and moist locale will be the small, aptly-named Maine town of Apple Bay (Because it’s a bay. Where they grow Apples…oh nevermind. NEVERMIND! I’ll let her go into that.)

But we run into the troubles! Being feminist, we feel that Romance novels are packed full of both delightfully piquant purple prose and shitty stereotypes. Funny stereotypes. So how do we subvert the Patriarchy (yo!) and also rake in enough of that sweet sweet romance novel cash that we may stuff it down our respective knickers and scamper around laughing gleefully?

Well. I dunno about Paprika, but I fully intend to write the standard romancelandia tropes (no rape though, because thats not how we roll, unless it’s labeled as rape and prosecuted etc.) and then supply a zany cast of supporting secondary characters to ruin the moments with their god damned skepticism and witty feminist bon mots.

In the spirit of my original idea, I will name my first trilogy “Angel Be Gone” “Angel Beware” and finally “Angel Be Mine.” This trilogy will be about a series of plucky heroines and their love affairs with three quasi-angel brothers who are a. Desmond, the sensitive, wounded lighthouse keeper eldest brother who can secretly heal wounded whales, makes crazy awesome herbal tinctures and teasans and also believes the heroine (Liza? No. Dawn? Nah, Sandra! Sandra Jejeune! Art-therapist, woman who discovers the naughty naughty angel-sexxoring family secret) is a Slutty!McSlutpants! He lives in the ancestral manse with their depressed, withdrawn, one-time angel fucking mother, Melisande. b. Quincey the middle brother, who is a surly genius photographer-cum (heh heh) mixologist with the amazing angelic gift of foresight, that he selfishly uses only to predict when people need refills and when to  photograph lightning. He lives above the bar, and is broodingly handsome and a well known beach blanket vagina-hound.  The heroine (Layla? hmmm. Penelope? Ah, yes, Ysobel Greene, traumatized accountant who needs to learn to love the sex) thinks he is an asshole, wears white blouses buttoned to the neck, dumpy skirts and sensible Oxfords. Finally, last but not least c. Chester, the rebel rebel younger brother who returns to Filbert Cove after serving as a medic in Kyrgyzstan, having used his super magic useless ability to sprout wings to do…well, a whole lot of not much for the U.N., frankly. But! He is tormented/hawt god damnit! He has sandy hair! He has a dusting of freckles and the first flush of young manhood gracing his classically gorgeous features! He rekindles the old (in this case middle school? Elementary school? I don’t know. Details!) flame with the sexxay slightly older lady who broke-his-heart from afar and caused him to leave town for a couple years (plus he totes has jealousy issues with his brothers, you know there’s gonna be angel fighting in this sonovabitch) Robyn Smithwycke! Robyn now owns and operates the Filbert Daily Annunciator, and is a tough sassy editrix with a penchant for coffee and the need for lurve, twue lurve.

Magic and mayhem and small town intrigue! Our heroines will find that they have powers they never dreamt of (maybe), our heroes will…well, they’ll bone. Alot.

Our delightful townspeople will scoff and question and pop in to remind them to “wrap it up and use a dental dam, you hyenas!” Secrets will be revealed! Sexxoring with it’s attend TERRIBLE metaphors and euphemisms will be had! Feminism will slyly laugh at the whole thing! And most importantly, Cash Will be Made! Watch for excerpts, coming soon from my clever, bitchtastic little brain.


Comments are Open!

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Brought to you by these beautiful women doing a sacred Shugendo dance.

Paprika and I figure that we have enough traffic now that we can open the floodgates and let the comments roll in. If things get wacky, comments will go back to being moderated, but we expect great things from our beloved readerati.

Enjoy, discuss, argue in the great and venerable tradition of the feminist intertubes!

Blueberry Pancake Messes

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So, I made blueberry pancakes this morning. Because…um…blueberries! Healthy! End of Season! Yuh huh. I am tragically pictureless, because I ate them all. In lieu of pictures enjoy this leaping fox

 

Wheeeeeeeeeoooooshiiiit

 

Fresh off the stove. Mr. Lee Hales, being the dangerous furruner that he is, doesn’t like American pancakes (pancakes in South Africa are what we call crepes here. Snobs!), so they were all mine MINE MWUAAHAHAHAHAHA…ahem.

I adapted the recipe from http://erincooks.com/blueberry-pancakes/ but changed a couple of things because that’s how I roll. Here is my adaptation:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 heaping teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch salt
1 1/3 cups milk
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract                                                                                                               1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract                                                                                                                3/4 cup fresh blueberries                                                                                                                  A pinch of cinnamon, very small amounts, nutmeg, mace and cloves. Like, one shake from the container.                                                                                                                                    Butter, for frying pancakes                                                                                                          Best quality maple syrup

“Melt the butter and set aside to cool slightly.

In a large, wide-necked measuring cup, measure out the flour and add the baking powder, sugar and salt. Stir to combine.

In another cup, measure the milk, beat in the eggs and then the slightly cooled butter, and pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, whisking as you do so. Then gently fold in the lemon zest and blueberries.

Now, heat either a griddle or nonstick frying pan, smear with a small bit of butter and then start frying. I just pour small amounts straight from the cup (but you could use a 1/4-cup measure if you prefer) so that you have wiggly circumferenced disks. When you see bubbles erupting on the surface, turn the pancakes over and cook for a couple of minutes, if that, on the other side.”

Sooooo…. I’ll confess, I didn’t exactly follow these directions. I mean, I did with the mixing and that was great. But, I decided I was too hungry for dainty child sized 1/4 cup pancakes and just poured batter right onto my skillet. Yeeeeah. They weren’t photogenic, but luckily I ate the evidence.

What would I do differently?

Be patient and lower the fucking heat on the skillet. That way, they can cook more slowly and  you won’t make a pigs ear when you flip them because the outside is cooking too quickly and the inside isn’t cooked at all. Also, I would suggest adding a scoche more milk, so that the batter thins out a little, but not too much.

Other than that? I would make someone else cook them so I can sit down and savor instead of bolting them hot off the skillet. Maybe.