Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

It's an end, and it's a beginning too. Something is over, done with for good, and something wonderful is starting at the same time. The closest experience I can compare it to is a graduation. Except a graduation day is kind of sad because you'll be leaving people behind and you know you'll miss your old friends. But this isn't like that at all, because no one who was in the White House yesterday was a friend, nor have they given us any reason to miss them. So this is more like a parole, I guess. Freedom and sunshine and the ability to now pick out your own clothes might be a little scary, but it's heaven compared to the large, angry, and flirtateous cellmate that has been the Bush administration.

Now remember, the conservatives are scared today. We should be nice to them, and speak in soft gentle voices, so they don't see their shadows and hop back into their holes.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

It's Ba-aack

I try not to act superior. I realize that I can be a little judgmental, that I tend to correct people on subjects they have no interest in being correct about. But I truly don't try to be "better than" anyone else. In fact, my biggest turn-off is condescension. That said, I cannot stand American Idol. I cannot even stand that it exists. I feel that it, like most other reality shows (except Project Runway) cater solely to the lowest common denominator in society. I feel that it is the televised equivalent of plastic lawn flamingos. Everyone knows they only go in trailer parks and that they merely prove a complete lack of sophistication, yet somehow they sell. And I simply cannot fathom how people who enjoy this guilty pleasure aren't even sufficiently guilty about it!

It probably stems from my last job. I sat there day in and day out listening to women who still wore blue eyeshadow talk about American Idol, and it's inbred aunt sister: Fear Factor. Who had done well, who hadn't, who had gotten kicked off and various conspiracy theories on how that guy had managed to go while worse contestants had stayed. These women were positively enthralled with the show, a show I had absolutely no interest in seeing at all. So I probably hate American Idol in some part because it was just one more topic of conversation I couldn't jump in and chat about.

Or, it could be because the show SUCKS! For one thing, it's on non-stop. Sure, it's weekly for a little while, but then it preempts normal Fox broadcasting every night. And it's pandering to sadists. It's all about humiliation, about finding the people who can't sing but who really want to, getting them to put it on the line in front of the cameras, and then humiliating them on national TV. Then it's a couple months of voting, and the same viewers vote for the same people every weeks so it's really just a mass experiment in the nation's speed-dialing capabilities. Then the Idol Gives Back show that they shamelessly plug in commercials for the full week leading up to it. I don't know what Idol is giving back to, but I can' only assume it involves some charity that none of the well-paid producers actually give any of their own money to. then the finals! Who will it be? Hot chick, hot guy, average guy but with a great voice, or the guy who sucks who gets the internet joke votes? Then finally, it's over. And someone won! Yayyy. But unless it's a young hottie, no one will ever hear of them again. Carrie Underwood, fine. Kelly Clarkson, she did okay for a while. But the rest of them went bye bye long ago. And yet they still continue to preempt House with this shit!

And now it's coming back. How many seasons can they do this for? How long until someone realizes that Simon isn't witty - he's just an asshole, Paula's on something, Randy acts and sounds like he's taken a skillet to the back of the head, and Ryan Seacrest isn't pretty enough to be that dumb and that successful. He's like Tori Spelling but without the rich daddy.

Why do people watch this show? And why don't they have the decency and pride to be ashamed of it?

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Stock Saturday

As I said in my last post, I am sick. It's just a cold but it's kicking my ass. Usually I just get 2 or 3 day colds but this is one of those 7-10 day colds that just doesn't get any better or worse from one day to the next. So, I have been making myself chicken noodle soup. I do it because it tastes good, it's folk medicine, and it's easy. I just take a baggie of chicken stock out of the freezer, cut it out of the baggie and dump it in a pot, boil and add noodles. But the other day I ran out of stock. So now I had the perfect excuse, still being sick and all, to make more stock. And that's what I did today. Tom let me sleep in and I woke up at the crack of noon to make stock.
I don't cook chickens a lot so I usually use packages of chicken wings for my stock (wings are the best part of the chicken for stock since they have the most bones and collagen) but this time I just used a whole 4 pound chicken. Ever poke a whole chicken after it's been simmering in a pot of water for 5 hours? It's mush. I have actually found separate vertebrae that just sort of floated through the chicken and out into the water. So when the bones got to the point that they crumbled when I tried to snap them, I enlisted Tom's big muscles and we strained the stock (twice) and now the pot is sitting outside, covered, in a snowbank to cool. You can't put a big pot full of hot stock into the fridge or you'll heat everything else in the fridge before you cool the stock, and you can't keep it hot because it's nutrient rich bacteria-bait that way. This is why I always make stock in the winter, for the snow.
So, I will bring the pot back inside once it's cool, and then I will leave it in the fridge overnight and then bag it up for future colds and chicken soup. I may hate being sick, but I do love making stock. I can remember when my mom used to make stock when I was a kid. Boiling chicken necks for a whole Saturday; I thought she was crazy. Now I know that she was, but making stock is still a nice way to spend a winter Saturday.

And congratulations Dawn. My only faithful reader spawning new faithful readers. It's a wonderful thing.

Magical lotiony menthol goodness

I'm sick. I've been sick for a week. And today Tom brought me these magical tissues with vap-o-rub in them. These are the bestest tissues ever. Even Tommy thinks so. He tries to eat them, vap-o-rub and all. But I don't let him. No, he has to suffer with regular Puffs Plus for his runny nose. Some things you just have to wait until you're a grown up for, and magical lotiony menthol tissues are a fine example of that.