6.28.2012

An odd request, perhaps -- protest food?

What I just posted on my blog at allrecipes.com:

"I'd like to ask the AR community about what kind of food I should make/bring for a protest.

It is a peaceful demonstration, held at Purdue University in Indiana, to protest the appointment of Indiana governor Mitch Daniels as the new president of the university, which is my alma mater.  (I could go into the many reasons why he should not be the president of Purdue, but I won't because I'm lazy, so Google it and it will be obvious.  A brief but more detailed explanation is at my blog -- http://tempuri.org?link=new)  The police and the university have granted permission and compliance with the event, which will ensue under 90+ degree heat.  

I am in charge of bringing the food, both for the activists and the audience.  I've been asked to accommodate vegetarianism, but that isn't my exclusive recipe choice.  

What can I bring that...
(a) will be awesome;
(b) could make almost anyone happy; and
(c) won't taste like in the current Midwestern drought?

Thanks much."

Any ideas?

This day

I do not like this day. It is a bad day. Fuck this day.


With a rake.

6.21.2012

If anyone is in Indiana...

... we need all the help we can get.

The new president of Purdue University, my alma mater, will be none other than Republican Indiana governor Mitch Daniels.  During his reign as governor, he has slashed over $300 million in education... so naturally, he should head up a university?  What the hell?

Also, Daniels appointed most of the members of the Board of Trustees, which is the group that elected him for president of the university.  I believe three of the members were just appointed this week, which isn't shady at all.  That same Board also said "nah it's cool" to the rule where the president has to retire at the age of 65.  Daniels is 63.  The Board also met in secrecy throughout this process, when usually it's policy for their meetings to be open.  I've seen a few new presidents of Purdue, and the candidates were always announced and discussed freely.  No one knew Daniels was being considered until a few days ago.

Daniels is also notoriously anti-atheist and said that atheists are responsible for "horrible crimes" against humanity.  "But, um, Mr. Daniels... Hitler was a Christia--" "--SHHHHH."

Not that I was going to donate to Purdue on my income anytime soon, but when I'm on the New York Times Bestsellers list/having dinner at the White House/getting interviewed on the red carpet, I will leave Purdue out of the equation.  It used to be a great school, called "Harvard of the Midwest," but this is the worst decision ever.

Anyway, my friend Aaron has done a great job throwing together a protest for next Saturday, June 30, on the Memorial Mall on campus.  He's got permission from Purdue and the Purdue Police Dept., a press release, and supporters bringing sound equipment and other items.  If you're in the area, please join us.

Public Protest Against Mitch Daniels as Purdue President

6.17.2012

This is why I cook dinner.

If I don't, he eats this:


Yes, those are cold hot dogs.



6.15.2012

Happiness.

There's the pursuit of happiness... and then there's the pursuit of categorizing happiness as a psychiatric disorder.


I heard about this the other day:  the proposal to include "happiness" in the long list of mental disorders.  Needless to say, a lot of people are somewhat put off by the suggestion.  Mental disorders are bad things, right?  No one wants to be obsessive compulsive, but everyone wants to be happy.

Fortunately for this doctor (and humanity in general), science is not based on what people simply want.  There is a system for deciding these things.  The biggest factor that helps prove that happiness is a disorder is the simple fact that happiness is not normal.  It's more abnormal than unhappiness.

I shy away from stating simply that I'm a "happy person."  I'd rather just say, "Things are good right now."  I can be content, excited, or laughing my ass off at something, but that does not equal happiness.  The state of happiness is this rarely attainable emotion that, as soon as the thought "I'm happy" enters my head, I panic and know that it's all downhill from there.  Then I'm no longer happy.  I'm anxiously trying to regain the happy and kicking myself for letting something so stupid as my mind interrupt it.


On my moving day over two years ago.  Happy as a clam that David was there to help me move.  Not so happy about the move itself.



Any thoughts on this?  Do you think happiness should be a mental disorder?




6.10.2012

Killer Queen

I'm on a streak of awesome.  Last night, I completed another one of my 12 for 2012:

2. Go out dancing
I suck at dancing, but I'd like to put the nearly $300 worth of ballroom dancing lessons to good use. The only time I ever got the ex to dance with me outside of a dance class was at a wedding, and we stuck out like a sore thumb among the other people our age who were doing little more than hugging while swaying from side to side. I'm going to convince whoever I can to take me dancing somewhere appropriate for waltzing, even if that means we have to crash the social night at an old folks' home.



I went to the Mosey Down Main St. in downtown Lafayette, where my cousin's band The Vintage Union was playing.  And I danced, bitches.


Me on the left; Kate on the right.




AND THEN I FOUND A FOUNTAIN.  The twenty minutes I spent on my hair and makeup were then like, "wtf :(" but I was like, "um, FOUNTAIN," so I did a bit of frolicking.  (frolicing?  froliking?  froliching?)



Good summer so far.  

6.03.2012

My, people love food.

I discovered the Dead Man Eating Weblog, which is a database of sorts that lists out the requested last meals of death row inmates.  I don't read about their crimes, which are included in most entries.  Just the food.  Occasionally, the posts are filled with reader submissions of what their last meals would look like.  I find it odd that the blog inspires its readers to fantasize about a situation that would require them to (a) murder someone, (b) be sentenced to death, and (c) consume food for the last time.

And these readers have ridiculously expensive taste.  And, surely, eyes bigger than their stomachs.  Here's an example:

Lucius O. Cape Town, South Africa 

1 dozen Mossel Bay Wild 0ysters (served ice chilled with 1 fresh lemon, and Tabasco Habanero sauce) 
12 Fresh Grilled and Butterflied Mozambique Tiger Prawns with Lemon Butter and Peri Peri sauces 
Marinated Springbok Chateaubriand with roasted potatoes and creamed cauliflower. 
Roast loin of honey glazed Pork with fresh applesauce, crackling, green peas and buttered garlic mashed potatoes. 
1 small jar Dat-il-do-it Pepper sauce 
Cape Gooseberry-Blueberry Pie with double thick whipped jersey cream and two scoops of Godiva Chocolate Ice-cream 
2 slices Young Amsterdamer Cheese, 2 slices of aged White farmhouse cheddar, 2 slices Blue Tower, 1 slice Cape fairview Brie. 
2 wholemeal Digestive Biscuits and 2 pickled onions. 1 pickled walnut. 1 preserved Fig. 
4 Ice Cold Dr.Pepper and One mug (Mug not cup)of Nescafe Coffee (with milk and 3 sugars) One Dunhill King size and matches. 
A Toothpick. 



No wonder some states have put a $15 limit on the cost of the "last meal"... and some states discontinued the privilege entirely after one dude (in Texas, I think... but then Texas kills everybody... something like eight out of 10 entries on this blog are from Texas) requested a ginormous, expensive meal and then when it was delivered, he said he wasn't hungry.  The dozen oysters alone for this reader's request would cost at least $25, depending on the season.  

But this example is also odd to me because South Africa, where the reader lives, does not implement the death penalty.  So this dude is seriously imagining this.  Having a fantasy about what you would eat for the last time isn't that weird, I guess... kind of morbid, but whatever... but if the fantasy also assumes that you had to murder people and spend years on death row, and assumes that your country has to adopt different laws for your imagination to be achieved, isn't that kind of fucked up?

The inmates' tastes aren't as expensive, though they were probably influenced by mandated cost and what the prison or local restaurants had available at the time.  I'm seeing a lot of cheeseburgers, French fries, fried chicken, and Dr. Pepper.  And every steak that's ordered is requested to be well done with a side of A1 sauce.  As I type this, I have a very disapproving look on my face.

(I mean, shit guys, if you're going to order a steak well done and bathe it in A1, you might as well just eat chicken instead.  What the hell.)

A typical example from inmate Robert Morrow, who was put to death 4 Nov 2004..... yes, in Texas:

Last Meal: Morrow had a final meal request of ten pieces of crispy fried chicken (leg quarters), two double meat, double cheese burgers with sliced onions, pickles, tomatoes, mayo, ketchup, salt, pepper and lettuce, one small chef salad with chopped ham and thousand island dressing, one large order of french fries cooked with onions, five big buttermilk biscuits with butter, four jalapeno peppers, two sprites, two cokes, one pint of rocky road ice cream, one bowl of peach cobbler or apple pie. 

(Note that everything was ordered in excess -- two burgers, large order of fries, etc. -- except for the lone salad, which he wanted to be "small.")

After going through several of these, I noticed few differences in the choices made by the inmates about their food.  The Texans, Southerners, Hoosiers and Appalachian folks all preferred fried, simple food; there is definitely more seafood the farther south and east the inmates are, but other than that, their meals are pretty similar.  That surprised me.  

(But still.  Texas?!  I'm glad I didn't grow up there.  I stole lipstick once from a grocery store when I was 13.  Pretty sure Texas would've killed me for that.  Oh shit, and I've got cousins there.  Ann!  HEY ANN!  Don't get a speeding ticket!!)

However, there was one meal that stuck out to me, from inmate Robert Dale Conklin, who was put to death in Georgia on 12 Jul 2005:

Last Meal: Conklin requested a filet mignon wrapped with bacon; de-veined shrimp sautéed in garlic butter with lemon; baked potato with butter, sour cream, chives and real bacon bits; corn on the cob; asparagus with hollandaise sauce; French bread with butter; goat cheese; cantaloupe; apple pie; vanilla bean ice cream and iced tea. Prison officials said he ate the entire meal, cleaning two plates.

I raised my eyebrows at his taste, which was... let's say... a little more "cultured" than those of his peers.  Asparagus with hollandaise?  Goat cheese?

So then, as I rarely do, I skimmed down to read up on him further... and aha.  He was gay.  

6.02.2012

My guess is that the cats ate the sofa. And later, they'll puke it up.

I paid off three credit cards today and will be able to pay off one more big one (Home Depot, for the master bedroom reno) next week.

  • Thank you David, for making so much money in your last job that your unemployment checks make me blush.
  • Thank you government, for making interest on a buttload of my money all year and then giving a bunch of it back to me.
  • Thank you job, for not hiring someone else.

Tomorrow is another IndyCar race (Detroit), and I'll be making the best lasagna in the world.  

(which reminds me -- I need to update my Recipes page.  meh, I'll do it later.)

In other news, my fitness room is almost done.  David (when he isn't working on the master bedroom, because I hinted that finishing the project before paying off the credit card is normally how these things are done) is going to get a cable guy in this week to hook up the TV, and I've gotta get the cat vomit stains out of the carpet.  Apparently they were sneaking into the room this whole time simply to get sick.  Place looks like my cats party harder than I do.  Bonus points if you think I'm kidding about that.

You couldn't even see the floor in this room.  Now I'm not sure I want to.

We HAVE, however, gotten all the boxes and junk out of that room and into the attic.  This helps #7 on my 12 for 2012 list:

"7. De-junk the house
I wanted to have a garage sale in October, but I was too busy/lazy/mostly lazy to follow through with my plan. While it's still cold out, I'd like to box up old clothes, books, CDs and decorations; those boxes will go in the garage and go up for sale once it gets warm out. I could sell things on Craigslist and Ebay. Things like, say, my wedding dress, which I don't have much use for anymore. (Well... hell, even if I had gotten married, I wouldn't really have a use for it, right?) Point is, there's simply too much crap in my house."

Christmas decorations went into a closet so they're all together.  An old sofa that my aunt Carol gave me years ago went out on the curb (sorry Carol); this morning, the sofa was gone.  

"You can take the sofa out of the house, but you can't take the ghetto out of Lafayette," David said when he noticed the sofa was gone, and I pouted and reminded him that people everywhere take stuff like that.  Then he grumbled about how the neighborhood association and a couple of cops would've come to our door with this situation if we lived in the ritzy area of his teenagehood.  

Anyway, this is what I'm doing with my Saturday.  Cleaning up cat vomit.  I make my parents so proud.