Thursday, October 30, 2008

Always Left of Center

Your political compass
Economic Left/Right: -5.12
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.36

I was reading Poor Impulse Control today, and she posted about this under the post with the adorable picture of "Panky with Pumpkins". I can't believe how big he is! I can believe that I'm left of center. I really don't have crazy extremist views, I swear.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm Sure Liberals Do It, Too

But this is a story about asshole Republicans.

Cops for Bush Arrest 'Liberals,' Say Five
JERSEY CITY (CN) - New Jersey police officers arrested five people who were posting political signs, calling them "a bunch of fucking liberals," say the five in Hudson County Court. The cops added, "It's not your day. We like Bush."
After they were arrested and taken to the Kearny City police station, the plaintiffs say, "several police officers continued to chastise plaintiffs for posting political signs and working for 'liberals.'"
After holding them for hours, the plaintiffs say, the cops said they would let them go because one plaintiff "is in the ROTC. He's gonna join the Army. You guys are lucky."
Plaintiffs say they were posting signs legally. They demand punitive damages for false arrest, harassment, malicious prosecution and civil rights violations. They are represented by Mitchell Stein of Parsippany.
Members of my family, please feel free to chuckle at the in-joke. Everyone else, please remember that voting is really important.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Mail Bag, October 17th 2008 Edition

I received an email this morning entitled "The effects of the economic downturn in Britain". It contained the following image:

British Economics

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Many a Day Goes By

Made the pomegranate lamb last night, with some risotto on the side. I was going to use shallot in the risotto, but shockingly, I was out, so I just used chopped white onion. I tossed in a couple of cloves of roasted garlic and smooshed them in there, too. Other than that, just some chicken stock, some water, some white wine, & some parmesan cheese. You know, that sounds like a lot when you list it out, but it really wasn't that bad. The secret to good risotto is to get a stove-height stool, so that you're not thinking about sitting down the whole time that you're stirring.

I didn't watch any TV or talk about any politics. Very relaxing. I played a little Rock Band, and found out that I really don't know "Where'd You Go" by the Mighty, Mighty Bosstones well enough to sing it. I'll have to listen to it a couple of times.

My oven was smoking, again. I'll have to clean it this weekend. I so do not want to clean an oven.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Random Thoughts for a Tuesday

Thought One: Everyone thinks that their opinion is correct, especially me.

Thought Two: Brooke Burke may have won the battle of the boobs last night, but Kym Johnson is always a competitor. That's some display she puts on.

Thought Three: Will baking bread really be cheaper than buying it already made? I can't tell. I can tell that I really want to make bread with some extra fiber punch and no white sugar, so I guess it's a-baking I shall go. The first loaf of rye bread I tried didn't rise enough, and was way too dense. My second bread attempt was monkey bread from a mix, and that went much better. I managed to be patient enough for it to actually gain the volume it needed, and shaping dough is a skill that I've already acquired. I tried using my mixing paddle, since I don't have a dough hook.

Maybe I should buy a dough hook.

OK, that was a lot of thoughts wrapped up in to one, there.

My house mate is gone for the week. I just keep inviting people over so I can't tell if that would make me lonely or not.

Oh, and Jazz, if people flicked ashes on my rug I'd slap them so freakin' hard that their children would be born dizzy. People need to have some respect for other people's belongings.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I blew Andy Warhol up

Jazz here. I only point this out lest someone think that The One True Tami (blessed be Her name) performed a morally questionable act on a 60's pop star.

When I was younger, I kept a series of those leather bound books full of blank paper where you penned your private thoughts, poems, prose, random drawings and insanity. I was never entirely sure why I did it. I suppose that I thought I would eventually publish some, if not all of the contents. In my youth I suffered from the illusion that everyone would find me simply fascinating if they were only given enough time and exposure to my peculiar and compelling personality. I later went through phases when I became depressed over the world's abject failure to recognize my brilliance followed by consolation and relief over the realization that pretty much everyone found themselves more fabulous than anyone else ever would or could.

It was in one of these dream journals that I penned the following during the late seventies:
If you're going to use a clamshell for an ashtray, always leave some cigarette butts - or at least some ashes - in it. If it's too clean, people will think it's a decoration and not an ashtray and they'll just flick ashes on your rug.
I don't recall what combination of drugs and alcohol were in charge of my synaptic connections when I wrote that, but we were, apparently, making gods out of trash in those days. There's actually some truth in what I wrote there, but in terms of depth or profound meaning, it was somewhat lacking. (And that's being charitable.) Truth there is, but it's a truth only truly useful if you are either so impoverished or fashion challenged that you would actually use clamshells for ashtrays. Even then it only applied to smokers or friends of smokers.

I had a good dozen of them scattered around my apartment.

I was enthralled with Andy Warhol in those days. Of course, I was late to the party as usual. I had only discovered how amazing and enthralling Warhol was long after everyone else. By the time I was on board, the Cool Kids had already moved on to the Next Great Thing and I was left worshiping at the alter of somebody who had long since been proclaimed Yesterday's News. Story of my life, I suppose. I was always the last to discover anything wonderful. The only possible exception might have been Jane's Addiction. I heard them, quite by accident, when they showed up at a bar outside of Chula Vista, got hold of a tape of their early material, and was briefly one of the Cool Kids when "Jane Says" became all the rage for five minutes.

But other than that, I only seemed to catch on to things after they had peaked and then begun to wither. And when I finally caught on, they would seem to disappear. The same thing happened with Warhol. In the end, I'm convinced I blew him up.

Just for the record, though, I never provided him with any oral favors.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Nourishing My Soul

You may have noticed that lately I'm not talking about politics, much. I'm still interested, I just can't figure out what I could say, exactly, that could help anyone. Not right now. Muffins, on the other hand, are damn useful.

Saturday morning before the gym I popped in to Starbucks for a cup of coffee, seeing as how I was too lazy to make some myself before it was time to leave the house. While there, I saw that they had pumpkin cream cheese muffins in their case. Oh, man, did they look good, but I couldn't justify 5 bucks and almost 500 calories for something pretty to eat. Hell, I was already paying 2 bucks for coffee - regular coffee.

When I got home, I went online, and found a recipe at It looked pretty good, so I gave it a shot. I changed it up a little, here's exactly how I did it:

SERVES 24 , 24 muffins (I actually made 30 small ones)


* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
* 2 teaspoons cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon nutmeg
* 1 teaspoon ground cloves
* 3 teaspoons allspice
* 1 pinch ginger
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 4 eggs
* 2 cups sugar
* 2 cups pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
* 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
* 8 ounces cream cheese


1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Put the entire brick of cream cheese on a piece of wax paper or parchment paper and shape it into a long log.
3. Put it in the freezer while you mix and fill the pans, up to an hour (this means that if you take an hour to make up the batter, take the cream cheese out of the freezer, already!).
4. Mix all the dry ingredients together, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix to combine (except cream cheese).
6. Fill muffin tins (greased or paper cups) half full.
7. Unwrap the cream cheese and cut into disks with a sharp knife so that each cream cheese disk equals 1-2 teaspoons. If the cream cheese disks are too big around, cut thick slices and then cut them in half. This lets you push it down into the batter easier. Put cream cheese disc in the middle, pressing down.
8. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the muffin part (do not touch the cream cheese!).
9. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to racks to cool completely. Do not touch the cream cheese until it cools.

Recipezaar claims that these are 241 calories each. That's way better than what I would have ingested at Starbucks. Also, I had everything but the cream cheese already in the house, so I wound up spending something like $2.50 out of pocket to make 30 muffins. They're really good, too.