Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Movies explain everything.

Obama's presidency has gone from "These aren't the droids you're looking for" to "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

I try not to show it ...

Some days go better than others.

Don't panic, don't panic, don't panic ...

Remember in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy when Arthur Dent can't comprehend Earth's destruction until he thinks in terms of McDonald's and the dollar and New York City? How his family being gone was nothing, but those things left him crying on the floor? How the little things he'd expected to lose at some point didn't mean much in the long run, but the loss of big things he thought would always be there really struck home?

I'm really starting to understand how he feels.

[Link updated -- ed.]

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday Night Recipe: Seared Turkey Rolls with Green Beans and Asiago Cheese

I invented an early version of this finger food a couple years ago when I wanted to cook something and all we had in the fridge was leftovers. The cheese was a later addition, but I think it really adds a nice flavor to the combination.

Seared Turkey Rolls with Green Beans and Asiago Cheese

Ingredients:

Deli turkey breast, sliced thin
Fresh green beans, cut in three-inch lengths
Grated asiago cheese
Olive oil

Some notes on preparation: The turkey should be thin, but not so thin it falls apart; the green beans should be precooked, but still crisp. The cheese is just cheese.

Start by laying tearing the turkey slices lengthwise into two-inch-wide strips -- two or three strips per slice should do it. Lay each slice out flat and position three or four green beans at one end. Sprinkle some cheese alongside the beans and roll the whole thing up pigs-in-a-blanket-style. Place seam-side-down in a hot skillet, using a little olive oil if necessary to prevent sticking. Sear to seal the roll, then turn to brown the other side. Once both sides are cooked, set aside on a plate and serve warm. I recommend toothpicks for easier eating. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I'll go tune up the tiny violin.

In light of yesterday's Obama love-fest on ABC (I skipped it and saw Transformers instead -- hard to say which option made less sense), I'd like to point out this post: New All-Time Lows for Both CBS & ABC Evening Newscasts

Ha ha. They try to blame it on a couple different things, like the DTV switchover and the U.S. Open. But since ratings dips are expected for such events, I doubt they would hit record lows if the ratings weren't already in the toilet. Of course, if we here in flyover country would just get our acts together and start listening to our betters, they wouldn't be having these problems ...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

When the zombies come, I bet he gets eaten first.

So someone finally punched Perez Hilton in his big fat mouth, which I suppose is karmic justice -- guy's a real piece of work. No links (why bother), but I have a couple thoughts on the incident:

A) Hilton got punched after he called someone a faggot, because that was apparently the worst name he could think of. If the f-word's younger brother is the extent of your swearing, you are in serious need of an education.

B) If someone punches you because you called them names (after they took you to task for saying nasty things about them on your Web site), it's only fair to admit you had it coming. Asking people on Twitter to call the police (whiskey tango?) and making a video where you proclaim, with trembling, swollen lip, that "violence is never the answer!" just makes the rest of us want to punch you more. If your verbal sparring skills top out at a playground level, don't be surprised when your opponent responds in kind -- and don't go crying "Teacher teacher, he hit me!" Suck it up and deal, like the rest of us grown ups.

Thatisall.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sunday Night Recipe on Monday because Sunday was too much crazy fun: Beef and Pea Pods with Sweet Rice

I really should have posted this recipe back in March -- it's my dad's annual birthday dish -- but since I missed it then, I figure Father's Day is as good a time as any. It's a wonderfully savory dish with flavors of the exotic Orient and, uh, well, let's just say it's delicious.

Beef and Pea Pods with Sweet Rice

1 lb. round steak, sliced very thin
2 6 oz. packages La Choy frozen pea pods
1 c. sliced fresh mushrooms (button or baby bella)
2 T. cooking oil
1 t. salt

Marinade:

2 T. soy sauce
1 T. wine (whatever you have on hand, barring Lambrusco)
2 t. corn starch or powdered arrowroot

Marinate meat for 5 minutes. While it sits, heat the oil in a large skillet until it shimmers. Add the meat (including marinade) and saute over high heat until brown. Add pea pods and mushrooms, stirring to coat. Cook for two minutes, stirring constantly. Serve hot on sweet rice (below), topped with chow mein or crunchy rice noodles.

Sweet Rice: Cook white rice according to the directions on the package. When cooked, for every cup rice add about 1/3 cup white sugar and 3/4 cup 2% milk (adjust to taste). Cook over low heat, stirring until the rice is thick and creamy. Keep the spoon handy for smacking away curious fingers. This stuff goes fast.

Ah, memories ...

Saw this comic today and thought of a disturbingly high percentage of my family. My dad tends to win these competitions; he's got scars on just about any body part you care to name as a result of a couple nasty car accidents and an overly rambunctious childhood. For years, when people asked about his leg brace, he would say, "Well, you know those sand sharks off the coast of Florida?" ... pause for breathless affirmation ... "Well, it wasn't that."

For my part, I got all hung up about my belly scars until I decided I would tell people they're a minimalist connect-the-dots game. "Look! It's a dinosaur!" It's less of a buzzkill that way.

No, seriously! Gimme a marker! See, here's his head ...

It's a little late, but ...

I'd like to take this opportunity to say how much I appreciate my father. Thanks in large part to him, I am a strong(ish), self-sufficient woman who can handle tools (physical and mental), tackle problems larger than myself and keep my head throughout. All this is, in large part, because he never treated me like a "girl", but like his child. So, to my daddy: Thanks. I love you.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I dub thee "Spankypants McGee."

From Powerline, which got it from Drudge: Sen. Boxer insisted a Brig. Gen. Michael Walsh call her "Senator" instead of "Ma'am,", claiming that she "worked so hard to get that title."

You know what? As far as I'm concerned, anyone who makes it to the rank of general can call whoever he wants whatever he wants whenever he wants, up to and including nicknames. The only people exempt from this are the man's superiors. Insisting on a title because you "worked so hard" for it just makes you look like a preening jackass. That the general acquiesced just shows that he's a better person than she is.

Say hello to my li'l friend ...

I did a post a while back about my frustration with commercials for home security systems, namely the way they portray the victims (always women) as completely helpless and reliant on a phone call from an outside source to protect them. Turns out I'm not alone on this:

This really sets my teeth on edge for a variety of reasons. The most rage-inducing has got to be how they portray home owners as being completely helpless against an intruder, with the only option available to save their lives is to cower behind flimsy, unlocked bedroom doors.

When the male phone clerk from the security company calls the house and says that he will summon the police for her, the woman is almost wet with gratitude. "Thank you!" she breathes into the handset. It doesn't seem to occur to her that precious minutes are lost by relying on a third party to call the police, since the woman could have done it herself in the time she was talking to a metrosexual sitting in a cubicle somewhere.
The comments are interesting, too; one commenter refers to home security signs as "steal from my neighbor" signs. Another says that a more effective detterent is a sign that says "You better knock before you enter," which reminds me of my old favorite, "This house guarded by shotgun three nights a week. Feel lucky?"

I used to think I was paranoid for planning escape routes and attack scenarios -- at least I did, until my sister nearly faced a home invasion at her house at college a couple years ago. It was the middle of the night, she was completely alone, she'd left her phone in her friend's car earlier that day, and the only obvious weapon was a baseball bat in the next room. Luckily the guy gave up, but not after several tries at the door and windows, but had he succeded, her only course of action would have been double-locking her bedroom door and going out the window.

She now owns a shotgun.

I find it interesting that we teach kids from a young age how to escape from a house fire, but not a home invasion. We tell them "Don't hide! Get out quickly, any way you can!" We provide them with active self-preservation techniques (crawling, wet towels, etc.) and we teach them not to be afraid of the firemen (all that gear can be scary to someone who doesn't know what they're looking at). But what about other threats inside the home? How is hiding under the bed crying in the 911 operator's ear going to save you from someone bent on mayhem? Wouldn't it be better to wargame various scenarios -- if the goblin comes through the that door, I'd hit him with this lamp and go out through this window, etc. -- and at least have some measure of mental preparedness?

Of course, my question is pretty well answer by the fact that these commercials are so obviously targeted to women. Is that sexist? No. I know far too many women who get the vapors at the mere thought of someone doing something nasty; they simply don't want to think about anything so horrid. Heck, I've known and seen girls and grown women who got upset at the idea of setting out mousetraps because it meant killing the creatures (never mind that they're disease-carrying vermin -- I say kill the little buggers and be done with it). Sometimes it's a generational thing -- one of the Dear Old Ladies in my life 'bout had a fit when it came out at our Passover seder that my sister and I own guns -- but sometimes it's just emotional laziness, a refusal to grow up and face an unpleasant facet of life. Another blog's thoughts on this topic put it this way:

I understand the commercial rationale behind these ads. They seem to be directed at women who are concerned about being victimized but who don’t like guns and aren’t willing to take other serious measures to protect themselves. They want to feel safe, but either the mere feeling of safety is enough for them or they don’t understand that alarms by themselves do little to protect them. And because most such customers will not be victimized they may conclude that their alarms are worthwhile.

One of the reasons why there are few criminal break-ins of occupied homes in the USA is that many Americans do have real security systems, particularly firearms. If you prefer not to own firearms, which may be a perfectly reasonable choice for you, you still benefit from the likelihood, which most criminals probably understand, that some of your neighbors are armed.

(Emphasis mine.) As a woman, I'm an outlier when it comes to violence. I've always been agressive and a little battle-happy, but that's my nature. Some people just aren't fighters by nature. My instinct (trained and innate), if someone broke into my house, would be to grab Shooty McBoomstick, rack it and scream things like "On the ground, mother#$%^&&*!" If that's not an option for some reason, I'd fight like a rabid cat and hopefully make it out with one of their testicles. For a lot of people, especially women, that just isn't the first place they go. I'm not saying it should be. But having a gentle nature is no excuse for complacency -- and yes, I'm counting "Oh, it's okay, I have pepper spray on my keychain" as complacency. Not the pepper spray part; the "Oh, it's okay" part. Repeat after me: "Those without swords can still die on them."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I'm done.

That's it. I've had it. ABC is dead to me as a legitimate journalistic organization. Why? I'll tell you why, courtesy of Drudge:

On the night of June 24, the media and government become one, when ABC turns its programming over to President Obama and White House officials to push government run health care -- a move that has ignited an ethical firestorm!

Highlights on the agenda:

ABCNEWS anchor Charlie Gibson will deliver WORLD NEWS from the Blue Room of the White House.

The network plans a primetime special -- 'Prescription for America' -- originating from the East Room, exclude opposing voices on the debate.

The Director of Communications at the White House Office of Health Reform is Linda Douglass, who worked as a reporter for ABC News from 1998-2006.
Add to this that, according to Conservatives for Patients' Rights, ABC employees' Obama:McCain donation ratio is about 32:1, and you have a very bothersome situation. And then, we find out today that (again, via Drudge):
ABC is refusing to air paid ads during its White House health care presentation, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned, including a paid-for alternative viewpoint!

The development comes a day after the network denied a request by the Republican National Committee to feature a representative of the party's views during the Obama special.

Conservatives for Patients Rights requested the rates to buy a 60-second spot immediately preceding 'Prescription for America'.
Let that sink in for a minute.

I'd been sitting on writing this post for a day or two, letting myself simmer down from my initial disgusted reaction. It didn't work; finding out about the no-paid-advertising decision was the cherry on the big, fat, #$%^-you sundae. I can understand wanting to use a nationwide broadcast as a megaphone for important issues. I can even understand doing it under the pretense of news reporting. But flatly refusing to give voice to opposing viewpoints just chucks all pretense of objectivity out the window, and they know it. They have to know it. I simply can't believe that the decision-makers on this fiasco would be that thick, which of course leaves only the far more unsavory option on the table -- namely, that they know and they don't care.

During the run-up to last November, the major media outlets overplayed their hands. Between Chris Matthews' tingling appendage and the constant photos framed to give Obama a halo, they betrayed how their fawning adoration took precedence over fact-finding and reporting the truth, good, bad or indifferent. But at least then, they pretended that it didn't. It was "Oh, don't be silly, you're just upset because your guy's losing."

Now, it's "Yeah, so what? What're you gonna do about it?" We're all just a bunch of uneducated hicks here in flyover country, anyway -- threaten a boycott, they'll just ask for a bailout. They're scratching his back for all they're worth, convinced he'll scratch back. I, for one, am interested to see just how that line of thinking plays out.

So, in short, I'm done. I can't not get information from the MSM, but I'm damned if I'll ever give them a shred of credit for honesty or fairness again until they earn it, outlet by outlet (which is why I still watch Fox, incidentally -- they give me credit for the brains God gave baby turkeys). ABC is just one example, but it's the tumor that betrays the presence of cancer. And you all know how I feel about cancer ...

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Inner Circle vs. the Iron Fist

In light of the recent developments in Iran, I would like to relink to a piece I wrote close to three years ago about the mindset of the modern American protestor:

Consider, for example, one of the more common post-9/11 political drumbeats: the claim that the United States is a world-class civil-rights offender. While no reasonable person would claim that this country has a perfect record – Lord knows it doesn’t – one has to wonder where such an idea would come from. The Patriot Act is an obvious cause, but is showing one’s driver’s license at the bank really the equivalent of having the police come to your house and drag you away for neglecting your portrait of Our Leader?

It is to laugh.

I can make an educated guess that if asked, any given person at any given anti-government protest on American soil would agree that the United States is an oppressive regime, slowly choking its population with increasing restrictions and fear-based tactics. I can also make the educated guess that each and every one of them would wake up safe and sound at home the next morning. This isn’t because they wear masks or hide their identities. It’s because of where they are.
And just to get ahead of the sure-to-come objections: Note that at the time I wrote this (Fall 2006), the main protester presence in the American landscape wore keffiyahs as a fashion accessory and bathed in patchouli oil. I frankly don't think this applies to the current Tea Party protest movement, mostly because a random cross-section of a tea party produces more soccer moms and farmers than freegans.

Back to my original point: The irony is that while the hipster protest babies think they want to tussle with the police, they haven't really thought through what that actually involves. I maintain that if the average hippie was faced with a truly totalitarian regime, they'd wet their pants and stammer about their rights as they were trampled into the gutter and dragged away.

Of course, in some ways it's easier to oppose an overtly violent and corrupt organization: It's easy to find the good guys by seeing who beats civilians in their spare time. The most insidious takeovers are based solely in the mind, the non-violent arena of emotions and propaganda. Not only is it harder to alert others to the danger, it's harder to hold your own position. Threats of death and dismemberment make it easy to stick by one's principles. But a chance to sit at the cool kids' table? Who needs those lousy opinions, anyway?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday Night Recipe: Meatloaf

I love this recipe because it's basically the same formula as my meatball recipe, just in a different form. Also I add bacon. Bacon bacon bacon.

Meatloaf

1 lb. ground sirloin
1 lb. ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 c. quick oats
2+ T. Worcestershire sauce
2 eggs
2 slices turkey bacon, chopped
1 T. dried parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine the first seven ingredients in a large bowl, making sure you use enough Worcestershire sauce to completely wet down the oats. Mix thoroughly (I like to use my hands; it's more efficient) and press into two loaf pans. Sprinkle with parsley for color and bake for one hour or until done (test center with the tip of a paring knife). Let cool for at least 10 minutes before attempting to remove from pans; the meatloaf will be very moist and crumble easily. Cut each loaf into eight slices and serve hot. Enjoy!

Random Thoughts

My balcony garden has produced (so far) a very nice little green pepper and a lovely little green tomato. I am excessively proud of this. I! I am woman! I have made food!

North Korea says the U.S. has 1,000 nukes in South Korea, which is why NK is going to build The Bomb. They're like a psycho stalker who insists you're the one stalking her, which is why she slashed your tires and killed your cat. If you'd quit trying to poison her cereal and just come live in her basement like she knows you want to, everything would be fine ... Luckily, John Bolton's soothing mustache assures me that everything will be okay.

Iran's Ahmadinejad looks disturbingly like my dad, although my dad in much more friendly and genial and has a much cooler beard. He's also a big fan of Israel. It's still a little freaky when I see him (the former, not the latter) on TV, though.

I would really like to own a cordless drill. I don't need it for anything right this second; it just seems like a good thing to have on hand.

Obama's healthcare proposal scares the crap out of me, but the PR campaign makes me hide under the blankets and cry. I wouldn't be surprised if high-level members of the administration have their pants spontaneously combust on live TV.

I really need a pad for my bike seat. I rode about two miles yesterday, and today I need one of those doughnut pillows. On the other hand, the ride itself was immensely satisfying. So, there's that.

Finally, if you could say a prayer for my little sister: She fell off a ladder at work and broke two ribs. This is on top of her other, more-serious-than-she-lets-on health problems that have still to be properly diagnosed, so she's a little low. Oh, and one of her former roommates (they used to be extremely close friends) has a full-blown case of bitch, so that's causing problems. If you could keep her in your thoughts, it would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, June 12, 2009

It keeps the moon from falling

My beard grows to my toes
I never wears no clothes.
I wraps my hair
Around my bare
And down the road I goes.

-- Shel Silverstein

P.S. If you don't get the title, go here.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I created or saved a job by showing up this morning ...

One thing I didn't really mention in my previous post about the national job situation was where Obama's getting his "jobs created or saved" numbers (hint: he couldn't find the source with both hands and a flashlight). So, to remedy that oversight, I present Frank J's list of things he's created or saved. Some examples:

* Deciding against serial killing, i created or saved upwards of 33 people (I’m very smart and would not be easily caught).

* By proper use of braking on the way to work, I created or saved twelve automobiles.

* If Sotomayor were a little more careful, she could have created or saved one ankle.*
In a similar vein, by carefully timing when I took sips of my coffee while reading Frank's post, I created or saved one keyboard this morning. So, there's that.

*I feel nothing but sympathy re: Sotomayor and her ankle. I've done the same thing at least nine times, and it's not fun. I hope she gets better soon.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Lift up your voice and with us sing

I went to church on Sunday. I hadn't been there in a long time, mostly because I don't like the guy they brought in to run the music program, and I was ready to give it a go. Didn't even make it to the sermon. I was watching as a girl performed a song we were all supposed to sing along with, and I hated it. So I walked out. I didn't hate the song, mind you; it was fine as songs go. But as a worship experience, it completely missed the boat.

It used to be that when the congregation sang, they all provided the music. Everyone used the hymnal from the back of the pew in front of them, and they read the music and provided the worship themselves. The organ played, but it was secondary to the actual singing. It was engaging, it was creative and it was deeply intimate, and the hymns themselves were often deeply rooted in church doctrine and theology. It was corporate worship at its most pure.

Unfortunately, this model has almost exclusively gone by the wayside. Now, almost every church features a "worship team" (a band) and PowerPoint presentations on screens so the congregation can read the lyrics. Instead of requiring every member present to participate, the musical portion of the program focuses on presentation, basically consisting of a concert where everyone sings along. Instead of a communal activity, the act of worship through singing becomes a game of follow-the-leader. Christian pop and choruses have replaced the hymns, and when hymns are featured, they're set to new arrangements and contemporized. The congregation has become the audience. If you took them away and left the band, the show would still go on. This is a problem.

Before I go any further, let me stress that I have no objections to Christian pop and rock music in general. It's fine as far as it goes, but it doesn't go far. The problem arises when the old, even ancient traditions get ditched because "today's young people can't relate to them." There is a reason why these hymns, some written centuries ago, are still included in collections today -- they speak to the deep, complex and pure realities of the Christian faith. Blind Fanny Crosby's "Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine" has a lot more meaning than some denim-clad 19-year-old's "Ooh, Jesus, I love you." But that's what I got on Sunday, and that's why I walked out.

It was a watershed personally, because I acted on my own feelings instead of what I thought my faith should be. I don't think church on Sunday really fits my family, and it certainly doesn't seem to fit me right now. I don't mind Contemporary Christian music -- I listen to it a lot in the car, and I really enjoy it -- but when I gather with the body of Christ, I want to get to the meat of the issue. I don't want to waste my time with a bunch of fluffy sing-a-longs, led by a guy who doesn't know when to get out of the way. I am not interested in follow the leader. And I certainly don't want some soloist worshiping for me.

One of the biggest faults of our modern civilization is the emphasis placed on emotion over thought. We get self-esteem movements in schools, grievance lawsuits over personal insults and "if it feels good, do it"-style relationships. Unfortunately, this seems to have taken root in the church as much as it has anywhere else. Mega-church leaders like Joel Osteen (to name one off the top of my head) preach nothing but "God wants you to be happy!", completely leaving out the hard work necessary to get to that point. I can't tell you how many people I've seen emphasize the fleeting surface emotions of the Christian experience, avoiding the deeper peace that comes from facing the negative faces of God. One of the cornerstones of adult faith is the unshakeable knowledge that no matter how one feels at the moment, the realities of God and one's relationship with Him do not change. God's job is not to make us feel good. The church's job is not to make us feel good. Worship's job is not to make us feel good. They're all certainly capable of it, but that's not their primary focus. The primary focus of the latter two is to bring us closer to the former One. Singing along with a worship band, following along like a dog on a leash without taking the initiative, is not the way to do that. Any music, religious or secular, can provide those feelings, and it's unwise to confuse an emotional response with a true faith experience. I've seen where it can lead, and it's not, not pretty.

One thing I'm very grateful to my mother for is her insistence that I take piano lessons. I'm grateful because I learned to read and understand music, and I'm grateful because those lessons exposed me to a lot of hymns that I wouldn't have known otherwise. I certainly wouldn't hear them much in church these days. The beauty of a hymn is that its meaning comes from its powerful words, not from a carefully time swell from the synthesizer, coordinated with the colored lights behind the altar. Ritual and tradition were put in place to honor God, not to excite the parishioners. If the only way you can keep your congregants coming back week after week is to give them an emotional high and send them home, then you have a problem.

On the other hand, since we're trained from birth these days to equate emotional highs with actual experience -- if you don't feel it, it isn't real (cf. the current divorce rate) -- I don't suppose we can expect much better from those we put in place to lead us. I think I'll just stay in on Sunday mornings and listen to Irwin Lutzer. Man breaks my brain.

I like that.

Monday, June 08, 2009

I love my job. I love my job. I love my job.

Remember how Obama was going to save/create all those jobs if we passed the stimulus? Remember how he said unemployment would jump to 8 percent or higher if we didn't pass it? (Remember how "we" didn't really get a say in the matter?) Remember all that?

Geoff at Innocent Bystanders remembers. In case graphs aren't your thing, or you can't click through for some reason, I'll break it down for you:

There are three lines on the graph, a light blue line, a dark blue line and a line made of red dots. The light blue line represents the Obama team's prediction (pre-stimulus) for unemployment rates should the stimulus not pass. It starts off at 4.5 percent in 2007 (first quarter), humps up to 9 percent for all of 2010 and finally makes it way down to 5 percent by the third quarter of 2014. It's steep and scary, especially on the going-up side, and it looks a lot like one of those terrifyingly huge playground slides that gave us all a fear of heights in childhood. Or prompted us to try skydiving. Whatever. That's not the point. Moving on:

The dark blue line represents unemployment rate predictions if we do pass the stimulus (which of course "we" did). It makes a nice, fairly symmetrical hump, going from the same starting point as the first line to a leisurely 8 percent in 2009 (third quarter), then easing back down to 5 percent by the end of the graph. It's a comforting line, steep on one side, but on the other side it's like a hill where you'd go to have a picnic. It's as if Obama's statisticians were saying, "There, there, I know it's scary now, but it will all get better. You'll see. Be quiet and eat your cheese."

Which leads us to the third line.

The third line is the one made up of red dots. It's not really a line per se, actually, because it only bothers to start at October 2008 (why bother with earlier, after all -- that data's not going to change) -- and, of course, it can only proceed as far as the most current data (May 2009). The first red dot, October of '08, is at about 6.6, followed by November (6.8), December (7.3), January 2009 (Happy New Year! 7.6), February (8.1), March (8.5) April (8.9) and May (9.4).

Nine. Point. Four.

I would like to take this moment to point out that a) these numbers reflect only those people collecting unemployment benefits, and b) I am no longer among those ranks as of three weeks ago. (Still broke, though. So very, very broke. *cough*Tip jar!*cough*) While the latter item is good news (at least I hope it's good news), the former is very, very bad. According to our Dear Leader's own projections, we would reach about 8.2 percent unemployment in May of this year if we did not pass his economic stimulus plan. We did pass it. We're at 9.4 percent. What gives? Could it be that -- *gasp* -- government spending doesn't actually stimulate worth beans? Or is it that Obama's Marxist moves have business owners literally running scared? Or maybe it's both. But that can't be, after all -- Obama is going to create 600,000 jobs in the next 100 days! Woohoo! Check it out:

President Barack Obama assured the nation his recovery plan was on track Monday, scrambling to calm Americans unnerved by unemployment rates still persistently rising nearly four months after he signed the biggest economic stimulus in history.

Obama admitted his own dissatisfaction with the progress but said his administration would ramp up stimulus spending in the coming months. The White House acknowledged it has spent only $44 billion, or 5 percent, of the $787 billion stimulus, but that total has always been expected to rise sharply this summer.

"Now we're in a position to really accelerate," Obama said.

He also repeated an earlier promise to create or save 600,000 jobs by the end of the summer.
Hear that? It's all part of the the plan. And he repeated his promise, so it must be serious. He'll spend taxpayer money to "create" "jobs", and I'll finally get my unicorn that farts skittles and rainbows, right after those flaming monkeys finally come shooting out of my, um, my mom reads this blog. You get the idea. We're alllllll screwed.

I love my job, I love my job, I love my job ...

UPDATE: this guy makes my point with pennies.

Sunday Night Recipe on Monday 'Cause I'm Tired Out from Saturday: Artichoke Pasta Salad

So it's a day late. It still tastes good.

Artichoke Pasta Salad

In a large bowl, combine

1/2 c. chopped artichoke hearts
1/4 c. kidney beans
1/4 c. chickpeas
1/2 c. diced red and green bell pepper
2 oz. fresh mozzarella (shred it with your fingers into bite-sized pieces)
1/4 c. ready-to-eat sun-dried tomatoes OR 2 T. chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil

Toss with 1 1/2 c. tricolor pasta and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine

1/4 c. red wine vinegar
2 t. extra virgin olive oil (if using tomatoes in oil, reduce just a hair)
1/4 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. fresh-ground black pepper
Chopped fresh basil

Whisk dressing, then drizzle over contents of large bowl and toss until thoroughly coated. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes. Serve cold with basil chiffonade and a good wine. Serves two. Enjoy!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Oh, it is so true ...

If you knew my sister (not the sane one) at all in childhood/adolescence, you'll probably find this to be extremely funny. If you didn't know her, well, it's still funny.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Don't forget!

Tonight! At 7:30 p.m. on WTHR! Or whenever your local station shows Jeopardy! Yours most fabulously truly will appear on that esteemed game show, ready to do battle with the most famous wits of our time. Or something like that. I kind of just want to get it over with. It's all very anticlimactic if you already know how it's going to end up. Anyway, don't forget!