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Archive for November, 2007

As a special Friday afternoon treat, here’s an excellent cover of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” by — who else? — Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer:  Redemption Song (clickety-click!)

Because who better to cover a Rastafarian song about slavery than two old white dudes?  And not just any old white dudes, it’s The Man in Black and the lead singer for The Clash!  Perfection!

…I keed, I keed.  I know the song is about throwing off the shackles that bind you — be they drugs, alcohol, whatever your poison may be — and Johnny and Joe are actually pretty appropriate for the song in that respect.

There’s still something amusing about hearing Johnny Cash grumbling “Old pirates, yes, they rob I /Sold I to the merchant ships / Minutes after they took I /From the bottomless pit.”

For my money, I prefer Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down.

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Shameless Self-Promotion

Since I write about it so much here, I’ve decided to start an entire blog devoted to food.

The new blog is called she eats. and I’m pretty darn proud of it so far.  Hell, my first reader comment was from none other than Robb Walsh, so I guess that’s a damn auspicious way to kick off any food-related blog.

If you’ve got a second, and you like food, why don’t you head on over to the new blog?  Your patronage is much appreciated.  🙂

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This story breaks my heart on so many different levels.

Deported Samaritan: ‘I never could have left him’
Illegal immigrant gave up his trek to U.S. to help 9-year-old wreck victim in Arizona desert

PHOENIX — An illegal immigrant who gave up his long walk into the U.S. to help a boy whose mother was killed in a van crash in the desert said Wednesday that he never thought of leaving the child.

“I am a father of four children. For that, I stayed,” Manuel Jesus Cordova Soberanes said in Spanish from his home in the Mexican state of Sonora. “I never could have left him. Never.”

Authorities said Cordova may have saved the life of 9-year-old Christopher Buztheitner, whose mother was killed when their van ran off a cliff in a remote area north of the Mexican border on Thanksgiving Day.

You can read the rest of the story here, if you haven’t already.

Take a look at Manuel Jesus Cordova Soberanes:

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He’s just an average guy, the kind of guy that you might see trimming tree branches from a cherry picker or hauling rebar at a construction site or waiting on a street corner with his friends for work.  He’s a father of four children back in Sonora and now he’s the guardian angel of a little American kid.  He gave up his own chances for work in America to stay with a helpless child, fully knowing that he would be deported once he got the child to safety.  Not exactly a character worth demonizing, is he?

If anything, I hope that the one thing people will take away from this story is that not all Mexican immigrants are evil, soulless parasites bent on destroying our country from the inside out.  I’ve never understood the human tendency to want to group things and people together into strictly-defined stereotypes, except to say that it must be based solely on fear and ignorance: these unfamiliar things frighten me and I don’t know what to do with them, so they’re bad and must be kept away at all costs.

It’s been this way throughout history, so it’s not as if I’m expecting the natural human mindset to change any time soon.  But I’m still saddened by our general stupidity and hatefulness as a nation.  I know that we have a problem with our borders being so unsecured and permeable — not only with regard to Mexico, but overall — and I certainly don’t have a solution.

But the solution isn’t to demonize Mexican immigrants who are, for the most part, simply looking to better themselves and their families in the best way they know how.  They’re our neighbors and our coworkers and our history and probably our future.  And God knows we have bigger issues to deal with than someone who’s just trying to do an honest day’s work.

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Good God, could this really be true?

Ultimate 2008 Presidential Candidate Matcher

Your Result: Dennis Kucinich

 

The top priority of Dennis Kucinich is to end the war in Iraq. Kucinich also favors a repeal of the Patriot Act, would fund stem cell research, and create a universal healthcare program. He is liberal on social issues, and favors eliminating Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy. Kucinich is also concerned about global warming.

Barack Obama

 

John Edwards

 

Hillary Clinton

 

Rudy Guiliani

 

Ron Paul

 

John McCain

 

Mitt Romney

 

Ultimate 2008 Presidential Candidate Matcher
Take More Quizzes

According to this short quiz, I have become a dyed-in-the-wool liberal overnight.  That couldn’t be farther from the truth.  For one thing: socialized health care?  The government fucks up everything else that it touches (and socialized health care systems in other countries across the globe are just as bad or worse than our current system…not exactly shining examples, no matter what Michael Moore might try and delude you into believing), why on earth would this be any different?  Can someone please answer this for me?  Seriously.

Yes, I suppose I have a somewhat liberal attitude towards the social policies o’ the moment (gay marriage — fine by me!; stem cell research — don’t really see what the problem is there; alternative fuels — are you stupid? of course we should be pursuing any and all alternatives to our current fuel source, seeing as how it’s (#1) not gonna last forever and (#2) mostly controlled by an evil, greedy cartel)…but overall I would place myself squarley in the libertarian camp and, therefore, with Ron Paul. 

Ron Paul, he of the anti-war, anti-Patriot Act, anti-War-on-Drugs, and pro-complete-abolishion-of-federal-income-taxes-and-most-government-agencies agenda.  This is who I align myself with.  With only a few exceptions (I’m very pro-choice and he’s a bit too hard on illegal immigrants for my tastes), he is my choice for President.  I realize that he’s got about as much chance of winning as Kucinich up there, but I’d rather support a candidate in whom I actually believe than take the easy road and vote for McCain or Clinton, both of whom are bad, bad, baaaaad news for our country in their own special, fucked-up ways.

Feel free to take the incredibly skewed quiz for yourself; just don’t base your political alignment on the results.

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It Ain’t Me, Babe

There’s something about getting married that makes you reexamine your past relationships with fresh eyes, whether you intend to or not.

I was sitting in my office this afternoon, making address labels and generally minding my own business.  Absolutely nothing was going through my head except the satiny-rough sounds of Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy streaming through my headphones.  “Corduroy” came on, a song which I must have listened to roughly eleventy-bazillion times in the past five years, and — out of nowhere — there I was.  And there he was.

It was a sudden, intensely strong flashback to January 2002.  My heart started beating fiercely in my chest and I got the same sick, panicky feeling in my stomach that I always got on the dwindling occasions that I would see him towards the end of our relationship.  I hadn’t thought of him at all in years, except to periodically throw out a snide reference to him in passing, like the punchline to a bad joke:  “Oh, yeah?   Well, I dated my college professor.”

I can pinpoint with the kind of accuracy reserved for assassinations and armistices the exact beginning of our ultimately doomed relationship, right down to what I was wearing that afternoon, what I’d had for lunch, what the floors looked like, what the hallway smelled like: every minor, unimportant detail of that day crystallized by a year of bad decisions.

He held the door open for me as I ran into his classroom that day, late.  I was never late to classes, except for that one lousy class on that one afternoon.  “Nice of you to join us,” he half-sneered at me as I walked past him.  His eyes lingered on me uncomfortably as I rushed to grab a seat next to my friend Rachel.  She noted this with a Cheshire Cat grin as I sat down, flustered.  He continued to stare at me, openly and greedily, as I struggled to avoid eye contact.  Who in the fuck did he think he was?  I’d never been looked at like that, like I was prey.  And I don’t think that I have been since.

It was intoxicating. (more…)

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After spending a large chunk of the [rainy, cold and drizzly] afternoon watching “America’s Most Smartest Model” and then reading the recaps on TWoP (good gravy-fed God, I’m a dork!) I felt the need to purge some of my other guilty pleasures into the keyboard and onto the screen, in hopes that I’m not the only one who feels utterly compelled yet dirty after watching/listening to/reading/doing the following things:

  • Riskay’s “Smell Yo Dick” — This song is seriously disgusting and unabashedly ghetto.  So why can’t I stop listening to it?  Because it’s hilarious, that’s why.  Listen for yourself.
  • Love Actually, two parts of it in particular which I’ve been known to rewatch several times in a row:
    • The entire scene where Jamie tracks down Aurelia in Marseilles, first by going to her father’s house and then walking to her restaurant with the entirety of Little Portugal trailing along behind him discussing how Aurelia is going to be sold into slavery or killed by this Englishman.  And then the proposal in the restaurant, with Jamie’s adorably horrible Portugese: “I’ve come here with a view to asking you to marriage me…”
    • The Mark and Juliet scene where he shows up at her doorstep with the flashcards and carol singers on his CD player, telling her that he’ll love her until she looks like a decrepit mummy.  Who wouldn’t fall in love with this?  Mark is far cuter than Peter, anyway.  Hee!

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  • The Darkness’ “I Believe In A Thing Called Love,” even though its brief moment was over about three years ago.
  • The new BTVS Season 8 graphic novels.  Ohhhhh, yes.  Yessirree.  I AM that huge of a dork, there is absolutely no doubt about it.  Richard was too embarassed to accompany me to the “graphic novels” section of Barnes & Noble when I went to get the first volume.  He just hung around the “sports” section, eyeing me warily and shifting his weight nervously, hoping that no one would see his wife greedily grabbing a book out of the D&D section of the store.  I don’t care; they’re the best continuation of a beloved-yet-cancelled show since Serenity.  If you happen to be a Buffy fan and have somehow missed the memo on the graphic novels, you should check them out.  They’re everything a Whedon-phile could have hoped for.
  • And on that note, Moonlight.   This is probably the most embarassing guilty pleasure of all.  I have not one single friend who watches this and my entire family is very vocally ashamed of my inexcusable lack of taste when it comes to this show.  But I can’t help it.  It’s just the right amount of camp — not too over-the-top, tongue firmly planted in cheek.  Plus, it’s got a good bit of eye candy and, really, what else do I have to do on a Friday night?  Sadly, nothing.
  • Good blue cheese, by itself.  Well, maybe on a piece of endive for some crunch.  But definitely not with any crass interlopers, like crackers.  I just like the bare taste of an incredibly strong, salty, sharp Roquefort or Stilton.  Again, none of my other friends or family members seem to share this predilection, which often means that I get an entire wedge of blue cheese to myself.  And believe you me, I WILL EAT THE WHOLE DAMN THING.
  • TaB cola.  I once wrote an entire blog on how much I still love the 80s sensation that was TaB.  I’m sure you can find it if you poke around on here long enough…  TaB is like Diet Coke without the awful aftertaste of NutraSweet.  When I go into the store to buy TaB, there is usually one sad, little pink box among the masses of other Coca-Cola products, sitting dusty and alone towards the back of the shelf.  But it’s been waiting for me…maybe for months, who knows?…and I’m finally here for it.  The various clerks always give me the same look at the checkout stand: So that’s the weirdo who buys the one six-pack of TaB that we ship in every month.  Yes, that’s me.
  • And lastly — for now, at least — all of the following websites:

What are your guilty pleasures?

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My sweet Richard ran to the grocery store tonight to grab some fresh veggies and a bottle of wine to go with the lovely fat porkchops I had planned for dinner.  In a hurry to beat the impending thunderstorm, he grabbed the first bottle he saw that looked appealing.  It turned out to be something called “White Merlot.”

I know, I know…but bear with me.

I’m generally not a fan of Merlot, or most red wines for that matter, because they’re too tannic for my poor stomach to take.  So I’m mostly stuck with lightly chilled Pinot Noirs and loads of white wine.  But this “White Merlot” — which is, really, a kissing cousin to White Zin — was fucking fantastic.  And before you heap your vituperation upon me, I know that it’s not really Merlot.  So just cool your heels, pups.

It tasted like a Bartles and Jaymes wine cooler, I’ll be the first to admit.  But it tasted like a Bartles and Jaymes wine cooler would’ve tasted to a 16-year-old sneaking her first taste of sweet, forbidden alcohol.  There was something familiar and comforting about its cloying sweetness and tangy raspberry undertones.  It was like smelling a perfume that you used to wear in high school, but haven’t encountered in twelve years; you wonder how you could have ever liked it to begin with — it’s too overt and it’s trying too hard — but there’s still that undercurrent of soft memories, first crushes and awkward homecoming dances that makes it irresistable to your jaded adult senses.

Just in case you couldn’t tell by my rambling prose, I am quite tanked on White Merlot right now.  It’s great.  I highly recommend it if you’re feeling sentimental.  Or just thirsty.  Either way…

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