Threat Down! Threat Down! Gravy Crisis Averted!
My gravy rocked, thanks in part to Todd. As I predicted, Jeannie Martini and I came back from the football game at the park with our empty martini glasses in hand, announcing, "We're drunk enough to make gravy now!" (Our oldest sister was past the point of gravy-making. She passed out on the couch after dessert).

Speaking of the football game, I have pictures. That's Dilf in the turkey hat. He's all mine, ladies!

I'm not in any of those pictures. I was up on a park bench with Jeannie Martini, Mrs. Towel Boy, my oldest sister's husband, and that cowardly wuss, Nick, drinking cocktails and occasionally shouting out rude comments. Rich's uncle acted as photographer, and spent his entire time taking pictures of the actual "game."

Now that Thanksgiving's over, we have time to relax. We're going to the Planetarium with Al Gato and his family. You know the Planetarium, right? The one with the overhead projector? Yeah, that one.
Dear Fucking Assholes Who Write Gravy Recipes:

I am trying to find a Food Network recipe I saw both Alton Brown and Tyler Florence making. I can kinda piece it together from what I remember seeing, how I know to make a roux, and cooking knowledge I already have, but I may have a few martinis in me by the time I'm making the gravy tomorrow, so I'd prefer to have written instructions I can read through bleary eyes.

But do I find what I'm looking for? No. Let me address the recipe posters out there directly:

Dear Asshole Jerkoff Cocksuckers,

I do not want thousands of "do-ahead" recipes involving turkey wings and that bag of gross innards that require removing the liver so the stock doesn't become "cloudy." I did not take high school anatomy, I never dissected a turkey, and I don't want to sort through its guts now to boil a bunch of garbage parts on my stovetop.

What I want to do is roast my turkey, remove it from the pan, strain the juices, and make gravy from the pan drippings. It's fairly simple. I wanted to use the technique I saw Alton Brown and Tyler Florence using, where they make a roux out of the greasy bits on the bottom of the pan with a little added fat (how much? I don't fucking know, thanks to you assholes. I'll eyeball it. I know how to make a roux. No thanks to you!) and some flour.

Is that too much to fucking ask? A recipe to guide me as to how much flour, how much stock and white wine, how much added pan drippings?

I guess it is, since I can't find it. All I found is your stupid waste of time make ahead recipes I don't want to use. Thanks for nothing. I might as well look up what that cheap whore Sandra Lee has to say about how to make fake gravy from a packet of powder, just so she has more time to guzzle down some color-coordinated cocktails and give her male guests blow jobs in the coat closet before the salad course. I'm onto you, Sandra Lee! That pre-fab gravy isn't going to rinse the taste of sperm, shame and regret out of the back of your throat!

Happy fucking Thanksgiving.
Thor Cooks Again

Why doesn't THAT cooking show have fansites?
Food Week. Yeah, Unimaginative, I Know.
I was going to post something about Tyler Florence vs. Guy Fieri here. See, both Mr. Florence and Mr. Fieri are Food Network personalities (and Mr. Florence is a chef -- I can't vouch for Mr. Fieri. In fact, I WON'T vouch for Fieri...) and both have shilled for questionable mass-production eateries (Florence for Applebees, Fieri for TGI Fridays), but I was going to comment about Florence's superior recipes and overall demonstrable skills.

Picture taken from yet another Food Network fan site.

Instead, I got mired in a discussion about Alton Brown's hair in the new Welch Grape Juice commercials. It surprised me to find people who care so passionately about Mr. Brown. It's... kinda creepy.

Anyway, a sampling of comments from this site:

"I'm not a fan of Alton's new long-haired look. He's taking on the air of a Wylie Dufresne or creepy Law & Order SVU child-molester-suspect."

"Creepy hair!!!!
He went from geeky suave to creepy aging dude. This may as well be a prune juice ad :/"

"His hair is pedophiliscious."

Note to Dilf: keep your hair short, please.
I Don't Read Books Anymore -- But I Read ABOUT Books. Does That Count?

I read an interesting book review on Saturday that got me thinking about what idiots we all are.

I ask you: how can both atheists/gays and Christian fundamentalist theocrats be secretly or overtly running our country? Because depending on who you ask, one of the other (or Muslim terrorists, or immigrants... hey, name a group of people and I'm sure somebody somewhere hates them for something) has taken control and/or is leading us to destruction.

Here's a little exercise: pick your favorite person or institution you think is evil, corrupt or trying to rule the world. Instead of saying "they are" or "he is" or including them in your thought process at all, concentrate on the action or wrong that you dislike. Attack that all you like in your head. Hate violence, or degradation, or suppression, or oppression, or whatever social ill you choose, but leave the people or groups of people completely out of it. Completely. Not, "I hate prejudice, and that's why those Southern White Rednecks..." No. Stop. Don't tell me, "But what about that time THEY did that..." Zip it. Not allowed.

It's not as easy as you thought it would be, is it? Even for those of us who like to think we're so fair-minded, and reasonable, and rational? When we think of the bad things, we link those bad things to someone in our heads.

I think we need to evolve past that. That doesn't mean countenancing the evil. That means finding a way to fight the evil without scapegoating. We also need to quit caving to fear, which is what leads to this whole notion that some scary unknown powerful group of people is coming to get us and we must weed them out and kill them before they get the chance. It's THEM, I tell you! THEM! THEY must be stopped!

Not ME, of course. I'm perfectly okay. Or I would be, if it wasn't for THEM!

So here's what I suggest: instead of concentrating on the Legion of Doom, whoever or whatever we picture that Legion of Doom to be, we confront and defeat the smaller, less glamorous evils we each face every day. And if that evil is in our own hearts and/or minds, we start there.
Bullying Boils My Blood

I had some other posts whirling about in the festering cesspool of my mind, but they were all driven from the forefront yesterday when a furious ÜberElder arrived home with ÜberYounger and ÜberFriend Claire in tow, declaring, "Boer Brothers were bullying ÜberYounger!"

Of course "Boer Brothers" aren't their real names any more than ÜberElder or Younger are the names of my daughters, but they are white South Africans. In fact, "Boer" is a misnomer, since they are more British than Dutch, but that's neither here nor there. The pertinent facts are that Boer Elder is in 4th grade, and Boer Younger is in 3rd grade, ÜberYounger is in kindergarten, and they have escalated into physical violence toward her and her older sister after weeks or months of verbal taunts that ÜberElder hasn't reported until now. A day earlier, she reported the elder Boer spat on her. And yesterday... well, some background first.

My kids walk home amidst a throng of neighborhood kids, which include the Boers and the Italian-kids-who-live-across-from-the-park-whose-dad-owns-the-cigar-store. Younger and the youngest Italian daughter are in kindergarten together and play together all the time. They were playfully roughhousing when Younger got knocked to the ground and littlest Italian sat on her. They were at the back of the horde.

For reasons known only to them in their bully pea brains, the Boer brothers decided to come from the front of the line to the back, so that they could taunt Younger (this was after taunting Elder earlier, at the start of the walk), grab her arm while Italian girl sat on her, and poke her in the eye with her own hand. And call her a crybaby when she started to cry.

Let's get this straight. They had to wait until the kindergarten girl was laying prone on the ground, with another kindergarten girl on top of her, before they had the guts to manhandle her? You gotta hand it to those bullies. They sure are risk-adverse. ÜberElder's screaming at them to leave her little sister alone, and calling them the bullies they are was met with "laughing and sneering," according to Elder.

Upon some probing questions from me, it was revealed that verbal abuse by the Boer brothers toward my daughters is commonplace. If Elder tries to insult back, she is jeered. If she ignores them, she is "poked in the head with a stick." Elder hadn't mentioned any of this to me before yesterday. But picking on her little sister and poking her in the eye was the straw that broke Elder's back, it seems, leading her to spill her guts to me.

This will not stand, of course. Despite my Celtic Warrior Princess instinct to fly like a screaming banshee into the school and start lopping off the heads of the oppressors, I will icily follow school protocols.

If that doesn't work, THEN I will start lopping off heads.

By the way, when I did an image search for "bully" and found the picture that accompanies this story, I learned it came from Quaker Dave and the story HE did on bullying earlier this year. Thanks, Quaker Dave! Although I suppose you don't approve of my head-lopping strategy. I'll have to come up with something else.
I Apologize for My Overall Suckiness

Last week fictional movie characters Randal Graves and Dean Wormer presented me with Superior Scribbler Awards, and I promptly thanked them for the honor by ceasing to write anything at all -- superior or inferior.

I apologize profusely.

In return, I nominate Todd, Miss Pants, B.A., a random person I found by pushing the "Next Blog" button, and Nick, even though he doesn't deserve it.

I will return to write something probably even less interesting than this, if that's at all possible, after I write the school newsletter and take care of some other pressing business that's none of your damn business.
Shirtless Crackpots on YouTube Took a Bad Turn.
In the course of my research, I ran across some horrifying material that caused me some deep psychological harm.

Apparently (and I am sparing you the evidence -- you can thank me later), there is a homo-erotic subculture that finds beer bellies irresistible. That is putting it mildly. I have seen things and read things that I fear will never go away.

Now I must post this as a palate-cleanser:

Shirtless Crackpots on YouTube, Number Three
Yeah, we skipped a day. So what? Take it out of my paycheck.

I don't think this man has a medical degree.

He made me lose my appetite.
Shirtless Crackpots on YouTube, Day Two
He's wild. He's hirsute. He's enraged about something I can't quite understand.

Most importantly, he's shirtless.

Now, I realize this is a fairly long video (despite his claim it's a "short response"), but please listen to as much of this as you can. He gets more and more upset, and hilarious. I've never seen someone so passionate about Mendel before. Also, can someone tell me what's hanging from his hair? Is that a computer mouse?

Welcome to Shirtless Crackpots on YouTube Week!
The only thing better than a crackpot is a shirtless crackpot. Crackpots are so passionate, so long-winded, so short on facts. But you don't have to agree with them to find them compelling. And the willingness to appear shirtless just shows you how free-spirited and convention-free they are! Or, they don't have air conditioning.

In addition to the claims made in this video, this Shirtless Crackpot also believes he owns the skull of a demon. He's awesome!

But What Do FOX Viewers Think?

We've heard a lot of "Yes We Can!"'s and "Morning in America!"'s and "The Change We Needed!"'s and such. But in case you were wondering what obsessive right wing crackpots think, a marvelous website called "Get Off the Internet" has the answers you seek.

("Get Off the Internet" (GOTI) combs the internet for outrageous comments on websites; it's not limited to politics. See the story below the FOX News reaction to Obama for an example of crazy Eragon-themed fan fiction. GOTI is hilarious and terrifying at the same time, like "Nightmare on Elm Street"!)

My personal favorites are the people who say, "The whites who voted for Obama" (why just US? I don't understand...) "should move to Kenya!" Wait a second. When we were unhappy with an election result, we were told to leave the country if we didn't like it. Now that they don't like an election result, I still have to leave the country? Aren't they the ones who have to leave this time?

Maybe they're having a difficult time figuring out where they should move. After all, Europe may be the origin of the white race, but they're awfully liberal in those parts.

Since I'm nothing if not helpful, I found this website they can use to aid them in their quest to find their new country, since they hate this one now. They should be careful; some of those dictators are no longer in power.
Wait a Minute! I KNEW I Saw a Party Like That BEFORE!
Barack Obama's party in Grant Park reminded me of something... let me see if I can place it... Oooh! NOW I remember! It was just like George, Teddy & the Condors!

Now THAT'S the politics of inclusion!
Why "Where" Matters

As I watched the election coverage unfold, the message sent by choosing Grant Park as Obama's election site wasn't lost on me. I'm not sure they even meant that location to be so deeply symbolic to me, but it was.

See, when Chicago was growing into a city, the planners made a choice as to how they wanted that new city to be. They followed the Burnham Plan, which, among other things, saved the lakefront for public spaces, like parks and museums. The wealthy and privileged couldn't plunk their big fat mansions on it and hog it all for themselves. It belonged to the people.

To this day, no one can even build a tall building to obstruct the view of the lake.

I find that absolutely revolutionary, and wonderfully, uniquely American.

It reminds me of a story, possibly myth, about Charles Dickens visiting America and being delightfully surprised at having to lift his own suitcase onto a stagecoach. In Europe, his stature as a prominent writer would've dictated that the stagehand lift it for him, but he wasn't in Europe. He was in America.

I think that's why people are so excited about Barack Obama, because we're America again. The sort of person who would invite everyone to his election party, who wasn't the "right sort," who just four years ago I would've sworn "they" wouldn't allow to be elected, has just been elected. That's American.

"Real" Americans aren't just found in rural America, as Sarah Palin once thought. "Real" Americans root against Judge Schmaels in Caddyshack. We don't want to live in a "crummy snobbatorium." With the permanent underclass and upperclass segments that supply-side economics created, a lot of us felt like America was turning into Bushwood. And we were the staff who were only allowed to use the pool for 15 minutes on "Caddy Day," while the Republicans were Ted Knight's posse.

Now, we've got a "colored boy" ("Colored boy??!! Why you sonofabitch...") and a Catholic (Oh, I didn't know you were Catholic. I'm afraid you can't come") running things.

I just have two words to say to that: Tee. Hee.
Election has overloaded circuits.

I might not have anything to say between now and Wednesday.

Right now, I want to say I know John (and Cindy) McCain has/have redeeming qualities because they adopted that girl from Sri Lanka. That shows a level of compassion for a fellow human being that earns at least some respect from me. It doesn't cancel out the many areas in which I disagree with him, it won't make me vote for him, but it keeps me from demonizing him. I think he's made some bad decisions, has trusted the wrong people, and has been affected by a certain level of privilege. Still, that one child makes him human to me.

On the other hand, this makes me proud to be voting for Obama (thanks, Tits McGee). I know a campaign worker probably wrote that letter for him, but it still shows a level of commitment to even the smallest members of our nation that fills me with, well, hope.

Everybody counts. Not just the rich and powerful. That's what I'm hoping to see from Obama. And I have reason to believe Obama might just show us that from time to time.
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until I can write again.
Name: Übermilf
Location: Chicago Area

If being easily irritated, impatient and rebellious is sexy, then call me MILF -- Übermilf.

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Perverts, scram. There's nothing for you here.

Now, who wants cupcakes?

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