Botanical Wednesday: Yes, mistress »« Targeting Eagleman

Episode CCL: A brief musical interlude

One of the members of this band, Quiet Company, sent me a copy of their latest album, which he said was a personal concept record about his journey from belief to disbelief — I like the idea. And then I listened to it, and I liked the music, too! So here you go, a sample of one song from the album, and if you’re interested, you can look for more on their website.

(Last edition of TET)

Comments

  1. Algernon says

    Am I (and others) overreacting?

    IMO not really. She’s being too personal and writing too much from and for herself I think. Kind of blind.

    On one hand, treating menstruation like an aberration or treating women who menstruate like they are unclean is a problem.

    But not wanting to have penetrative sex with some one menstruating is different (as is not wanting penetrative sex while menstruating), and sex is really individual.

    I think the issue here should just be treating one’s partner with dignity while being honest about one’s own sexual preferences. Yes, people who can not do that are not worth having sex with…

  2. says

    One judges on what is; whether it is so wilfully or otherwise is only an aspect of that judgement.

    Er… what?

    Also, how do you apply your belief that there is no free will to this issue whilst speaking about “voluntary choices”? :)

    While we don’t have “free will” in a metaphysical sense, it is manifestly true that the behaviour of human beings can be conditioned by their social environment.

    With this in mind, publicly criticizing racism, sexism and homophobia, and shunning individuals and groups which promote these things, serves the worthwhile purpose of conditioning people against behaving in bigoted ways. Rather obviously, the social influences to which a person is exposed on a daily basis affect his or her thoughts and behaviour.

    There’s no point, however, in using this kind of method when we’re talking about an inbuilt, hard-wired trait that cannot be changed by social conditioning. In this context, moral condemnations serve no social purpose.

  3. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Or I could just stop whinging because Algernon’s first paragraph has pretty much explained some of the issues I’ve been having with Feministe.

    On that note, good night. It’s past 2am here and I’m barely keeping my head from falling on the keyboard.

  4. says

    On one hand, treating menstruation like an aberration or treating women who menstruate like they are unclean is a problem.

    But not wanting to have penetrative sex with some one menstruating is different (as is not wanting penetrative sex while menstruating), and sex is really individual.

    I think the issue here should just be treating one’s partner with dignity while being honest about one’s own sexual preferences.

    QFT. There’s a difference between trying to shame or stigmatize someone for his or her physical features (which is really, really not ok), and being honest about the fact that one doesn’t enjoy a particular sexual technique or activity (which is absolutely ok). It’s all about honesty and mutual respect.

  5. Rey Fox says

    Because if you’re disgusted by normal vagina functions, you should not come near vaginas even when those vaginas are not having the functions you dislike.

    And if you don’t want to be peed on, then I guess you must be disgusted by my penis too.

    When going away from body stigmatism, there seems to be this tendency to overshoot in the other direction and make the vagina out to be a magical garden of wonders.

  6. Brother Ogvorbis, Fully Defenestrated Emperor of Steam, Fire and Absurdity says

    OG, ahppy birthday from Oggie!

  7. Brother Ogvorbis, Fully Defenestrated Emperor of Steam, Fire and Absurdity says

    Well, snap a g-string on me and call me a guitar, that didn’t take long. ‘Ahppy’ is Tpyan for ‘happy’.

  8. John Morales says

    Walton:

    One judges on what is; whether it is so wilfully or otherwise is only an aspect of that judgement.

    Er… what?

    What I wrote.

    Such fairness as there is in making judgements upon others depends on more than just adjudging whether the degree of volition involved exceeds some threshold.

    (Are you suggesting that it’s unfair I get characterised as an ‘asshole’ if I can’t help being so perceived? :) )

    There’s no point, however, in using this kind of method when we’re talking about an inbuilt, hard-wired trait that cannot be changed by social conditioning. In this context, moral condemnations serve no social purpose.

    What makes you think that making moral condemnations isn’t an inbuilt, hard-wired trait?

  9. says

    Cheap food issues – this blog here is just amazing – Eating well on $1 a day. Not only did he succeed in the challenge, but also he donated a lot to local food banks. It’s all about gaming the US coupon systems, so not applicable everywhere. But there’s also details about what he ate – and he started not being able to cook!

    Period sex: I never actually had anyone squicked by it. We just put down a towel – much easier than washing sheets. I think it depends on the attitude – if it’s all EW VAGINAS GROSS ICKY GIRL BITS, then no, you can get lost. If it’s “Sorry, I have a personal issue with blood, what else can we do at those times?” then sure, fine.

  10. The Lone Coyote says

    Hmmm, back from camping, and everyone’s talking about period sex.

    I know starstuff91 went to sleep, but I wanted to share my personal starvation anecdote. Ran out of money living with a douchebag former friend… wouldn’t spare me any food (despite the mountains of waste he created, stupid fucker that he was).

    That’s OK though, I’m nothing if not adaptable, so I started hanging out at the frog pond with a spear. Ate fairly well once I got the technique down. My real lucky break came when I came across a rabbit who wasn’t quite as smart as the rest, and that was the spring I earned the right to call myself a Predator (of the non creepy variety, of course.)

    Now as for period sex…. I’ve never been bothered by it. I honestly wish I could have dated more women who were as not-bothered by it as me. Of course, that said I can’t really judge those who find it unappealing. There is a definite mess to contend with. What does bother me though are all the myths about it, I still occasionally meet people who think you can get some kinda weird disease from it or something.

  11. Brother Ogvorbis, Fully Defenestrated Emperor of Steam, Fire and Absurdity says

    Cheap food:

    When I was in college, protoWife and I shared an attic apartment in a small town (actually, Our Town) in New Hampshire. One of our normal foods was ragu Bolognese con spaghetti. One large pot lasted us for four to six days.

    1 onion, diced
    1 carrot, diced
    1 celery rib, diced
    1 green pepper, diced (or whatever other veggies, or combination of veggies, sounds good (even peas will work))

    Saute the veggies in a little oil (butter, olive oil, canola, Crisco, whatever is handy) until the onions are translucent. Add a little ground meat (we would check at our local grocery store and pick up whatever was cheap — ground beef, ground pork, chicken, turkey, sausage, whatever). Add 1/2 cup of wine (whatever is handy), broth (chicken, beef, veggie), beer (don’t laugh, it worked) or water and a bullion cube and cook until almost dry. Add 1/2 cup of milk (or some half-and-half tubs liberated from the local coffee shop. quicky mart, or campus cafeteria) and cook until almost dry.

    Add a medium can of tomatoes, a medium can of tomato sauce or crushed tomatos, even one really big can of tomatos, whatever is cheap at your store. Toss in some cheap oregano and basil (we would get ours at the local dollar store) and simmmer on low in a big pot for at least an hour.

    Serve with some freshly boiled cheap pasta.

    Total cost (back in the 1980s)? Fresh veggies — $1 – $2; meat — $1 -$3; tomatos — $2 – $4. The other stuff was always in our cupboard, or in the frig, or in the quickymart. So $4 to $9, plus 1/4 pound of pasta per meal, fed two of us dinner for five to seven days.

    We alternated this with chile — add beans, change the seasonings, and serve over rice.

  12. says

    Cheap food issues – this blog here is just amazing – Eating well on $1 a day.

    I just clicked through and read a few pages of the blog, and most of his meals looked disgusting to me. I guess I’m just abnormally fussy and spoiled. :-(

    There are lots of foods I loathe, and can’t contemplate eating without feeling ill: processed white bread, any bread with a soft crust, sandwiches, bananas, apples, mayonnaise and anything that looks like mayonnaise, baked beans… many, unfortunately, being among the traditional budget food staples. This is partly why I find it very hard to eat a nutritionally-adequate diet cheaply.

    Now I feel bad, because I realize my fussiness is an artifact of having grown up with middle-class privilege (combined, admittedly, with chronic obsessive-compulsive disorder and a very, very weird brain).

  13. Algernon says

    Meh, Walton, I grew up pretty poor and can’t stand some of that stuff.

    Now I know how to make food stretch, but a lot of it involves cooking for yourself.

    But if you ate like me… you’d eat lots of beef (it stretches), jalapenos (cheap compared to other veggies and they last a while), onions (if there were gods they would eat these wonderful things all the time), black beans, and make your own tortillas (flour is soooo much cheaper).

    lol

    You need a saucepan, for one.

    Rice, noodles, chick peas, lentils, corn meal… these things are your friends!

    Invest in spice and soy and fish sauce (you don’t know you like fish sauce, but you do).

  14. Algernon says

    By the way, I have trouble vomiting… but when I’m very ill and I desperately want to get it over with I turn my thoughts to ham, sticky USian sponge-bread, with mayo. Does the trick almost every time.

    *shudders*

    I love me some peanut butter though.

  15. says

    He gets better at food as he goes along, definitely, though he never approaches gourmet eating. But even if you don’t like what he eats, check out the couponing! I love how a couple of weeks in he gets all embarrassed about buying tampons to get his peanut butter for nearly free – and then gets embarrassed about being embarrassed and buys dozens more pads & panty-liners to donate to the food bank. Awesome.

    Mind you, you could do a lot worse than tortillas with black beans, salsa, brown rice and an egg. Very nutritious.

    I have no idea how you could not eat something as generic as “sandwiches”, though, Walton. Do flatbreads like tortilla or lavash or chapattis count as “bread” for you?

  16. Algernon says

    Do you hate ALL beans, or just baked beans? Because baked beans are disgusting IMO, as are refried (dog barf) beans to me.

    However, beans are actually pretty damned good when people don’t ruin them.

  17. says

    But if you ate like me… you’d eat lots of beef (it stretches), jalapenos (cheap compared to other veggies and they last a while), onions (if there were gods they would eat these wonderful things all the time), black beans, and make your own tortillas (flour is soooo much cheaper).

    Yeah… I need to get some cooking equipment (I couldn’t bring any from England due to luggage constraints). I don’t know much about Mexican cooking, though I’m sure I could learn. And of course my vegetarianism adds another hurdle.*

    (*I’ve actually been a very consistent vegetarian since I’ve been in the US. Except for a couple of mini-quiches at the law school’s welcome reception the other day; they were only labelled “mini quiche”, and I didn’t realize they contained bacon until I put them in my mouth.)

  18. says

    Do you hate ALL beans, or just baked beans? Because baked beans are disgusting IMO, as are refried (dog barf) beans to me.

    However, beans are actually pretty damned good when people don’t ruin them.

    Oh, I like kidney beans in chilli. And broad beans, runner beans, etc.

    My intense dislike of baked beans is less to do with the beans themselves, and more to do with the way they’re usually sold (stewed, in a can, in an unpleasant gloopy sweet tomato sauce). I often find canned foods offputting in general.*

    (*One of the other revolting foods: alphabetti-spaghetti and other forms of pasta-from-a-tin. Yuk. I like real pasta, but the canned kind is vile. Thankfully I haven’t had to eat it in many years.)

  19. Algernon says

    I should ask one of my FB friends to talk to you about food planning. She’s a vegan, with celiac, in grad school, who works for a store and lives on her own. She’s a pro at efficiency with food.

    I’m both picky and not picky at the same time. For instance, I used to live off of these things they had at the Asian grocery store near me when I lived in Austin. They sold those glutinous rice balls in coconut/lotus/banana leaves with stuff in the center (prize find for a non-reader was finding a sweet one with lotus nut paste in it) for like a dollar. Heaven. Kind of like tamales. Mmmm…. tamales…

  20. says

    I have no idea how you could not eat something as generic as “sandwiches”, though, Walton. Do flatbreads like tortilla or lavash or chapattis count as “bread” for you?

    I should have been more specific… what I hate is the archetypal British “sandwich”, which is meat and/or salad and/or some other filling between two slices of (usually ready-sliced) bread. For extra revoltingness-points, mayonnaise and other abominations can be added.

    (Generally I don’t like to combine bread with anything, except butter or margarine. Bread-with-other-things-on-it is generally offputting to me.)

  21. Rey Fox says

    Bread-with-other-things-on-it is generally offputting to me.

    We would not be ideal roommates. One of my few food theorems is that everything is better on toast.

  22. says

    By the way, my compliments to whoever designed the Freethoughtblogs platform. It’s much better than Scienceblogs in a number of respects. (Notably, it doesn’t seem to block one from posting too often in a short period of time, as SB always has. And it does block exact-duplicate comments, which is useful when one’s comment has been submitted but hasn’t shown up yet.)

  23. Brother Ogvorbis, Fully Defenestrated Emperor of Steam, Fire and Absurdity says

    Another inexpensive but healthy food choice:

    One can of black beans
    One can of whole kernal corn, drained
    One onion, chopped
    One small chile pepper, chopped (if you want less head, seed and devein it)

    Saute onions and chile until almost cooked. Add beans and corn and cook on low heat until hot. Dump in a bowl and add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of your favourite salsa. Low fat, high in protein, good complex carbs, and delish. Girl (who is vegan) lives on that and frozen peas with fake chicken.

  24. Algernon says

    Oh yeah… I hate the baked bean taste for the same reason. Just wrong.

    I don’t mind red bean sweets though, strangely. I think because they’re dry and not tangy. It’s the ketchup taste I hate (I hate ketchup too).

    Tomato + sugar = poison

    Come to think of it, I’m not fond of tomatoes much. Oh, speaking of things that rhyme with tomatoes, which we weren’t really speaking of actually– potatoes! Do you like those?

    They don’t need a fridge, they last a bit, they’re damned good sauteed with an onion. They are also damned good sauteed with an onion, some cumin, a few eggs, and folded into a tortilla.

  25. Algernon says

    I love cheese too much to not love things-on-bread. Because there’s only so many other things to put cheese on before you come back to bread.

    Big thick gobs of nutty smelling almost rank brie on crusty bread!

    *drools*

  26. says

    Come to think of it, I’m not fond of tomatoes much. Oh, speaking of things that rhyme with tomatoes, which we weren’t really speaking of actually– potatoes! Do you like those?

    They don’t need a fridge, they last a bit, they’re damned good sauteed with an onion. They are also damned good sauteed with an onion, some cumin, a few eggs, and folded into a tortilla.

    Mmmm… *licks lips*

  27. Algeron says

    I still contend that it’s your drinks that are your money wasters. Stop buying coffee some one else made, and buy a whole case of sodas from whatever store sells them cheapest (or has a good coupon going). Then if you are in the cafeteria make do with water (you can have your soda later).

    If you’re spending a dollar or so extra on every meal this will make a quick impact on your daily food spending.

  28. Brother Ogvorbis, Fully Defenestrated Emperor of Steam, Fire and Absurdity says

    I love pretty much all food. If it is edible, I will try it.

    Ah. The ‘see food’ diet.

    Tomorrow will be another long day at work. It will be very busy and crawling with railfans.

    So for dinner, I’ll drop some boneless country ribs in the crock pot with one jalapeno, one chopped onion, and some smoked salt. When I get home it’ll be fork-tender, and I can shred it and put it on tortillas with some cheese, some fresh onion, some fresh jalapeno, a little salsa, and some diced zucchini (the stuff is taking over my back yard) for a a nice healthy and low-impact dinner.

    And now, to bed.

    Perchance not to dream.

  29. says

    I love cheese too much to not love things-on-bread. Because there’s only so many other things to put cheese on before you come back to bread.

    Oh yeah… cheese on bread can be good. (As long as the bread is good-quality and has a thick crust.)

  30. says

    From my experience, you’ll have to learn to make bread if you want anything decent in the US. Except that I did like the bake-at-home San Francisco sourdough that they sold in the Giant supermarket. However, my experience is now over 20 years old and not from somewhere near Boston, so you may well be lucky enough to find a decent bakery.

    And while you’re there, try Boston baked beans! They are very different from English. (Though I’m not sure if there’s a vegetarian version.)

    In general, I’m not fussy about food ingredients. I like just about everything, except bananas and durians. I squick at brains and insects. But I AM rather a lot more fussy about quality and preparation. Home made burger with fresh minced beef, on a solid bread roll, oh yes! Fast-food burgers, the patty made with mechanically recovered meat and those horrible soft sweet rolls, ew, no way.

    Tinned spaghetti is a vile abomination that I actually love when, and only when, I am sick.

  31. Mr. Fire says

    (As long as the bread is good-quality and has a thick crust.)

    When you come to my place for dinner some time soon (no, you don’t have a choice) I shall have a freshly-baked homemade french baguette waiting for you.

  32. John Morales says

    Hey Walton, I just want you to know I’m (abstractly) thrilled for you and your adventure.

    (Can’t wait until you start angsting about your examination outcomes!)

  33. says

    When you come to my place for dinner some time soon (no, you don’t have a choice) I shall have a freshly-baked homemade french baguette waiting for you.

    Mmmmmm. Homemade bread is one of the best things ever! *is excited*

  34. Mattir-ritated says

    On period sex: people should stop making universal pronouncements about how people should fuck. The only universal pronouncement allowed is “don’t fuck people who haven’t agreed to fuck.” Why does this rule seem so difficult for many people to grasp?

    On baked beans, bread, and groceries: they are amazing IF you make them yourself in a slow cooker. Better flavor and more pleasing levels of sweetness. Perhaps I will concoct some for Rhinebeck to inflict on Walton. The bread situation in the US has gotten much better over the last 15 years, with decent bread (chewy, flavorful, etc.) available in many grocery stores and chain restaurants (Panera’s, etc.) Walton should check out (if it still exists) the Harvest Food Coop. Spouse and I liked it a lot when we lived in Boston and even did the couple hours a month of grocery store work to get the larger discount. Bonus of this was that we met a second cousin of Spouse’s whom we had known nothing about – she volunteered there too and we shared the same unusual surname.

    I found out yesterday that our Crazy Catholic Neighbors™ have warned their son that we are nice people but have “disturbing books” in our house and so when he’s over here he should spend time playing in the woods, but make sure not to watch any movies or play video games. As if my books about being a good person because that’s how social primates do stuff are remotely as disturbing as the books about how thinking about wanking makes Jesus cry or how Harry Potter leads to Satan worship and baby sacrifice (no kidding!), or how Jesus is right there in the bed with you and your husband, along with every boyfriend or girlfriend you or your husband ever had previously.

    I think I’ll cross stitch a “Warning: Disturbing Books Within” sign for my front hall.

  35. chigau (™) says

    We make our own baked beans.
    We have done them in the oven, in a slow-cooker and in the campfire.
    Always good. Sometimes ambrosia.
    don’t be hatin’ on the baked beans.

  36. SallyStrange says

    Good news, everyone!

    I got a call back from a company I’ve been trying to work for since April!

    Sadly, the call was occasioned by the destruction wreaked in VT by Irene. However, the company is a woman-owned and operated environmental quality and testing company! I’ve met the owner and she seems awesome, an impression confirmed by former co-workers. I got the call today, I can’t wait to call them back!

    *happy dance*

    If only I’d been able to meet triskelethecat, then my day would have been 100% wonderful! (Meaning that I would not have been working. Ack, two more days.)

  37. chigau (™) says

    Mattir-ritated

    I think I’ll cross stitch a “Warning: Disturbing Books Within” sign for my front hall.

    Nice.
    I think I may tat one.
    .
    .
    .
    huh.
    cross stitch may be easier.

  38. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    *sigh*

    And now the dryer is dead.

    I know, not the End of the World, not even a Hurricane with Extreme Prejudice, but still, couldn’t it have waited until after we get my butt paid for?

    </whine>
    -
    onion girl, Happy Birthday from me as well.
    -
    SallyStrange, good news indeed! :)
    -

  39. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Part time insomniac -

    Oh, how bad I feel for your son finding out about his friend’s death. Sigh.

    SallyStrange-

    Congratulations on the employment prospects! Keep us up to date. I’m sorry you couldn’t come out with Triskelethecat and me tonight, but I understand. Thanks for the check-in voicemail. Yeah, she’s awesome, neener-neener.

    We had maki and tempura. Also, in honor of PZ, we both ordered one piece of Ika (squid sushi). Gotta say. . .I’ll never eat that again. Very distinctive taste not at all to my liking. I hope the sushi chef in front of whose bar we were sitting didn’t notice me gulping water to get the stuff down my gullet without further chewing.

    For starstuff91 – I’m glad Carlie mentioned the dried beans; I was going to do the same. They are so cheap and pack so much nutrition and “fillingness” in for the buck. I just love them. For about a dollar you can get a pound and cook them up in so many ways. They’re not going to go bad if you lug them to school and let them sit at room temperature.

    Cook up a mess of them on Sunday and portion them out, and you’ve got nearly free lunch for the week. One of my favorites is black beans cooked with garlic, onions, cumin, and cilantro. Mash half the beans once they’re soft, and you’ve got refrieds that taste better than anything.

    On bread - I’m determined to get a sourdough starter going from scratch. I’m on attempt 2, the first one having failed when it rose and fell and died while I was asleep and couldn’t be revived. Have got a thick paste in a glass bowl made from whole wheat flour sitting on the counter. After two days I just started getting some bubbles and fermentation, so I fed it again. Once it’s robust I’ll start converting it over to white bread flour (whole grain starts up much better and quicker, but you generally want a white flour starter in the end).

  40. SallyStrange says

    Extra bonus: I’m now watching an episode of “Numb3rs” that has Bill Nye the Science Guy on it! I wouldn’t have recognized him before PZ’s post. And also, now I understand the reference on “Bones” to Mr. Jude the Science Dude.

    Nice.

    *raises glass to the Horde*

    To Science!

  41. says

    Chigau, English baked beans are not the same as home-cooked or campfire version. They are tinned beans in a bland sweet tomato sauce. I quite like them anyway, though I do prefer to drain off whatever of the sauce I can, and mix in some HP for flavour :)

  42. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Oh, and happy birthday onion girl!! How old are you?


    Cicely
    - Sorry to hear about the dryer. Can it be cheaply repaired? If not, do you have a freecycle group in your community? Check out freecycle.org. It’s a swap site where people make requests and offers of free things. Yes, you can sometimes score things like appliances and tools.

    Don’t know what you have for a dryer, but if it’s a relatively modern one with computerized controls, consider ditching it for an older mechanical model. I had the washer and dryer that came with my house hauled to the dump because they were totally controlled by touchpad electronics that had busted. Just getting a new “control chip” (seriously, the fuck?) cost more than the two re-built 70s mechanical units I bought (and they work like a dream).

  43. Mattir-ritated says

    @Cath – yes, we in the USA have those horrid canned “baked beans” as well. There are, however, actual recipes to make a similar dish from scratch, and those can be fantastic.

  44. Part-Time Insomniac, Zombie Porcupine Nox Arcana Fan says

    After midnight already? I’m out. Thanks for the sympathies, guys. I’ll let you know if we find out anything new, though I dread it at the same time.

  45. chigau (™) says

    Cath the Canberra Cook
    re tinned baked beans
    Yeah, I know.
    Even in Canada the quality edibleness of tinned baked beans varies greatly.
    I can still make them into food with the addition of freshly fried bacon (or sausage or ham) and onions and maybe even tomatoes.
    and HP.

  46. says

    I watched the most recent episode of Doctor Who: Night Terrors. My thought? I really enjoyed it and it was pretty creepy, although not as nightmarish I felt it could have been. The monster of the week was really awesome. I just wish they wouldn’t have dragged out the build up.

    Having watched the trailer for next episode The Girl Who Waited, I can’t wait for the next episode.

  47. says

    Yeah, I know, home-made baked beans are in another league. I make them myself, in various styles. I don’t actually mind the tinned ones on occasion. But mostly I was trying to encourage Walton not to reject all “baked beans” on the basis of English tins.

    @Sally – congratulations! I’m not clear if you got an interview or you got an actual job, though?

    Onion Girl: Hippo Bathday and similar silly things!

  48. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    Josh, in The Husband’s amateur-but-somewhat-experienced opinion, no. In the first place, it’s something like 29 years old, and real parts apparently are no longer available even on-line, and in the second place, it seems to be the motor that’s dead. A friend of ours had come over to wash his comforters in advance of the colder weather (he’s in the wake of a messy divorce, and can’t afford to go to the laundromat right now on account of she’s got all his money), and the first one was about half dry, with two more freshly washed and waiting in line, when the dryer snuffed it; so he is going to have to somehow string 3 comforters, in varying degrees of dampness, out in his apartment to dry.

    I’ve noticed that craigslist sometimes has washers and dryers on it’s ‘free’ list; maybe we could get a friend of ours to help us move one if we find one. The Husband would rather get a new, just the basics model, and for that matter so would I, but not with both of us having blood work-ups due in late November! That’s the next big expense we’ve been sneaking up on and saving up for, for a while. We’ll manage, but still….*sigh*.
    -
    chigau, I don’t want god messing with my clothes!
    -

  49. SallyStrange says

    Cath –

    I interviewed with them several months ago. They told me that if they landed certain contracts, they’d be looking for help, and they’d definitely look me up. Those contracts didn’t come through, so they didn’t have any work for me back in June and July. However, now that Irene has caused so much damage, there’s suddenly a bunch more work to do, so they’re calling me to ask for my help.

  50. SallyStrange says

    StrangeBoyfriend is telling me about how he got to meet

    Erykah Badu

    Mos Def

    Lauryn Hill

    and almost got trampled by Nas’ entourage!

    …if you’re not a hip hop fan then don’t bother commenting. This is so awesome!

  51. Classical Cipher, OM says

    PTI, so sorry to hear of your loss. Hugs.

    Congrats to Sally! I hope all goes well!

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND CONFETTI TO ONION GIRL!

    The talk of food’s making me kind of sad, as I must confess it often does. Apparently the stuff that is disgusting to pretty much everybody is the stuff that I’m used to eating and that tastes good to me. I’ve got to really work to convince myself to take processed wheat bread instead of processed white, and even then it tastes and feels funny to me. I agree that canned pastas are gross, but virtually all pastas are gross – the textures make me gag.

    Another confession: I’m moving even further away from atheism. I’m still an atheist, there was no question of that, but I feel like every time I think about religion now it’s either “religious people really fucking need to stop doing horrible things” or “still no evidence of gods? cool, done with that conversation.” I don’t even really comment on god threads anymore because everyone knows already that [insert new religious atrocity here] is temporarily the worst fucking thing I’ve read all week and everyone already has pointed out that there still isn’t any evidence for gods. I don’t feel like I have much to offer those conversations.

  52. Audley Z. Darkheart OM (OS), purveyor of candy and lies says

    Haven’t caught up:
    My little sister’s bachelorette party is tonight– half of the people didn’t show up.

    I’m so mad I could spit. Or cry. I’m not sure which.

  53. SallyStrange says

    Ooooh, Audley! Those douchenozzles!

    I have a little sister, I know just how you feel. (Her bachelorette party was a success–probably because she only invited about 8-9 people.)

    By the way, we really need to plan a meetup sometime when I go to visit my family. Last time I went, I literally drove right through Schenectady, just for the hell of it. It’d be awesome!

  54. Classical Cipher, OM says

    All right, come on, Audley, let’s fight ‘em *puts up her fists*
    In all seriousness, I am sorry, that must feel terrible for your sister. Just gotta try and make the best of it, as I’m sure you already are.

  55. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Cicely, notice that I said freecycle.org, not craigslist. If you haven’t checked out freecyle, you really need to. I got a working dehumidifier, weed trimmer, and several other useful household items there for free.

  56. The Lone Coyote says

    Classical Cipher: Eh, I sorta know what you mean. Only so many different ways you can say ‘yeah, religion is fucked’ before it starts to feel repetitive.

    It’s weird, and I’m probably dumping alot of ammo right into the laps of the religious with this, but I fucking hate God. I mean, I don’t believe the christian god exists, but still I fucking hate him. Personally. Does that make sense?

    I want to punch God in the dick. Is it bizarre that I feel such a personal hate for something I’m intellectually sure doesn’t exist?

    Maybe it’s the fact that ‘God’ is like a symbol of all the jackass authority figures throughout my brief strange life who want me to get in line and ‘start acting right’ and all that happy horseshit. Or maybe it’s just the weed talking.

    While I’m posting I’d also like to declare my love for the dried beans. We have a large container full of them, and the chili I make with them is awesome. Just presoak a bunch in salted water the night before.

  57. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    SallyStrange:

    By the way, we really need to plan a meetup sometime when I go to visit my family.

    You’re going to meet Audley and Mr. Darkheart, and the Fire Family here in Vermont October 14 – 16. Remember we’ve rented a house on the lake in Fletcher, VT, for that weekend (mark your calendar, girl!).

  58. SallyStrange says

    Coyote, I totally get it. I mean, if God did exist, the way the fundies describe him, he’d totally be worth hating.

    There are certain fictional characters that I especially despise in books that I treasure or TV series I enjoy. But God is more intense because so many people think he’s real. It’s odd.

  59. Classical Cipher, OM says

    It’s weird, and I’m probably dumping alot of ammo right into the laps of the religious with this, but I fucking hate God. I mean, I don’t believe the christian god exists, but still I fucking hate him. Personally. Does that make sense?

    Makes sense just fine. I personally hate Howard motherfucking Roark. (If you don’t know who that is, just go about your way happily.) No problem hating fictional characters – in my opinion, the problem with religious folks saying we hate God is that it’s fundamentally beside the point. Doesn’t matter what I feel about God as a character or a meme. Matters whether there’s evidence, which there’s not.

  60. Audley Z. Darkheart OM (OS), purveyor of candy and lies says

    Sally,
    Aren’t we hanging in Oct.?

    It’s my birthday and I’m baking for this shit, so you had better be there. :P But really, any time you’re in S-Town, send me a message. I would love a meet up!

    CC,
    At this point, my sister is too fucking drunk to care. But I do. And I AM PISSED.

    The wedding is in a week. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to keep my cool when these assholes show up.

  61. says

    @LoneCoyote
    Disliking fictional characters is totally okay and not weird. I also have characters I despise despite the fact that they are fictional. For example, one of the characters I despise the most is Umbridge from Harry Potter. I don’t think any other fictional characters have ever caused me to dislike them so much.

  62. Audley Z. Darkheart OM (OS), purveyor of candy and lies says

    Josh,
    I am gonna bake. For the meetup. If you want anything, lemme know. :)

  63. Ibis3, féministe avec un titre française de fantaisie says

    I think I’ll cross stitch a “Warning: Disturbing Books Within” sign for my front hall.

    Like.

    A few suggestions for cheapish food (which buy in bulk, and freeze what you can (e.g. cheese in big blocks on sale & shred before freezing)):

    salsa
    canned black beans, rinsed
    corn
    cilantro
    shredded cheese
    wrap in tortilla & freeze

    It should thaw by lunch time. Good cold, room temp, or warmed up.

    rice with chicken broth, cheese & lentils (again, freeze & let thaw for lunch)

    rice with chicken broth, zucchini, tomatoes, onions & cheese

    rice with onion, other veggies, and egg

    —-

    Period sex:

    I don’t have hangups or feel that I’m ***Unclean*** or taboo. The thing is, on the first day I usually feel like crap and don’t want to be touched, the next two days I feel gross–slimy and wet and not in a good way & pubic hair and blood, not the best combination–not to mention that for these days, I also often feel fatigued and not up for much activity. The last 3 days I’d be okay (& often a bit horny) if my partner was interested.* But seriously? This woman wants to equate squick at having period sex with misogyny? If a guy (or woman for that matter) says “You’re untouchable and I’m not going to go near you or anything you’ve touched while bleeding,” *that* could be an indication of misogyny.

    *if I had one, which I don’t. sigh.

    The Doctor

    Not a lot to squee with on this ep. but next week’s looks pretty fantastic.

  64. SallyStrange says

    Oh yeah, I had kinda forgotten about that. Well, not about the event, but I have trouble remembering who’s going to be there, aside from Josh, because I know him IRL already. AWESOME!!!

    Best of luck not punching your sister’s jerky friends in the teeth.

  65. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I am gonna bake. For the meetup. If you want anything, lemme know. :)

    ♫It’s my birthday and I’ll bake if I want to . . . you would bake too if it happened to you!♫

    If you’re baking sweet, I’d love lemon bars and/or chocolate cake.

    If you’re baking savory, crusty French bread or ciabatta would rock my world. :))

  66. The Lone Coyote says

    SallyStrange: I especially hate the sort of ‘might makes right’ angle that goes with it. “Well, it says here ‘God hardened pharaoh’s heart,’ and later on he even brags about making Pharaoh a bad guy from the start just to show how much more awesome he is!” “Well, he’s God, so he can do these things if he wants… potter’s clay book of Job god works in mysterious ways herpdederp” Basically, he’s powerful enough to do it and he’ll send ya to hell anyways, so it’s ‘righteous’. Fuck them.

    Weeding out friends always sucks. The ex and I have been going through our own friend weeding out process, sorta. The ex wrt her homophobic fundie friend, and in my case, a guy I hung out with for a long time who I’ve been noticing more and more horrible douchey tendencies in. (Fun fact: Wheels started turning in my head when I first started posting here and learning about MRAs and rape apologist horseshit….. I was all like “Hey, this is kinda familiar.”).

    It always sucks, it sucks especially if there were genuine good times, but it has to be done sometimes. I wish I could offer useful advice, but I’m sometimes at a bit of a loss myself. Instead I shall open this bigass bottle of Chablis I bought on a whim (never tried Chablis before, is it good?) and invite you all to join me ‘in spirit’.

  67. SallyStrange says

    Ordered hot wings.

    Greeted the delivery boy wearing my sodomy not bombs t-shirt, and gave him a good chuckle.

    “I usually don’t wear this out in public much,” I said.

  68. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Coyote:

    Instead I shall open this bigass bottle of Chablis I bought on a whim (never tried Chablis before, is it good?) and invite you all to join me ‘in spirit’.

    I’m already there with ya babe. Is chablis good? Depends on the wine, as with all wines. But I drink cheap wine at home and only savor the really good stuff when someone else is buying it, so I’d probly glug your swill and pronounce it just fine.

  69. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Ordered hot wings.

    Greeted the delivery boy wearing my sodomy not bombs t-shirt, and gave him a good chuckle.

    “I usually don’t wear this out in public much,” I said.

    LOL!

    Girl, where can you get wings delivered at almost 2 in the morning here in Burlington? I’m hungry as fuck.

  70. Audley Z. Darkheart OM (OS), purveyor of candy and lies says

    Josh,
    I bake sweet exclusively. So far, I’ve got an AWESOME coconut cream cake with chocolate glaze (it’s my fav, so I might as well make it) and scones for b’fast planned. I can make a coffee and chocolate bundt, if you’d like.

    Anyway, I’ll email you about it. :)

  71. The Lone Coyote says

    Hmmm, not bad. I may have to get Chablis again.

    I’ve lately been into learning about winemaking. It’s probably the closest you can get to ‘capturing summer in a bottle’.

  72. Audley Z. Darkheart OM (OS), purveyor of candy and lies says

    Coyote,
    I’m drinking a cheap ass pinot grigio right now. And I’m pissed. We’re in good company.

  73. SallyStrange says

    Audley, I defer to your judgment about the baking. In my experience, it’s best to let the chef do what pleases her, and savor the results. Also, I’m not picky. OM NOM NOM.

  74. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Audley – I’ll take whatever your specialty is, because that’s always a sure bet! That coconut cake sounds freakin’ marvelous. Bake what you think you do best and bring it. :)

  75. SallyStrange says

    Oh, and for Coyote: the weeding out friends bit was in reference to Audley’s sister’s friends.

    Mines are pretty well weeded.

  76. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Wings over Burlington. . .I was just thinking about trying them today, thanks for the recommendation. I loves me some hot chicken wings (which are a rare treat given the heart diet, so when I have them, they must be good).

    A bit late for me to be ordering food, plus I’m low on cash. But there’s nothing to stop me throwing cubes of tofu into some hot olive oil until crisp, then dusting it with nutritional yeast and garlic.

    Um, it’s far more delicious than it sounds.

  77. The Lone Coyote says

    I know Sallystrange. Still sucks, finding out people you thought were awesome for the longest time aren’t exactly like you thought they were…

  78. Audley Z. Darkheart OM (OS), purveyor of candy and lies says

    Like I said, I’ll email you all about it. :) I’m flexible.

  79. SallyStrange says

    Yeah, Coyote. The really sucky thing for me is that one of those people lives right down the hall from me. :-/

  80. Classical Cipher, OM says

    Re: comic one-

    Consenting people, at times when only consenting people are involved, cos y’all actually want to and aren’t being pressured or coerced? Fuck, is this confusing for some people?

  81. kristinc says

    When I read Order Of The Phoenix for the first time, Umbridge provoked this very peculiar, unsettling, strong reaction in me that I actually took a while to figure out because it was so strange. I finally realized it was hatred. I’ve felt hatred for real people before, but never for a fictional character.

  82. Classical Cipher, OM says

    Oh, I forgot “in these ways” and substituted “at these times.” Uh – consensually? In ways that y’all consent to?

  83. The Lone Coyote says

    this chablis tastes even better when I drink it from these comemmorative olympic wineglasses I acquired (plundered from a house I was tearing down). Apparently ‘loot’ makes a good accompaniment to fine wine.

    CC: That straw-woman manhater cartoony version of feminism often presented to guys like me is the reason it took me as long as it did to start ‘catching on’. It’s amazing how many of us still think feminists are angry shrill haters of sex and men and little more. It’s easy to buy into, on top of that.

  84. Audley Z. Darkheart OM (OS), purveyor of candy and lies says

    Sally:

    Time for a friend-weeding-out session perhaps?

    One would hope, but my little sister is… not as picky as she should be. It seems like all of her choices are based on the local punk scene as opposed to who actually cares about her.

    It’s frustrating to me, even though I know there’s nothing I can do about it.

    RE the cake: I am totally willing to try something new, but the coconut cake has wowed everyone.

    I’m hoping to get a good morning of baking in before we leave for the SPOKESGAY EXTRAVAGANZA, but if not, I’m gonna be hauling a whole shit load of food/baking supplies with me.

    RE wings*: We got wings from Bombers Burrito Bar tonight for that party and they were mmmMMMMmmm delicious! If you’re ever in the area, they are definitely worth trying.

    *Seriously, guys? They’re just “wings”, not “hot wings” or “Buffalo wings”. Anyone from upstate NY should know that. :P

  85. SallyStrange says

    *Seriously, guys? They’re just “wings”, not “hot wings” or “Buffalo wings”. Anyone from upstate NY should know that. :P

    1. I’m from central New York.

    2. These wings are FUCKING HOT. My lips are tingling. Must drink more beer.

  86. SallyStrange says

    Just for the record, the wings are 2 steps down from the absolute hottest of hot sauces available. “Jet fuel.” MMMmmm.

  87. Audley Z. Darkheart OM (OS), purveyor of candy and lies says

    Also, along the lines of plundered glassware: My granddad’s second wife recently moved into an assisted living facility, so I inherited her collection of Fostoria glassware. It’s awesome in a vintage kind of way, but I’ve no freaking idea what to do with it.

    (I’m drunk, leave me alone. Mr Darkheart just tried to have a serious discussion with me about Hugo Chavez, but that just wasn’t happening.)

  88. Audley Z. Darkheart OM (OS), purveyor of candy and lies says

    Sally:

    1. I’m from central New York.

    Dude, I know. That’s why I was all “guuuuh wut?”

  89. Classical Cipher, OM says

    I just fell back into calling Ayn Rand “Ms. Rand” like I did when I was a stupid Randroid.

    …Bad times :(

  90. The Lone Coyote says

    It’s awesome in a vintage kind of way, but I’ve no freaking idea what to do with it.

    Hey, I know this sounds crazy, but have you tried drinking alcoholic beverages out of it?

    Sorry if this is a repeat, my last post seems to have disappeared into the aether.

    Also I’m pretty close to drunk too. Gotta empty this big bottle fairly fast, I kinda need it.

  91. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Lone Coyote:

    Hey, I know this sounds crazy, but have you tried drinking alcoholic beverages out of it?

    :D

    I should have specified that the collection consists of a glass urn, a candy dish, a pair of candle holders, and a couple of bowls.

    I may be drunk, but I am not drunk enough to drink wine out of an urn.

  92. Classical Cipher, OM says

    Bedtime for Cipher. Goodnight everybody.

    (By the way, Billings, right now. Jamestown tomorrow. We’ll see how that goes.)

  93. The Lone Coyote says

    I have a coyote skull, and I’m drunk enough to drink wine out of that. Infact I think I will. Hey, it’s no crazier than communion, right? heehee. Besides, maybe it’ll improve my hunting mojo.

    I don’t see anything wrong with drinking wine out of an urn, unless it actually contains someone’s mortal remains. Though I’m not sure an urn would make a convenient drinking vessel.

  94. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Lone Coyote:

    Hey, it’s no crazier than communion, right?

    I’ve never done that. In fact, except for the whole wedding and funeral racket, I haven’t really done any organized religious shit. My parents raised me in a secular household.

    I feel that drinking out of an urn (or a coyote skull) is demonstrably less crazy than taking communion. At least I (and you) don’t believe that the wine is going to turn into anything else (except a hangover tomorrow morning).

    I don’t see anything wrong with drinking wine out of an urn, unless it actually contains someone’s mortal remains.

    Nope, no remains. I think there was potpourri in it.

    I think I’m going to put candy in the urn.

  95. The Lone Coyote says

    It would have helped if I’d thoroughly cleaned the skull beforehand.

    Incidentally, this particular skull is a bit fascinating to me. It exhibits some definite dental issues that I can only imagine were painful as hell during the animal’s life. It was found dead inside a hollow stump.

  96. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    It’s the third day of a majorettes (wiki) competition on the stadium near my building. It’s the third day of teenage girls screaming all day long near my building.

    My head hurts.

  97. says

    LOL and also EWW! @coyote!

    Nature isn’t pretty in many ways. Read Zimmer’s Parasite Rex, it’s fascinating and gruesome!

    In general domestic pets and zoo animals live much longer that the wild kind – simply because they get the care and protection. My poor cat had 3 teeth out recently(*) at the ripe old age of 8.5, and he cheered up so much afterwards that I think he must have been in a lot of pain. Cats are such stoics.

    (*) Approximate cost of HOW MUCH? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!!!

  98. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    Congratulations to SallyStrange and hippy birdie two ewes to onion girl!

    There was a while when I lived in a chambre de bonne (which means no cooking facilities) and all I had to cook with was a naked element designed to boil water in the mug for tea. I used it in a saucepan to boil pasta instead (a bit tricky getting bits of pasta off the element after each time) and lived on salad followed by bargain-basement plain yoghurt with cheapest-own-brand honey.

    Not very helpful, I know. But later when I got a two-ring electric hotplate I used to cook chicken livers a lot – they were cheap then, and I like them a lot more than mammal livers for taste and texture. Sautéed onion, stuck in mushrooms and chicken livers and anything else handy, especially tomatoes, salt and pepper and just mushed it around occasionally until done (I was not an accomplished cook, and still ain’t). Eat with rice. Lots of meaty-type flavour, for them as likes it, for not much meaty-type cost. Offal is great that way, for flavour-to-cost ratio – kidneys, hearts, mmmmm.

  99. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    We used to buy beef tongue pretty cheap. Pig tongue is a bit cheaper and only slightly less tasty. It looks a bit unappetizing, but after you cook and clean it, it’s delicious. Sliced in a sandwich for the simplest meal, or combined with vegetables in a salad. A bit of onions, cooked green beans, some salt, oil and vinegar. Delicious. It also goes great with lettuce and a hard boiled egg. Or almost any other combination of vegetables you got at hand.

  100. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    Oh and Lone Coyote? Please, please say you’ll boil it first next time, if you ever decide to try that again?!

  101. Carlie says

    We are experiencing some pretty awesome thunder at the moment. There is a small red storm cell heading right for us, but it’s just south- we have no rain, just loads of great thunder. Neat!

  102. says

    starstuff91:
    Budget ice-pack: Take one of those cheap plastic bottles from bottled water or other soft drinks. Fill 70% with water, gently squeeze out a bit of air (that’s why the very cheap ones work better, they’re usually really soft), freeze. Wrap your lunchbox and the bottle in a towel.

    Budget lunchbox: Treat yourself to some ice-cream that comes in a plastic box. They don’t last forever like Tupperware, but they can be replaced rather easily, you can ask friends and family to save them for you.

    I don’t know how food prices are in the usa, but I can sure give you a bunch of recipies that are rather cheap.

    Opposablethumbs:
    I love your dog.

    beatrice
    I find the whole article stupid
    A) I don’t want to have penetrative period sex myself. PERIOD
    The thought of my own menstruational blood squirting all over the place grosses me out myself (apart from the issue of getting the sheets clean again.)
    So, am I a misogyist myself?

    B) Usually we take the stance that people should never be obliged to do things in bed they feel mightily uncomfortable with. I don’t see why this doesn’t apply to men who are turned off be the thought of mentruational sex. If she totally can’t live without it she should use a vibrator or find another guy.

    The very question

    Do you have a right to refuse to have period sex because you think bleeding vaginas be nasty?

    betrays a bad idea about sex IMO. People have every right they can imagine to refuse any sexual activity for whatever reason. End of story.
    Yes, she answers it with “yes, of course, but then I’ll think you are a misogynist”. But I think we’ve heard the same line of reasoning from the other sex for long enough to be sensitive about the idea of coertion.
    Sure, the power-imbalance is a different one, and most guys would probably just laugh her off, but I don’t like the idea of bullying people into performing sex-acts they don’t want to perform.

    The fact that my period is a perfectly normal function of my body, that there are even times when I’m delighted to see it, doesn’t mean I have to be in love with my body fluids. It’s something I’d rather don’t have much contact with, same goes for all the other things my body disposes of.
    BTW, am I also a misandrist for not thinking semen to be the second most wonderful fluid (after ma own menstruational blood, of course) on planet earth?

    Happy Birthday, onion girl

    Walton
    I really enjoyed your posts about Sam Harris, don’t have anything sensible to add or discuss at the moment, just wanted to let you know that I like reading them.

    SallyStrange
    That sounds great, congratulations!

    I think I’ll cross stitch a “Warning: Disturbing Books Within” sign for my front hall.

    Sister brought a book for my daughter yesterday which is really nice and warm and fuzzy. But I can imagine that large parts of conservative USA would be freaked out, because *spoiler alert* A hedgehog named Elvis kisses a crocodile called Kevin

  103. Algernon says

    Thank you Giliell! That was bothering me too but I couldn’t figure out why. You’re totally right. The whole premise is fucked up from the start. Just delete everything else about it and the question is “Do you have the right to refuse … sex…?”

    It doesn’t matter what kind of sex really, and it doesn’t matter why. The answer is yes.

  104. Carlie says

    I think the objection I have, aside from sex and consent, is also at the basic idea stated as “if you don’t love and want to wallow in every aspect of how a body operates, you never get to do anything with that kind of body and are an anti-body person”. And for every example of that attitude that was brought up on that particular thread regarding bodily effluence being icky, Jill and a few people who agreed with her made exceptions. Oh, but those other bodily fluids can cause disease, so it’s ok not to like those. Oh, but those other functions only happen when you’re sick, so it’s ok not to like that. It all came down to menstrual blood being the magical giver of all life and therefore must be revered somehow over and above all other bodily fluids. In almost those exact words, even. Which just…what? I have as little patience with woo-filled “everything feminine is sacred mother earth life” crap as I do with patriarchal ideas about women=bad.

  105. Algernon says

    I think I’ll cross stitch a “Warning: Disturbing Books Within” sign for my front hall.

    I need one of those. I should probably warn people of disturbing objects and art as well.

  106. Dhorvath, OM says

    The problem is that there is a lot of anti menstrual sentiment. There are men who want to pretend it doesn’t happen, who object to adverts for tampons, silence discussion of menstrual issues, and from that extend an aversion to menses as something wrong or gross. This idea is what I think Jill has in her head as being the justification for her calling someone who won’t fuck during menstruation as a misogynist. When someone says no because it’s gross they are contributing to the culture of wrong that surrounds menstruation by reminding her that it’s not okay.
    I get that, I just think she hasn’t really explored the idea well and as a result is extending her personal reaction to people in general. Having re-read I am frustrated by the need to polarize exhibited by her treatment, I feel alienated and erased, not chastised. That’s a reaction I usually only find from religious approaches to some social problem.

  107. Algernon says

    It all came down to menstrual blood being the magical giver of all life and therefore must be revered somehow over and above all other bodily fluids. In almost those exact words, even. Which just…what? I have as little patience with woo-filled “everything feminine is sacred mother earth life” crap as I do with patriarchal ideas about women=bad.

    Seconded.

    I have very neutral feelings about menstrual blood. It’s kind of neat, but it really isn’t that important… and it *is* waste material.

    Menstrual fluid is a lot like mucus to me– not horribly offensive, but not something you’d put on a croissant either.

  108. llewelly says

    Patricia, OM | 3 September 2011 at 2:57 am :

    Cipher – Damn, I wish I was in SLC. Love the family history library, and the Dead Goat Saloon.

    The Dead Goat Saloon died years ago. Zion Tribe no longer plays at Port’o’Call, which is also dead. The Zephyr is also years dead. The Tavernacle is also dead. People I know who are into SLC’s night life have been in near-constant mourning over yet another good bar going under for most of the last 10 years.

    (Not that I was ever a regular patron of any of those places … I don’t really care for bars.)
    As for the gay bashing … to me it is a sign of progress that gay bashing makes the news, instead of being ignored. Yeah, it’s been that way here for about 10 years, but still remember what it was like when there was no chance a gay bashing would get reported on.

    (by the way, if all goes well, I’m moving out of SLC in a few weeks.)

  109. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Oh, good to hear all this. After reading that thread for two days I was afraid I shouldn’t be allowed to go near my vagina ever again, since I’m such a body-shaming misogynist who hates my baby making parts… And that would just be sad.

  110. ChasCPeterson says

    Menstrual fluid is a lot like mucus to me– not horribly offensive, but not something you’d put on a croissant either.

    qf…not t so much as it’s just an awesome sentence.

  111. llewelly says

    The Lone Coyote | 4 September 2011 at 1:56 am:

    Shitfire, that was a bad idea. yick.

    I was going to warn about the awful, sickening flavor of microscopic bits of rotted coyote brain. I just wasn’t quick enough …

  112. SallyStrange says

    YESSS. I just talked to the company and they’re looking for hydrologists and water quality analysts to help with the hurricane cleanup. So not only do I get to work for a company I’ve worked for for a long time, I also get to help my fellow Vermonters in their time of need! This is awesome. It’s a temporary position, but I feel confident that if I do a good job, it can lead to long-term employment. Even if it doesn’t, it’s still going to look fantastic on my resume and lead to lots of good connections.

    Plus, it involves traveling to other parts of the state for weeks at a time, so that’ll be a nice distraction once StrangeBoyfriend moves away.

    YAAAY!

    It’s gotten dark and it’s about to rain.

    YAAAAY! (This means less traffic at the fair and potentially way going home early)

  113. Algernon says

    I just talked to the company and they’re looking for hydrologists and water quality analysts to help with the hurricane cleanup. So not only do I get to work for a company I’ve worked for for a long time, I also get to help my fellow Vermonters in their time of need!

    Congrats!

  114. says

    I really think it’s judgmental and stupid to call someone a “misogynist” based on the fact that they don’t enjoy a particular sex act. The fact that one might not enjoy a particular technique or activity, or be attracted to a particular part of the body, doesn’t mean that one doesn’t love and respect one’s partner.

  115. DavidH says

    For those who may be interested, I have an update to a situation I posted about last week.

    In that post, I described a situation in which my son’s high school football coach was letting a local minister preach to the football team for the first half hour of practices on Thursday evenings. According to my son, the coach introduced the preacher as a person who was going to unify the team through faith. The preacher then went on to talk about the importance of faith, asked the kids if they were living as god would want them to, and told them some bible stories. He also told them he’s been conducting this series of talks at the school for a number of years.

    When I posted about this last week, I was soliciting advice for how I might approach the situation, and I really appreciate the advice I received. I didn’t do anything right away though, because I wanted to have my son take notes at the next Thursday session, so that I could put together a better case for complaining.

    According to my son’s notes, the preacher’s theme this week was about how these guys were constantly being watched, no matter where they were or what they were doing, somebody was watching. According to my son, he went on at length for some time without saying who it was that was watching, but eventually stated that it was god. He then stated that because god was watching, these guys needed to always do what was right. He also told them that god has a plan for each and everyone of them, and that they need to seek out god to ask him what it is that he wants each of them to do.

    Based on my son’s notes, I called the school principal this past Friday afternoon. When I spoke to him, I didn’t get a good feeling that he grasped the gravity of the situation, at least as I saw it. He did state that yes, if true, this definitely crosses the line, but he also stated that he was rushed, and seemed to want to end the call before I could give him all of the specifics. And when I started giving reasons for the importance of anonymity for myself and my son (I used the terms bullying, and ostracizing), he interrupted with “let’s not even go down that road”. The call ended with him thanking me for calling, and stating that he would follow up with this by speaking to the athletic director first thing next week.

    I don’t know where this will go, but I have some ideas of where I would like to see it go. First and foremost, I want the coach to cease and desist from any forms of proselytizing at the high school (he also teaches social studies, so I suppose he could be lapsing in judgement in that capacity as well). Second, I want the coach to own up to the fact that he was abusing his position as an authority figure in a public school, by apologizing to the team and to their parents at an upcoming football team steak fry. And finally, I want the school administration to provide training to the staff on the concept of church state separation.

  116. SallyStrange says

    Thanks, Algernon!

    @ Walton

    I really think it’s judgmental and stupid to call someone a “misogynist” based on the fact that they don’t enjoy a particular sex act. The fact that one might not enjoy a particular technique or activity, or be attracted to a particular part of the body, doesn’t mean that one doesn’t love and respect one’s partner.

    Heterosexual men who refuse to give oral sex, but insist on receiving it?

    DavidH – I missed the original post, but I wish you the best of luck with the situation. Do keep us posted.

  117. theophontes, feu d'artifice du cosmopolitisme says

    Just caught up with the thread again. And pleased to see there is a lot of talk about food.

    I am now typing this from a hotel on the edge of Fuxian Lake in Yunnan. (No camera so pic from webz)

    On the trip up, my colleagues bought us pickled chicken feet for travel snacks. They are really tasty. For supper we had fried crickets. They tasted exactly like you would expect fried crickets to taste. Eeeuw. Luckily the rest of the dishes were delicious.

    @ Josh

    [sour dough bread]

    You really are a culinary superhero. I tried the same about a fortnight go and it was all a miserable failure. It could be that it is so hot and humid here. On the other hand I understand that it can be difficult to get started. Please keep us up to date with how it went.

    (I might have a HUGE favour to ask you if you can get it to work. If I sent you my adress, could you send me some of your dried yeast ( The process is super simple.Link. I will of course compensate you for the cost of mailing. You can email me at: my nym (without the french bits) at hot mail dot com when you need my address. Obviously only if you are happy to do this.)

  118. says

    OK, special post on budget cooking.

    I am aware that a lot of those things might not be possible for starstuff, but they might be of interest for other people as well.

    2 major obstacles:
    - A freezer is a wonderful thing that helps to save money. I’m aware that not everybody has one, especially not students.

    -The “Sam Vimes Paradoxon of Boots”: The more money you have, the less you have to spend, but if you have no money you have to pay more for less. The Giliell family does rather well on our income because it is enough to “invest it”. I can afford to spend money on kids’ clothes when they are on sale for the next year. So now there’s a large pile of summer clothes sitting in the wardrobe we don’t need right now. But we’ll need them come next summer when the girl has grown out of her current size. This holds even true for second hand shops.
    With food, the treshold isn’t as high as with clothes, so it might be more applicable with even a low budget. If you’re making a good bargain on something you’re sure you will use and can manage to buy it, do so.
    There are weeks I hardly spend any money on food at all, because I use what’s in the larder (disclaimer: I should make even more use of it).

    Another disclaimer: Things might be rather different in the USA, so I’m not trying to make fun of you if my tip is stupid, it’s an honest mistake.

    So, here are my personal tips:

    Ethnic foodstores
    Well, not the fancy “international food, French wine, Russian caviar” kind, but rather the kind run by the actual ethnicities usually in areas where there’s a large community. They are often good for basic things in large quantities. Around here, a 20lbs sack of rice in a Chinese foodstore might only be 4 times the price of a 2 lbs sack in an ordinary store. Maybe there’s a friend you can share it with.

    The right time
    If shops are closed on Sundays, go there on Saturday before they close, or before holidays. Farmers markets are good shortly before they close. There will often be stuff that will spoil over night/the weekend and before they throw it away they sell it cheap or even give it away. Don’t be shy to ask. Also there are often baskets/parts where supermarkets sell things cheap that are close to their “use by” date.

    Look for offers
    In Germany, the big supermarkets will put basic stuff everybody needs on offer (actually, there’s a horrible culture to do this via the milk price, which is quite bad for farmers). Their calculation is that once they get you into the shop, you’ll buy other, regularly priced stuff, too. Well, if you don’t fall for it you can save a lot of money that way.

    Dried, frozen and canned stuff
    Others have mentioned beans already, but also lentils, chick peas and normal peas. They are cheap, easy to store, nutritious and tasty. Also often avaible in the ethnic foodstores. Canned tomatoes, sweetcorn, even pineapples. Easy to store and with multiple uses. As others have also mentioned, frozen veggies are often much cheaper than fresh veggies.

    Write the prices down on your knees
    Well, not actually.
    This is more about the tricks of the food/shopping industry. Because they really don’t want us to buy cheap things.
    One of their tricks is to hide the cheap varieties down at the bottom of the shelf and place the expensive ones at eye-level.
    Another one is to make things look like a really great offer. Therefore it’s good to have a list with the prices of your regular food-stuff. Make sure you have the prices per lbs or ounce or whatever and don’t let them fool you with things that look cheap because there’s only half the amount in the box or that say they are cheap because it’s a bulk pack but actually aren’t.

    Friends and family
    I know, this depends a lot on the individual case, but don’t be shy to invite yourself over for dinner once in a while. Maybe you have an old great-uncle or aunt who wouldn’t even notice in their purse if they send you 10$ a month as long as you’re in college. It may not be much, but it may also be 5 days worth of food and a small monthly sum might convince them that you really need it and don’t just want to buy a new “Eye-Pad, or whatever it is you young people have these days”

    Food-related jobs
    More personal experience: Working in a sausage factory, I didn’t only get a free meal on late shift, I also could buy the “not so pretty” stuff for cheap money. Nothing wrong with a sausage because it doesn’t have the right shape. As a waitress in a restaurant I’d get a free meal or even left-overs.

    Recipes

    Giliell’s Basic Chicken Broth
    This works really well if you have a freezer, because you can make large quantities and use whenever you need it. But it’s of course also nice without one, but you might have to eat chicken stuff for several days.

    Chicken/Chickenparts. Whatever suits your budget best. I’ve found out that it depends mightily on what is the local most favourite part of the chicken. The rest will be cheaper. I personally prefer whole legs.
    Carrots, leech, onion, garlic, celery if you like it, finely diced. Not too much, two or three handfull for a big pot.

    Roast the veggies and the chicken in a little oil, season with pepper, cumin, whatever fancies you, add a generous amount of salt, cover well with water and cook. (I use a steam cooker).
    Put through a colander, catching the stock. Remove the chicken, pull off the edible meat and return to the stock.
    The veggies might look really nasty now, but they are very, very tasty. You can use them well for bubble and squeak.
    The stock with meat can now be used in a large number of ways. Add peas, carrots and rice and you have Risi-Bisi. Add mushrooms and pasta and have soup, add coconut milk, veggies and spices and you have a wannabe-Asian broth.

    More broth ideas:
    A bacon rasher gives a good taste to potato/lentil/chickpea broth. Local butchers will also often sell beef bones cheap or even give them away.

    Zombie Casserole: Eyeballs in blood with maggots and lots of rotten stuff
    -Meatballs (It pays to compare prices. Often ready-made frozen ones are cheaper than minced meat. You can also mix the minced meat with grated carrots to make it go further.
    -If you make them yourself use the oil/fat to roast onions and garlic.
    -Add canned tomatoes and a pinch of sugar or a bit of honey.
    -Add frozen veggies, preferrably something green
    -Season to taste (I prefer Italian herbs)
    -Cook some pasta that looks vaguely “maggoty”
    -Mix meatballs and pasta with the tomatoe/veggie sauce.

    Foolproof soda-bread
    -1lb of wholemeal flour
    -1 teaspoon salt
    -2 teaspoons soda
    -2 cups of buttermilk

    Mix everything, add enough buttermilk to make it a rather wet dough, but not “runny”. Pre-heat oven to 180°C, put bread on a tray, bake for 30min, reduce heat, bake until done (sound hollow if you knock at the underside)

  119. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    Wonderful news, SallyStrange! That really sounds so great on all those different levels, I’m delighted for you :-)
    .
    Good luck with the school DavidH. Hope you will continue to post here to say how this goes; hopefully the principal will act correctly despite (it looks like) rather wishing he didn’t have to have the bother of dealing with it.

  120. says

    I really think it’s judgmental and stupid to call someone a “misogynist” based on the fact that they don’t enjoy a particular sex act.

    What is this “sex” thing you keep mentioning ?

    Heterosexual men who refuse to give oral sex, but insist on receiving it?

    Wiring, or upbringing, I guess. I take more pleasure from giving then receiving as a rule of thumb, but I don’t think that’s a mainstream position among hetero/bisexual sexual males.

    As to the red badge discussion, meh, whatever both parties are comfortable with…

  121. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Food-related jobs

    We used to have a family friend who worked at a chocolate factory. Oh yeah. Good times.

  122. says

    Sally Strange
    Yipiehhhh, that’s great news and I really hope you can “convert” the job into a permanent position

    David H
    Thanx for keeping us up to date. I hope that something happens now.

    It all came down to menstrual blood being the magical giver of all life and therefore must be revered somehow over and above all other bodily fluids.

    Wait, what?
    I always took menstrual blood to be the sure sign that new life was not happening, something that made very happy at some and very sad at other times.

    Oh, about prosletyzing:
    My gran will come home on Wednesday and it’s sure time before they let her starve/dehydrate. When mum visited her today, her bedside-table was standing on the right side of the bed, where the arm is broken.
    But they do have the time to tell priests that “yes, sure, come in, Mrs. Grandma would like the communion and to pray”. My gran is a life-long atheist. As confused as she is at the moment, she remembered that she doesn’t pray.

  123. Matt Penfold says

    Ethnic foodstores
    Well, not the fancy “international food, French wine, Russian caviar” kind, but rather the kind run by the actual ethnicities usually in areas where there’s a large community. They are often good for basic things in large quantities. Around here, a 20lbs sack of rice in a Chinese foodstore might only be 4 times the price of a 2 lbs sack in an ordinary store. Maybe there’s a friend you can share it with.

    This is good advice for the UK as well. Whole spices are much cheaper in oriental specialist shops than in supermarkets. Soy sauce is also good value. Fresh herbs such as coriander and lemongrass are cheaper and supplied in larger bunches. And as for the breads, delish!

  124. Carlie says

    Definitely good advice on the ethnic stores. Sometimes they also have a side room with dishes and utensils and things, also very cheap. And if you’re lucky, you can find out which day is fresh vegetable delivery day and sometimes those are cheap too (but they run out fast).

    Substitution for buttermilk, since it’s sometimes hard to find in the states and a bit costly: 1 cup milk, 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice. Combine, let sit for 5 minutes.*

    *recipe entirely from internet. I haven’t tried it myself.

  125. says

    if they send you 10$ a month as long as you’re in college. It may not be much, but it may also be 5 days worth of food

    Wait… $10 is 5 days’ worth of food? :-/

  126. says

    Heterosexual men who refuse to give oral sex, but insist on receiving it?

    Surely it’s the “…insist on receiving it” part that’s the problem?

  127. Matt Penfold says

    Substitution for buttermilk, since it’s sometimes hard to find in the states and a bit costly: 1 cup milk, 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice. Combine, let sit for 5 minutes.*

    *recipe entirely from internet. I haven’t tried it myself.

    Plain yoghurt is not a bad substitute, so long as it is not too sharp.

  128. Jessa says

    Walton:

    Wait… $10 is 5 days’ worth of food? :-/

    It can be, but it takes some effort and creativity. When I was in grad school, I received a small stipend, and after paying my rent and utilities, I had between $50 and $80 a month leftover for all of my other expenses. The money had to cover everything: not just food but also toiletries, clothing, household supplies, etc. I managed it through matching coupons with weekly store sales, shopping at thrift stores for clothing and household items, and meticulously planning my menus for the month. It wasn’t fun, but I made it through.

    Even though I now live pretty comfortably, I still use coupons and plan menus even though I don’t really need to do that anymore. Partly because it’s strangely fun (I haven’t paid a single penny for a tube of toothpaste in almost 10 years) but mostly because it has allowed me to amass a financial cushion for myself and my spouse (which has been very handy during the crappy economy).

  129. says

    I guess I’m just wasteful and bad at economizing. :-( But I’d really, really struggle to live on less than $10 a day (and I’ve been spending more than that since arriving here).

  130. Rey Fox says

    YAAAAY Sally!

    Apparently the stuff that is disgusting to pretty much everybody is the stuff that I’m used to eating and that tastes good to me.

    Ah, don’t let the food snobs get you down, Cipher. I already know I’m persona non grata around here for using Miracle Whip, but I hang around all the same. And I do have standards.

    Anyone from upstate NY should know that. :P
    1. I’m from central New York.

    I was under the impression that “Upstate” was anything north of…um…250th St.

  131. Jessa says

    starstuff91:

    How do you get toothpaste for free?

    It’s a matter of matching up coupons with weekly store sales. For example, last week a local drug store had Crest toothpaste on sale for 2 for $5 with a $3 instant rebate, making it 2 for $2. I had 2 $1 coupons for Crest, so I walked out of the store with 2 free tubes of toothpaste.

  132. says

    Walton
    For food?
    Ehm, that’s what I spend most days on a family of 3 (Mr. Giliell isn’t at home)
    I think you are bad at economizing ;)

    Jessa
    That’s what I do, too.
    It means we can afford the dinner at the Greek restaurant, and the holiday and other nice things.

    Wow, there’s a dramatic sunset behind the house and a wonderful rainbow in front of it.

  133. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    Giliell, that’s pretty impressive – how do you manage to feed three people on $10 or thereabouts a day? That’s, what, about 7 euros or £6 – I’m nowhere near that, and I never get anything pre-prepared!

  134. says

    Walton
    For food?
    Ehm, that’s what I spend most days on a family of 3 (Mr. Giliell isn’t at home)
    I think you are bad at economizing ;)

    I’ve really, really, really tried hard (to the point that I’ve been stressing constantly for the last several days, losing sleep and feeling physically ill because of guilt about the amount of money I’m spending, and going hungry because I feel guilty about buying more food).

    The trouble is that I’ve only lived here for two weeks and am as yet unfamiliar with most of the stores and restaurants, I don’t yet have any kind of daily routine, I’m completely chronically useless at organizing my life and planning in advance, and the kitchen in this building is shared with 20 other people so it’s very awkward to cook (and the cafeteria is relatively expensive). And I’m very, very fussy about food and can’t eat a whole range of things, as mentioned above.

    I haven’t been buying anything except food and toiletries (no alcohol, no recreational spending). And I’ve been keeping meticulous records of everything I spend. I just don’t know how to make things cheaper.

  135. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    Walton, try not to worry about it too much – I think it’s pretty much inevitable that you’ll spend more to begin with as you don’t know the best places and the local best buys etc.

    Are there perhaps student-to-student handy hints and tips on the University website/Students’ Union website/equivalent thereof? A student chatroom or forum where you could try asking advice? I bet loads of people would love to advise the somewhat exotic and (deceptively) mild-mannered stranger from far-off England … :-D

  136. Carlie says

    Walton, take an hour or two a day for awhile and peruse the internet – there are all kinds of thrifty “here’s how to eat cheap” sites out there. And don’t stress out so much about what and how much you eat – you don’t want to trigger any latent eating difficulties by focusing on it so much. Yes, it will cost you more for awhile as you adjust to living in a completely different place. That’s ok. You’ll pick up on tips and tricks for cheap cooking as you go.

  137. says

    Walton
    Well, setteling in is expensive. I remember my first shopping trips in Ireland. What made it especially bad was that I didn’t know that the bus was basically going in a wide circle and not a straight line, so I ended up walking back the whole way.
    But you sounded like this was your “typical spending”.

    opposablethumbs
    Well, this applies only to days we spend at home, because food in the kindergarten is more expensive.
    But, well:
    Milk: 1€
    Cereals for breakfast: 50ct (big box of cornflakes: 3€, lasts 2 weeks)
    Typical lunch: Vegetables (1/2 pack of frozen veggies:1 €), vegetarian burgers 1€, 1/2 pack of pasta 30ct, seasoning, sauce 50ct
    Dinner: bread 1€ cheese and stuff 1€
    Fruit: 1-2€
    Coffee: 50ct

  138. says

    But, well:
    Milk: 1€
    Cereals for breakfast: 50ct (big box of cornflakes: 3€, lasts 2 weeks)
    Typical lunch: Vegetables (1/2 pack of frozen veggies:1 €), vegetarian burgers 1€, 1/2 pack of pasta 30ct, seasoning, sauce 50ct
    Dinner: bread 1€ cheese and stuff 1€
    Fruit: 1-2€
    Coffee: 50ct

    Wow. Those are very, very cheap prices. Most of these products wouldn’t be that cheap in England, or (as far as I can tell) over here. (A pack of veggie burgers would cost far more than 1 euro-equivalent everywhere I’ve ever lived, for instance.)

  139. Carlie says

    Walton, Cambridge does have prices a bit higher than in other places.

    Another thought on food – at this time of year, in the northern hemisphere, you might be able to find herb seed packets on clearance at hardware stores and greenhouses. You can get things to grow them in for close to free if you re-use other packaging (milk cartons etc), and dirt can be, ahem, “gathered” in places like creek banks in public parks (however, this all assumes the ability to travel to said places). By planting just a few seeds of each at a time, you can have a recurring supply of fresh herbs to add to things.

  140. says

    Well, I know that food is rather cheap in Germany, but last time I was in the UK, the difference wasn’t that big.
    The veggie-burgers aren’t ready made (those would be three times the money), but a dry mixture I buy about 2 times a year when it’s on sale at the supermarket.
    But that’s what I said about saving money by spending it.
    The cheese isn’t “queso manchego” (although I buy that once in a while, too), but more the “cheddar variety”.

    Planting stuff: I do that, too. The tomatoes paid off really well this time: seeds: 25ct, harvested about 3 pounds so far.

    Talking about herbs, here’s another one of my little “freezer tricks”:
    Put herbs and olive oil into a blender. Freeze in ice-cube makers, put the cubes (or hearts) into a box and store in freezer. I still season things with bear’s garlic I collected on our easter holiday.

  141. Carlie says

    Sili – that’s pretty good. I wish the person filming had shown the people with all the instruments showing up, instead of doing close-ups and then backing off to show that lots more people are suddenly there.

  142. Mattir-ritated says

    Walton, if I hear that you are going hungry, I am going to freaking make a care package for you or make my brother-in-law at Harvard (or any number of friends from when I lived there) feed you. You have been warned. Same for the rest of you (although I obviously don’t have brother-in-laws at every university in the US).

    Is anyone else reminded of Wendy Wasserstein’s Uncommon Women and Others in the great Menstrual Sex Debate™? Where one of the characters bounds into a dorm room crowing that she’d tasted her menstrual blood? Seriously, the whole silly topic has a certain earnest mid-1970s consciousness-raising quality to it. Me, I’d be more willing to lay down in the road over a partner who insisted that I had to remove pubic hair in toto regardless of the itchy/ingrown hair consequences. And not even necessarily over that being misogynistic, just rude and inconsiderate.

  143. says

    The veggie-burgers aren’t ready made (those would be three times the money), but a dry mixture I buy about 2 times a year when it’s on sale at the supermarket.

    Oh, ok. I had no idea that such a thing existed.

  144. says

    Walton, if I hear that you are going hungry, I am going to freaking make a care package for you or make my brother-in-law at Harvard (or any number of friends from when I lived there) feed you.

    Don’t worry – I’ve been eating fine for the past few days. I got neurotic earlier in the week, but I’m getting into a better routine now.

    I should make clear that I’m not actually lacking in funds. My parents are happy for me to spend as much on food as I need to; it’s not that I don’t have the money. It’s just that I feel guilty about spending it, because I don’t like taking so much money from them when I’m not currently earning any of my own. It makes me feel like I’m exploiting my family. (Especially as there are millions of students out there who don’t have the privilege of parental support.)

  145. says

    Indeed, the discussion here about student-living-on-a-tight-budget made me realize just how much I’ve benefited from middle-class privilege: I’ve never had to live on a shoestring budget, and have always had enough to eat. It makes me feel guilty because I feel that I’m extravagant, and that I’m still too dependent on my family when I should be more self-supporting at my age.

  146. says

    On a similar note… here’s a harrowing Guardian report about the plight of the poor in Rick Perry’s Texas.

    They arrived before dawn to wait for the food truck. Middle-aged men, young women with children, the elderly and the retired, mixing with the low-paid on their way to work. As the sun rose high in a blue summer sky, several hundred people clustered in precious spots of shade in Dove Springs, a suburb of the Texan capital of Austin. Some brought garden chairs to sit on.

    When the truck from the Capital Area Food Bank eventually came, each person patiently waited to pick up a box containing cans of spaghetti sauce, fruit juice, a few pounds of potatoes and some pears. Connie Gonzales, an Austin city official, watched the crowds of hungry and desperate people and said that they grew bigger each week. “It is the economy. It is bad. Any help these people can get, they really need it,” she said.

    It is not meant to be this way. Not in Texas. After all, this is governor Rick Perry’s Lone Star state. This is the Texas whose record at job creation is at the centre of Perry’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination. This is the state whose economic “miracle” is being hailed as a conservative blueprint for the future of America – “Texas exceptionalism” as rightwing columnist George Will glowingly called it. This is the state of low taxes and low regulation and which is so pro-business that corporations are booming here. It is the state that dodged recession and has roared back into recovery; an oasis of jobs in a devastated US economy.

    Yet there is a dark side. It was on stark display in Dove Springs. This is the Texas of a collapsing education system that is failing to educate its children. This is the Texas where millions have no health insurance and a growing low-wage economy means having a job is not enough to provide the basics of life. This is the hungry Texas that the food bank serves.

  147. Algernon says

    Walton, you’re going to fuck your life up with your obsession about food. Stop trying to be good all the time. It’s annoying. You’re spitting on the opportunities in front of you in order to placate some useless droning in your brain.

    Meh… even at my worst I always decided the food you eat is the most seriously important decision you can make every day. I eat well, even if nothing else is good. That’s how I roll. But I’m a bourgeois fascist pig too. When you have more time and control you can plan more. You’ve been in the country for under a month! I don’t know your area, and food prices are cheaper in my state than in your area from my experience. That may make your article there just that much more poignant…

    Eat well and keep your health. Because when you really are poor it’s getting sick that will destroy you. So eat some decent food. You know damned well you’re not going to be willing to gnosh on some canned franks and ramen… so stop whining about it.

    It’s stupid.

    And it’s getting on my nerves.

  148. says

    You know damned well you’re not going to be willing to gnosh on some canned franks and ramen… so stop whining about it.

    It’s stupid.

    And it’s getting on my nerves.

    I’m sorry. :-(

  149. says

    You’re spitting on the opportunities in front of you in order to placate some useless droning in your brain.

    That right there is the story of my life, unfortunately.

    (I’m basically the poster-boy for OCD.)

  150. says

    (I’m basically the poster-boy for OCD.)

    …by which I mean obsessive-compulsive disorder, obviously. (I just remembered the jokes about the dual meaning of “CBT” some months ago, and suddenly worried that “OCD” might also be an acronym for some bizarre sexual technique found only on Urban Dictionary, or something of that kidney. This is the kind of thing that often happens to me when I attempt to communicate on the internet.)

  151. Algernon says

    I’m sorry. :-(

    I’m sorry too. I don’t mean to be ugly. I’m agitated today as it is… drawing up some paperwork and it’s irritating to deal with because the people I’m doing it for are irritating to deal with.

    Everything is irritating right now :(

    So I’m sorry.

    But honestly, some times you really do seem like you’re determined to be either the good guys or the bad guys from Atlas Shrugged, damn it.

  152. KG says

    What Walton said @441!

    I’ve been away for a week, partly work but also meeting up with friends and my sister, who has had serious spinal problems for the last few years, but at least so far, has been fairly well served by the welfare state – she has a pleasant house, help at home, and an income she can live on, and has had several MRIs and a major operation without charge. She’s now been referred to the “complex spine meeting”, at which I imagine spine specialists vie with each other to present the most complex spinal pathologies :-p They will decide whether she needs a second operation.

    Spent some time in Brighton, where I lived for most of my early adult life. There still seems to be plenty of money being spent in Brighton, just as in London and Aberdeen; all the figures suggest the economy is weakening, but a lot of people in work and with large mortgages have so far done very well out of the recession, as interest rates have fallen.

  153. Algernon says

    That right there is the story of my life, unfortunately. (I’m basically the poster-boy for OCD.)

    It’s not beyond your power to cope with this. But you need to recognize the real problems instead of the ones you make up.

  154. says

    I’m sorry too. I don’t mean to be ugly. I’m agitated today as it is… drawing up some paperwork and it’s irritating to deal with because the people I’m doing it for are irritating to deal with.

    Everything is irritating right now :(

    So I’m sorry.

    *hugs*

  155. Carlie says

    You know damned well you’re not going to be willing to gnosh on some canned franks and ramen… so stop whining about it.

    Well, there is something to be said for that. Walton, right now you’ve had some major life changes, involving huge amounts of stress (and if you’re not stressed now, you will be when exam time rolls around). There is absolutely NO need for you to add food anxiety to that list. You have very specific food criteria that makes it impossible for you eat on almost nothing a day, fine. Go with that. It doesn’t matter what’s causing it. Right now it’s just like a person with celiac having to buy gluten-free flour or a diabetic having to buy the more expensive sugar-free products. It’s something that is a part of you, and you probably can’t change, and even if you could it is something you should absolutely not be spending energy working on right now because you have enough else going on. Ask around and find the best-bargain stores, and look for deals when you can, but otherwise? You are financially able to eat the way you need to, so do that. And don’t think twice about it.

  156. Mattir-ritated says

    Perhaps Teh Walton could give us a list of his food peculiarities and we could make a recipe book of things that can be made on a hotplate. And seriously, whatever your food rules are, I suspect they can be accommodated at that food coop I told you about yesterday. It’s a couple T-stops away, up near MIT, I think. It’s a good (and cheap) source of the bulk veggie burger mixes and the like.

    Mr. M and I watched Ten Canoes last night. I was completely captivated, like I was being invited into the time sense and culture of my distant hunter-gatherer ancestors. I wanted to watch it again as soon as we finished, and to have another film made with women’s stories and voices. (For you Ozites, are there such films or books?)

    Mr. M said that it was the most tedious film he’d ever seen. I’m married to a Philistine…

  157. says

    My food problem is that I can’t find anything that’ll survive a minimum of six hours between preparation and serving with no outside support, or that can be prepared using the resources available to me at school. As a commuting student, I don’t even get a hot plate; if it can’t be prepared in the microwave (assuming the microwave works, which isn’t frequently the case), I have to eat it raw.

    Oh, and I live about 45 miles (about 1.5 hr) away from school, so driving home to eat is infeasible, not to mention costing $12… and I can get one hell of a good meal near campus for $12.

  158. triskelethecat says

    I think WordPress hates me…I can log into Pharyngula but not into any other site. Any suggestions?

  159. says

    Actually, I’ve been carrying around instant oatmeal packets. If I eat before 4PM (2PM on Friday), there is hot water available.

    And I’m debating getting back into the Hot Pockets routine. At Wallyworld, they’re just under a buck each. The question, though, is whether they’ll last six hours in an insulated bag next to a blue-ice pack.

  160. Carlie says

    Ben – bean and cheese burrito (pre-melted cheese before leaving home), bologna or other cured sandwich meat (pepperoni, salami, etc), lettuce/veg salad with vinaigrette dressing in a separate container, ramen (heat water in the microwave), peanut butter and crackers, cheese and crackers, rice balls with cucumber/avocado, even frozen veg. in a container will be just softened by lunch and can be microwaved to a decent temp., grapes, bananas, jam sandwich, granola, canned tuna that you open at school and combine with some pre-cooked pasta there, etc. A lot of school cafeterias have condiments out for the taking (like mayo packets or ketchup or mustard or relish), or you can grab a bunch with one stop at a fast food place (one taco at Taco Bell, take a big handful of salsa packets).

  161. says

    Carlie:

    Oh, and no, they don’t have condiments available anywhere near my classes (Engineering is the only department that isn’t within walking distance of a restaurant). But, I have a Sam’s Club membership, so I’m tempted to buy boxes of condiment packets and use ‘em for the rest of my school career (and probably for the rest of my life, or until they expire, whichever comes first).

    I had a friend years ago who kept a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter in his car at all times. I’m tempted to do the same.

  162. aladegorrion says

    hi Thread. This food discussion is inspiring me to work on some cheap-o eating soon (and I’m already not terrible at it, though that coupon site would say otherwise I think). I second, third, etc the suggestion of peanut butter sandwiches as a take-to-school lunch. Meat-and-cheese sandwiches are also good if kept with an ice pack. A Thermos for the drink. Snacks all day, fruits, carrots, granola bars to prevent expensive snack-machine visiting. I also find canned things (like ranch beans, pinto beans, lentil soups) can be good cold if you like the serving size that is the can.

    My life is getting so weird. If I weren’t afraid of ruining internet anonymity, I would complain about it in great detail. My choice for this weirdness, but FSM it’s awkward and sad (relating to that relationship stuff I talked about a while back).

    Hugs, Happy Birthdays, and congrats to all who need it!

  163. Carlie says

    Heh. I mean sandwich with thick jelly on it. :) I have one child who loves peanut butter and one who’s allergic to it, so I spent a couple of years making one peanut butter sandwich and one jelly sandwich each morning for lunches, never combined into a pb&j.

    That’s a great idea about the cases of packets – we have a BJ’s membership through work (like Sam’s Club) that I almost never make use of, but I should check to see if they sell those. I’m always the most worried about things like mayo going sour before lunch, so if I had access to packets my lunch possibilities would expand greatly. (again, you have to have money to get the deals…)

    Oh, and baby carrots. I know they cost more per package than other carrots, but they’re still a buck for a pound, and they’re so convenient. And juicy enough that it doesn’t taste like eating cardboard.

  164. Rey Fox says

    Baby carrots last a long danged time in the fridge, so a little non-fridge time shouldn’t kill ‘em.

  165. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    7 Scientific Ways Coffee Gives You Super Powers.
    -

    It all came down to menstrual blood being the magical giver of all life and therefore must be revered somehow over and above all other bodily fluids. In almost those exact words, even. Which just…what? I have as little patience with woo-filled “everything feminine is sacred mother earth life” crap as I do with patriarchal ideas about women=bad.

    Seconded.

    Thirded.
    -
    SallyStrange: *confetti* and *champagne*! And as you say, even if the temp employment doesn’t turn into permanent employment, you’ll have recent awesomeness on your resume.
    -
    Sili, that was awesome. Thanks! :)
    -