It’s Time for the Atlanta Braves to Change

Hi! I’ve been sitting on this post for a bit. To be honest, I mostly finished writing it way back on October 14, 2019. This was not long after Game 5 of the 2019 NLDS division title game that the Braves lost to the Cardinals 13 to 1… and the Cardinals got 10 of those points at the top of the first fucking inning! 

Holy shit I’m still mad about that.

Huh.

Anyways… you may be wondering if I’m writing anything about the Pandemic. The answer is no, I’m not. I don’t know what to write about. I’m still not interested in writing about the Lying Cheeto Muffin, ranting about conspiracy theorists and ignorant assholes seems counter-productive and a waste of time, and all the rest of it is just me shouting UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE NOW! RIGHT NOW! THIS FUCKING SECOND! $1200 ONCE IS NOT ENOUGH FUCKING MONEY! IT SHOULD BE $2400 A FUCKING MONTH FOR… EVER. UNIVERSAL HOUSING! WATER SHOULD BE FREE! DOWN WITH CAPITALISM! SEIZE THE MEANS OF PRODUCTION! UNIONIZE! RESIST!

SOCIALISM FOREVER!

So yeah… that’s really all I have to say about COVID-19.

And yes, I know it’s April 1st. “April Fool’s Day” is a thing that needs to die. I refuse to participate and I’d appreciate it if y’all left me out of it.

I don’t have that much interest in sports. Gridiron (US-American “Football”… in which feet are not used except in one instance), Basketball, Hockey, Golf, etc just hold no interest for me. I get them… I can follow them… I’m just bored by them, and don’t like playing them, either. There is one exception, however, and that’s Baseball. But even there, that exception is quite limited.

I grew up in Atlanta, GA. My family has always been a Baseball family, and the Atlanta Braves (along with the New York Yankees, but to a slightly lesser extent) has always been the family team. I even have a Braves batting jersey (I won it). I have always been a fan. And of course, as a fan, this past decade has been immensely infuriating. We couldn’t give Bobby Cox, Chipper Jones, or even, most recently, Brian McCann, a goddamn Pennant… let alone a World Series win. Our most recent loss to the Cardinals (13 to 1… and the Cardinals got 10 of those runs in the top of the first fucking inning) was so absolutely devastating that I didn’t even watch the post-season. I stopped caring.

I did care just enough to rant about the game in a Facebook group I belong to, though, and someone made a comment basically saying that as long as the team and its fans continue to be racist against Native Americans, they (the person who wrote the comment) will continue to gloat over the Braves’ losses anywhere and everywhere it’s even barely appropriate.

As much as I love the Atlanta Braves… that person is entirely correct. It’s time to end the Atlanta Braves as we know them.

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In Which Another Fictional Woman is Stuffed Into the Fridge and I Rant About It

Content note: this post talks about the abuse and murder of women. I have no intention of going into deep specifics about anything, but the links and quotes I use will. Just keep that in mind as you read this…

Also, I’ll be spoiling a couple specific story-lines of the first season of Mr. Robot… if you care about that.

You know… it takes a lot to make me not like a writer. I even enjoyed reading Dan Brown back when I did that (it’s been years), and a lot of people agree that he’s a crappy writer (even I do).

One thing I do enjoy is stumbling onto a show with excellent writing. It’s rare, honestly.

If you’re now officially questioning why I love Doctor Who, I should remind you that Doctor Who is not a series written by one person. Usually, the showrunner only writes three or four episodes of a season, while other writers write the other episodes. Sometimes there are amazing episodes, sometimes there are terrible episodes, and usually there are episodes that were written well enough to keep my attention and be enjoyable to me.

A while back, my brother and I started watching the first season of Mr. Robot. I found the writing to be quite good, so it kept my attention… sort of. We weren’t binging it, and I had zero desire to. I just didn’t care about seeing the next episode right away… I could wait until my brother wanted to see it. And yet, I was enjoying it.

But I was very worried about one particular character… specifically, Shayla Nico

The main character, Elliot Alderson, is a very good hacker and a morphine-addict. Shayla served as his drug dealer and eventually became his girlfriend. We got to meet the man, Fernando Vera, who supplied her with the morphine she sold to Elliot…

And my guess is that y’all already know where this is going, don’t you? You don’t even have to see the show to know exactly where this is going…

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Doctor Who and the Timeless Absurdities

(Content Note: I do talk a little bit about the torture and even killing of a child.

Also, you’ll notice that, in referring to the Doctor and Tecteun, I mix gender pro-nouns a lot. Due to the nature of them both, I use the pro-noun appropriate for the specific incarnation of them I’m talking about, and the generic pro-nouns when referring to the beings as a whole. It’s probably confusing… it got confusing for me. But it’s easiest this way.)

So I’ve been chewing on The Timeless Children for a while, now, and I’ve put together a sort of personal canon that I think fits with what we’ve been told. It’s a timeline of the Doctor’s life that also serves to theorize on several mysteries.

Because this will be spoilerific, I’m going to start with a short, generic review of The Timeless Children above the fold.

To be honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the episode itself in execution. It was basically an exposition dump broken up by rather anti-climactic fights with Cybermen. The acting was good (the only reason I won’t say that Jodie and Sacha both deserve awards for their performances here, even though I think they do, is because Peter Capaldi deserved every possible award in existence for his performance in Heaven Sent, but didn’t get a single one, so…) and I actually really like the concept of the episode and what it endeavored to do, but the execution fell pretty flat, especially for a finale as explosive as this was.

What I will say is that above is not a review of what was revealed about the Doctor in the episode. I’ll get to how I feel about it after the fold.

Finally, I’m going to make a request of commenters. Every single Doctor-Who-related forum has dissolved into cesspools of negativity and toxicity. At least one person has been driven away from Doctor Who fandom due to racism because they dared to actually enjoy this episode and what it revealed about the Doctor. As a result, I’m tired of it.

I’m not asking you to pretend you liked it. You are more than welcome to note that you didn’t like it and even say why. But I will not have negativity and toxicity in these comments. If someone comments who did and does enjoy it, then give them the space to do so. They are no more wrong than you are. That said, what I really want to discuss are the theories. Instead of attacking Chris Chibnall, the actors, fans, etc, and lamenting that “DOCTOR WHO IS DEAD!!!!”, I’d rather us work out and discuss the in-universe implications of what’s been revealed, and theorize about different aspects of it. And if you can’t do that without being an asshole about it and attacking the crew of the show and the fans, then please choose to not comment, instead.

So… let’s get to it…

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Please Discuss Fugitive of the Judoon with Me (Doctor Who)

Warning. I’m going to be spoiling the absolute piss out of the most recent episode of Doctor Who and then some. I will do my best not to spoil anything above the fold, however. I will also be doing a shallow dive into very deep and frankly confusing Doctor Who lore, so please keep that in mind. This is your warning. If you haven’t seen Fugitive of the Judoon, then please don’t read this post unless you’re like me and enjoy spoilers… in which case, read on fellow spoiler-junkie… but still see the episode.

I’ve talked about Doctor Who on this blog before. I’ve noted that it’s my all-time favorite show. And it’s weird, because it’s one of only two shows that I actually keeps my attention, the other being The Mandalorian (seriously… there was literally no TV show that kept me that engaged aside from Doctor Who before the Mandalorian dropped).

No… I don’t watch a lot of TV.

I’ve also discussed how I’ve considered Peter Capaldi’s Doctor to be my Doctor. I wasn’t super happy with every one of his episodes, and Moffat is not my favorite showrunner or head writer or whatever… that would actually be script editor Douglas Adams, who did script editing for the show for a time while Tom Baker was the Doctor (and before he [Adams] wrote the third Hitchhiker’s Guide book… which, BTW, started as a story for Doctor Who that was never shot). But I absolutely love Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. I think he was phenomenal, and was a welcome relief from the young, far-too-human (in my opinion) Doctors before him.

As for Jodie Whittaker… I think she’s absolutely phenomenal and is definitely in my top 5. Sadly, I wasn’t all that enamored with her first season (season 11, from 2018) over-all, but I have loved her characterization, her Fam, and where she’s going.

This season, only half-way through, has been a revelation, however. There was one bad episode (Orphan 55… sorry it wasn’t good) in a sea of good (so far) episodes (if you ignore a couple super problematic aspects of Spyfall Part 2 [i.e. the Doctor’s racism and wiping minds without consent… again]).

Then there’s the episode in question… Fugitive of the Judoon. Now, I do think it’s an amazing episode, but it’s also left me confused, speechless, and in desperate need of having a conversation about it.

So, starting now, I’m going to spoil the shit out of it…

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Mediterranean “Nachos” (And Tehina Sauce Nutrition Facts)

Yeah it’s another recipe post. Since Superbowl Sunday’s on its way, and I told y’all how to make my favorite hummus last time, I thought I could give y’all one way to use said hummus and the tehina sauce you made with it…

I put “nachos” in quotes there because this is obviously neither Mexican nor Tex-Mex. I took the idea of nachos… that of chips loaded with ingredients… and went a completely different route with it.

The best part of this recipe is its customizability. The most important ingredients are the pita chips, the hummus, the tehina sauce, and the tzatziki sauce. Beyond those four things, you can add whatever you want… you can even skip everything else and just use those four ingredients. So feel free to play with this. And if you like it enough, maybe serve it at your Superbowl party… you know… if you’re having one…

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My Favorite Hummus Recipe… Everything’s From Scratch

Okay so this isn’t an original recipe, exactly. It’s a hybrid, relying on Michael Solomonov’s tehina sauce and hummus recipe from his Zahav cookbook, and J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s hummus recipe at Serious Eats. The biggest change I made is that I make my own tahini. So I thought I’d share it here and see what y’all think.

Quick thing, first… I realize that those links are to “Israeli-style hummus”, two of which are from an Israeli cookbook (well okay… the hummus and the tehina sauce). I’m really not interested in the debate over whether or not that’s a hummus that exists. We Jews seem to really love our tahini, because we add a lot of it to our hummus. So maybe this is more a “Jewish-style hummus”? I don’t know. What I do know is that this is a recipe, not a political post. You’re making this entirely from scratch, so you can source the ingredients from wherever you want. You don’t have to support anything you don’t want to support to make this.

And as for the debate over the Middle East… yes I have thoughts, and honestly, they’re likely in line with most of you reading and most other bloggers on this network. It is also a debate I do not like having. I have my reasons for that. Please respect that.

Let’s just enjoy a perhaps overly-complicated recipe for hummus…

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Making Soda the Simple Way

Hello everyone! Obviously my blogging has been super slow. I have a new job! I… am a stock guy and sales associate at Godiva. Still fucking retail. But it’s a paycheck, at least! I’ve decided to start sharing food posts and recipes. It won’t be often, but it will give some life to this blog for now. I do have ideas for other major blog posts, like the trilogy I did on ableism. I still want to do one about the US police and patriarchal white supremacy. But those kinds of posts take a lot of time, which I don’t have much of. I do also want to reignite my Great Guitar Solos series, but I’ve been listening to podcasts rather than music for a long time, now. I need to get back into listening to music again, so I can find more awesome guitar solos to highlight…

I’ve also been thinking about writing out my own political platform. No, I don’t plan on running for any political office. It’d be an excuse for me to really study and learn about politics in a more in-depth way… both domestic and foreign. I have so many thoughts and positions, but I also know that my views are at least somewhat shallow, and I could always stand to learn more. Such a platform would be long… several posts worth. But I think it could be fun. The first thing I’d need to learn, however, is how to actually write an in-depth political platform. I don’t actually know how to do that…

So in the meantime, I’ll do stuff like this. Food posts, recipes, etc. No, there won’t be fancy recipe cards or professional pictures. This isn’t a food blog. It’s just a blog that I’ll sometimes share fooding posts on. And I’ve done this before. I know I’ve shared several recipes here; and yes, I know the vast majority had pictures (a couple even had videos!). So this isn’t new. It’s just going to be a tiny bit more frequent, now…

So let me start with a confession… I’m addicted to soda. I absolutely adore carbonation, and I love the sweetness (I don’t care what anybody says… high fructose corn syrup is my bae).

I really don’t like seltzer, however. Don’t get me wrong… I love water (I literally have a 64-ounce water bottle that I fill once, sometimes twice, a day), but I like my water… flat, I guess. Adding carbonation to it actually does change the flavor, and I don’t like it.

And don’t get me started on “flavored seltzer”. Like… what a cheap imitation of soda. Fucking unsweetened soda? Fuck you. Shit’s gross. Give me real soda or get out of here.

So anyways

Point is, I really like soda. But I also know that, despite my love for it, HFCS can be bad for you if you overdo it (which… to be fair… is true of everything, so). I also have a love for making things from scratch… foods and drinks, specifically. One of the things I learned how to do, and quite easily, is make my own soda.

And now I’m gonna teach y’all how, as well…

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Rock Isn’t Innovative Anymore

From reading my blog, my tastes in music should be obvious. I like Progressive Rock, Classic Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Blues, Folk, and even some experimental stuff. But my tastes tend to be rather limited. I like guitar in my songs… and not just guitar, but, at least most of the time, guitar solos. But even with those, I’m picky. I don’t like “look at how fast I can play” odes to toxic masculinity (let’s be really… straight speed is basically “look how big my dick is”). I don’t mind speed, but only as one technique in a guitarist’s arsenal of techniques. And considering that David Gilmour is one of my three number one all-time favorite guitarists, speed isn’t even the most important technique, in my opinion (though he did have it to a point, he barely ever used it).

To be fair, no guitar isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker. Emerson, Lake, & Palmer is another of my top 10 bands of all-time, and they only had guitar sometimes, with most of the leads being taken by Keith Emerson on keys, while the guitarist, Greg Lake, favored playing the bass guitar, instead. But even then…

Perhaps it’s because I’m a songwriter, but I don’t really listen to music as an escape. I don’t like going to clubs (too many people, too loud, not enough personal space), and I hate dancing (because I’m really, truly, honestly bad at it… I promise you… you don’t ever want to see me dance… you’ll have nightmares). So I’m not listening to music for the rhythm. I also don’t listen to music as background for something. The best time I have listening to music is, in fact, when I can gather a small group of friends, we can pour some drinks, grab some snacks, turn some music on, and sit and discuss it. I only got to do this rarely (and I haven’t done it in a long time… I miss it), but I have done it with Jimi Hendrix, ELP, Led Zeppelin, Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, The Doors, Pink Floyd, Chantel McGregor, Anna Calvi, Living Colour, and Steven Wilson.

And this means that most of today’s mainstream music, including Pop, Rap, Hip Hop, R&B, Top 40 Rock, New-Age, etc isn’t my jam. I don’t hate them… I realize music is subjective, and I absolutely acknowledge the monster talents that can exist in these and other mainstream genres (Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar are just two of many, many examples [yes, I genuinely believe that Kendrick Lamar deserved that Pulitzer for “Damn”]). But, overall, when I look for music to listen to, I look, basically, for guitar-driven Rock… whatever that may mean. In short: I’m absolutely a music snob of sorts. (I still have trouble with Metal, though… I don’t like 80’s Metal at all, and I have a lot of trouble with the harsh growls and screams of heavier, darker Metal [some Prog Metal, and most Death Metal, Doom Metal, Black Metal, etc], despite the fact that the music in these genres is often incredible.)

So you might be surprised to find that I kind of agree with Steven Wilson, here

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Defending Star Wars and Cinematic Universes

I did not grow up with the original Star Wars trilogy. I grew up with the much-maligned Prequels. And you know something… I maligned them, too. Hell… I maligned them not very long ago, twice, on this very blog. But I went back and watched them recently and… you know what? They aren’t actually as bad as I remember them. Hayden Christensen is still whiny, Jar Jar Binks is still annoying (he would have been such a better character if he had turned out to be a Sith Lord), Count Dooku came out of nowhere (likely to make up for the fact that Jar Jar was no longer a Sith Lord), and some of the CGI was bad even for the time it came out…

But Jake Lloyd actually did a pretty decent job with young Anakin, Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi were awesome, Yoda was amazing, the turn of Palpatine into Sidious was incredible, Darth Maul was phenomenal, Queen Amidala was actually a good character and Natalie Portman played her really well, Mace Windu was just plain cool, and the story was really, really good over all.

Yes, I’ve seen the original trilogy, of course, but I simply don’t have the connection to Luke Skywalker that so many have. However, I am a Star Wars fan. Not a big enough fan to have read and collected the lore or seen the maligned Christmas special and that stuff, but a big enough fan to have watched (and enjoyed) both the Clone Wars and Rebels animated TV shows, and a big enough fan to have been excited by Force Awakens, Rogue One, Last Jedi, and Solo. And as I sit here today, people are still fighting over whether or not Last Jedi and Solo were good films.

You want to know what I think?

Both Last Jedi and Solo (and Rogue One and Force Awakens) were amazing films.

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