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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Miss You Much

My friend Becky blogged this week about her adventures in sweet potato cornbread. Cornbread...mmmmm. I was already missing my grandmother Rebecca today because every time I hear some interesting political tidbit (every five minutes in this season), I want to call her, but the cornbread made me want to call her that much more. She passed last December. I often still forget I can't call her anymore.

I lived out in New Mexico from 1997 to 2000, and I got a craving for her cornbread while I was 2,500 miles away, as she made the only cornbread I ever really loved. It was crispy on the outside, and not at all cake-like on the inside. My grandfather used to like it with soup beans or as a snack broken up into a glass of buttermilk. She was of the school that did not believe in measuring, so when I called her to ask for her recipe, she couldn't give it to me as there was no recipe. To satisfy my craving, she made a few batches of it to figure out a recipe. Don't tell my mom, but mine is totally better than hers as a result. The secret is pre-heating the cast iron skillet with a little bit of oil in the oven so that when you pour the batter in, it gets a nice crisp on the outside. And no sugar in the cornbread. It is not cake.

Rebecca Young's Crispy Cornbread

Self-rising corn meal, 2 cups
Self-rising flour, 1/2 cup
Egg, 1
Baking soda, 1/2 tsp.
Vegetable oil

Put about a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet. Preheat oven to 425 degrees with the cast iron skillet in the oven. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, and add just enough buttermilk to give the mixture the consistency of pancake batter. Pour the batter into the hot skillet and bake for 20-25 minutes. Turn the cornbread out onto a plate, crispy side up.

Love. Soft as an easy chair.

Today is Write to Marry Day, a day when bloggers around the world post in opposition to the hateful Proposition 8 in California. Right now a small group of bigots with a LOT of funding, largely from the Mormon church, are attempting to re-write the constitution in California to make sure people like me are specifically noted as being less worthy of basic civil rights. Now, for those of you who know me and perhaps have not talked with me in a while, let me give you a little shock:

I really really really want to get married.

I know, until the past year or so, I have stated that it wasn't for me, that I'm happy the way things are in my life and see no need to change it. Well, I've changed, and I'm even happier for it. I'm ready to make The Commitment (no comment from Craiggers...we're in discussions on this, nothing definite yet, though I think it is safe to say he's pretty happy too). I've found the love of my life, I'm in it for the long haul, and I just don't get why people think it is appropriate to put my relationship up for a vote on a ballot measure.

I'd like to challenge you to give me one good reason why I should not be able to marry the partner of my choice, the man with whom I have shared my life for going on eight years. And it can't involve religion...this is not Iran, churches are not in charge of our government. What drives me bananas about the people who put these ballot measures up is that if they really wanted to protect marriage, where are the ballot measures to ban divorce? Or marriage on reality television? Or Pamela Anderson? I mean seriously people, if my relationship somehow threatens the sanctity of your marriage, then your marriage has far bigger problems that two queers living in a colorful ramshackle house with a menagerie of cats.

Bottom line: if you know someone in California, call them or e-mail them, and tell them how much it would mean to you if they vote No on Prop 8. If they are voting yes, ask them why, and ask them what threat I pose to their lives that they would want to make me a second class citizen. Even though I'm here in Kentucky, a state that is not likely to willingly recognize my potential future marriage, if I have learned anything in law school it is that the California courts are among the most influential in the country. Their precedent is often followed for years to come, and as the most populous state in the nation, it is important that they set our national example for equality. Call your friends in Cali. The staff here at Trading Faces thank you for it.

Love. Soft as an easy chair.

Big Brother: Presidential Edition

Former Secretary of State/Right on Sister Madeline Albright tonight on The Rachel Maddow Show: "The next president can expect the unexpected." Does that mean running the nation is like competing in Big Brother? Because if so, I want in on that veto competition. Seriously, if it is an endurance competition, I can totally take McCain, and you know he can't get by on Big Brother slop. Julie Chen for Secretary of Defense!

Best political insight of the day: Joe of Joe My God, who suggested that Florida Governor/Big Gay Tangerine Charlie Crist extended early voting hours in Florida today because he's still mad that he pretended to like the kitty cat in order to get the v.p. nod, and got snubbed by McCain for Caribou Barbie. It would be even funnier if Republican strategists weren't openly admitting that suppressing voter turnout is part of the strategy for winning, and has been for years. Stick that in your ACORN and smoke it, McSame!

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Weekly Cheese: The Dirty Talk Express

In my previous life before becoming a law student, I was in management at a local utility company. My job was to use data analysis of various factors to determine how many people we needed on the phones at any given 15-minute interval, and to place them there. Are you still wondering why I returned to school?

At any rate, at one point my office was out on the floor of the call center, placing me in earshot of some of our employees, one of whom had a voice that carried. Regina was a sweet grandmotherly-type and an excellent employee. My favorite moment at that company stemmed from the fact that Regina was able to remain professional in the face of extreme absurdity. I cannot say the same for myself when I overheard her discussing some pay-per-view charges being disputed by a customer. Please imagine, if you will, your grandmother having this discussion with a completely straight face:

"Sir, according to your account, I see that you were charged for 'Big Black Boobies' on Thursday at 3:15am. The previous Tuesday, you were charged for 'Slap That Ass' at 2:30am, and before that you were charged for 'Booty Patrol 3'."

At this point I am standing by her desk, tears streaming down my face and completely falling out. Because let's be real, there are few things in life funnier than a sweet old person using dirty language. And that is why today, our Cheese video feature is dedicated to an American treasure, Ms. Betty White. She is a genius, and I won't have a thing said against her. Here Betty is being interviewed by Craig Ferguson in her capacity as a speech writer for John McCain, and she gets a little salty regarding the Dan Quayle of Alaska, Bible Spice herself, Sarah Palin:

Educating Sarah

Sweet fancy Moses, I effing hate Sarah Palin.

I know, hate is a rather strong word, but she really does represent everything that is wrong with modern government, from the hypocrisy to the outright lies about her opponents to the glorification of lack of intelligence as being "one of the people." So yes, I hate her. But what I REALLY hate about her is the idea that her nomination is somehow a historic moment for women, something my niece will someday view as a transformation for women in politics. Sarah Palin is a step back for women because she has no idea what sexism actually is as she demonstrated yesterday on the campaign trail with View hostess/professional nitwit Elizabeth Hasselback.

Now I realize that this is not terribly surprising for a variety of reasons. What can we really expect her to know considering that she is STILL unaware of the constitutional mandates on the job to which she aspires? And, can we really expect her to understand sexism when her running mate votes against equal pay for equal work (see Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act)? It probably is raising expectations a bit high for the governor. So, in an act of generosity and civic duty, here is a bit of advice and education for Ms. Palin.

1. Having Elizabeth Hasselbeck stump for you is not a good move, even if she does make you look like a genius by comparison. Surely you can do better when looking for young enthusiastic female conservatives than someone who is famous for losing a reality game show and losing arguments with Whoopi Goldberg. Call CNN contributor Amy Holmes, or perhaps that nice Kennedy who used to be on MTV. I bet she isn't busy at all.

2. If an interviewer asked Joe Biden about Darfur, then turned and asked you who did your hair, that would be sexist (though I daresay you'd do better on the hair question). If GQ put you on their hot woman list while talking about the policies of Obama, that would be sexist. However, if you paint your opponents as elitists, portray yourself as Joann Six-Pack, and then spend $150,000 of campaign donor money on clothes and hair, it is not sexist to point out that you are a hypocrite. It is just being honest. No one is focusing on your clothes...well, no one except the mouth-breathers on right-wing blogs who are hot for you. They are focusing on how your clothing expenditures do not jive with your campaign statements. This is not a complex concept, even for you.

People hold women in politics to a completely different standard of appearance without a doubt. Some turn it to their advantage in a positive way (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuit was without a doubt the best line Hillary had the whole campaign). Some ignore it and work for the day when it no longer exists, creating opportunity to raise women up. Palin has chosen to use it to her advantage in a negative manner by claiming it where it does not exist. Crying sexism every time her political and personal choices are questioned is a pathetic attempt to deflect attention from all the things she does not know, and it is far more harmful to equal treatment of women than the lambasting of feminists that she spouts every chance she gets.

This is all also proof that I clearly should not have CNN or MSNBC on while I'm trying to read for class.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Real Debate

This election is taking over my life, and so I recorded last night's debate and spent my time having a real debate with some friends over wine and sweet Italian turkey sausage lasagna: Who deserved to win last night's Project Runway finale?

It sure as hell wasn't Kenley, because this hot mess was TERRIBLE. It looked like she was designing for Alexis Carrington Colby's sofa. Just terrible. But I'm sure she blames it all on having been a rude ass biatch to Uncle Tim.

I think either Korto or Leanne could have won easily...they were both spectacular in completely different ways. Korto is far more commercial and she addresses bodies in a way that most designers do not. She is needed in the industry. Leanne's sculptural aesthetic is so different than everything out there, and I think her collection and items from the rest of the season show she has potential for a more innovative career in high fashion than Korto. Those waves in all her clothes were just amazing. I would have been happy if either one won. If I were backed into a corner, I think I'd go for innovation more than commercial appeal, and would choose Leanne, but only be a hair.

I was thinking last night about something the judges said about Korto being pigeon-holed, and I have a real problem with it. They really have the dying view that European is the standard in fashion, ignoring the rest of the world. Christian's aesthetic last year was completely European, and they went nuts for that. Korto's clothes had only a slight nod to African style, and suddenly they are too limited? Please people, widen your world view. I'll say it again, Korto is someone who is very much needed in the fashion industry.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Cheese

This edition of The Cheese was inspired by vice presidential nominee/maverick/Karen Walker impersonator, Sarah "Bible Spice" Palin. You see, the crowds she is drawing with their Curious George dolls as Obama and shouts to kill him inadvertently gave me the solution to our economic crisis.

Tax the stupid people.

We will be back in black in a matter of months just by passing the hat at those rallies.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Debate #2

Winner winner chicken dinner for Team Obama tonight! Two things really struck me about tonight's debate:

1. McCain wonders around the stage exactly like Sophia from "The Golden Girls." Seriously, when he was puttering around behind Obama while he was talking, doing his peepaw shuffle, I was absolutely DYING for a piece of cheesecake out on the lanai.

2. The one good thing about McCain is that whenever he's on television, for some reason all the neighborhood children get off my lawn.

Like most of America, I agree Obama won, but not on substance. Don't get me wrong, I agreed with him on most everything. I thought his substance was good, and that he edged McCain there to some extent. But neither of them went out on a limb and stated any bold new ideas that showed great leadership. Good leadership, perhaps, but not great.

Where Obama won was on style, the kind of style that conveys confidence in the electorate that someone is ready to be president. He can seem a bit distant, and I was complaining to friends that he missed opportunities to connect. He could have taken his statements on sacrificing to save energy and talked about what his own family does (for example, their only car is an American-made hybrid). He doesn't tend to do that. When he was talking health care, though, he talked about his mom and her financial difficulties when she had terminal cancer, and then connected it directly to the problems with our health industry. That was great, and he needs to do that more to show people that he really gets it. Contrast that with McCain attacking, versus Obama hitting back from the attacks and then immediately pivoting to what he would do about whatever was the issue at hand. It was effective, and I think people will really like it.

Finally, McCain to be blunt looked like he had a stroke five minutes before the debate. He shuffled around that stage like an old man, grimaced constantly, and made some really nutty statements ("That one"? Are you kidding me with that condescending shit?!). At one point he was shuffling around behind Obama while Obama was talking, and he looked like he was a nursing home patient who escaped. It didn't help that he kept referring to people and events in the 80s that half the audience doesn't remember. He looked old, he looked like the past, and on that alone, he lost big tonight. He is a 20th century man who is not prepared to be president in the 21st century.

While I'm on a roll here, I want to make a couple of points or three about this terrorist claptrap that has been spread like manure for the past two days by the McCain campaign.

1. Obama was on a charity board with a rehabilitated radical. Sarah Palin goes to bed every night with someone who advocated secession from the United States. Glass igloos, hockey puck. Glass igloos.

2. When someone shouts "Kill him" or "Terrorist" in front of Palin or McCain in reference to their opponent and they say NOTHING, it shows exactly the people they are. Of course, this is no surprise for McCain since he let a supporter refer to Hillary Clinton as a bitch at a town hall earlier this year, and did nothing but grin. Really classy there, peepaw.

3. The Clintons are the most effective political team of the past 50 years. If there were real Muslim or terrorist connections for Obama, they would have found them and ran him out of the race. CNN spent upwards of six figures investigating Obama's past and found NOTHING. Anyone who seriously believes that Barack Obama is a terrorist or some sort of Muslim Manchurian candidate at this point believes it because they want to believe it. I'm not saying why they want to believe it...only they can answer that. But they are believing it because if they don't, they will have to admit there is some other reason they don't want to vote for someone who probably serves their interests far better than a man who has helped drive our economy into the ground and put our security at risk via terrible decisions.

Good night, folks! Law school is still kicking my butt, and I'm afraid this election is going to make me flunk out...I need some Project Runway to lighten things up!