Friday, October 31, 2008 pics

Some better pics of the parade from the Inq. Including this one:

And of Wednesday night.

Happy Halloween!

Way too much to talk about and deal with. I will try this weekend. But I posted pics from the Wednesday night mayhem that was this city after winning the World Series (yes we are idiots and yes we went to Broad, but we left before the fires!) and from the parade this afternoon on my flickr. So here you go! Oh and here is a pic of my little superstition. He watched every game that we saw that they won from start to finish. Rally Lambie.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Navy Day!

Yesterday Matty and I did some fun cooking. We made homemade gnocchis, chicken parmesan and mixed-berry cheesecake bars. So yummy! First we had to buy a food mill for the potatoes since we didnt have one. First we went to William Sonoma and the only one they had with a price tag on it was $120. So we went to Kitchen Kapers and got one for $15.

We used Mario Batali's basic gnocchi recipe. Which uses 3lbs or potatoes. Which makes about 300 gnocchi. So we have lots in the freezer. I never think of buying the liquid egg stuff to cut recipes like that. I am always like, well this is for one egg, I cant use half an egg. But we cooked up some last night and they were awesome! Light and fluffy and yummy. I also made a marinara. I used some Classico Cabernet Marinara with Herbs as a base since we had it. Then added onion, garlic, crushed tomatoes and some 2002 Blue Mountain Chambourcin, DiBruno's pepperoni and sopressata. Then we made chicken parm with a panko breading (with garlic, onion, basil and parmesan). Matty was mostly responsible for this. It was perfect. Pan fried then baked with fresh mozzarella, freshly grated peccorino romano and some sauce. For dessert Matty made mixed-berry topped cheesecake bars that are simply out of this world. I can get the recipe if anyone wants.

I will post pics, I promise.

You cant make this shit up

Slide show of Sarah Palin (Republican Vice Presidential Candidate, let's remember) wearing a Vote Democrat scarf at a Republican rally in Nevada.

Sarah Palin describes herself as an "intellectual." And declares that if she had another son, she would name him Zamboni.

The Sarah Palin pregnancy decision chart. Based on actual events. So maybe she isn't actually fit to be a mother . . . again.

The ever popular "Backwards B girl," Ashley Todd, who carved a B into her cheek, backwards, in an attempt to blame Obama supporters of thug-like anti-McCain scare tactics. And the right just eats it up.

Can't make it up.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Happy Pumpkin Cheesecake Day!

Hello and welcome to this edition of "What have Matty and Sara been up to?"

I feel like I have no reviewed many movies recently. But I cant really remember, so if some of these are repeats, sorry.
The Simpsons Movie: Everyone who I have heard talk about this movie has said that same thing. It seems like a long episode from one of there good but not great seasons. We had to see it, we did, there ya go. Do you like the Simpsons? Go see it. If you dont, dont.
Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone: The first of the Harry Potters. It is pretty good, it had a lot to do and it did it. But again, if you like or think you might like Harry Potter, see it, otherwise, dont.
A History of Violence: I liked it. There were scenes I didnt watch but over all, not too gratuitously gory. I would say it is gratuitously violent though. Including a very violent sex scene not for the faint of heart. Viggo Mortensen is pretty hot. I would recommend it to fans of violent dramas or David Cronenberg.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Better than the first. Still though, if you dont like Harry Potter, why see it?
Harry Potter and the Prsioner of Azkaban: Better than the first, starting to diverge a bit from the books (by necessity due to length).
Maxed Out: A pretty good documentary about predatory lending and our obsession with credit. Worth seeing, interesting to note things they warn about vs what is happening.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Favorite so far. Does what it absolutely needs to do in a decent amount of time, but things were left out that I am curious about how they will be addressed in future movies. If Matty would just finish the next one!
Charlie Wilson's War: Really really good. Highly recommend! Great look at a very interesting and often overlooked peice of history. Speaks volumes about our current foreign policy and military issues. Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts are fantastic.
Rocky Balboa: It is a Rocky movie. Dont really expect more than that. Not as bad as some, not as god as the first.
Cloverfield: Was talked into this for our biweekly Blu-Ray movie night at Dan's. I dont like scary movies so I was against seeing it. But it isnt really a scary movie. It is a monster movie. It was ok. Not outstanding. Better than a lot of monster movies (I am looking at you Godzilla). Worth seeing if you are interested in monster movies. Saw a lot more of the monster than I thought. I refuse to start looking stuff up about it on the internet. So not going there.
Iron Man: Was totally impressed. Seeing it on a big-ass TV on Blu-Ray didnt hurt. Disclaimer: it is a comic book movie. If you thought that Spiderman and Xmen are too hokey and comic booky, you should probably stay away. But it is actually good. Good actors (Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow), pretty good effects (though there were some scenes where the cgi didnt quite match). And Jon Favreau! Who knew? My one problem: Jeff Bridges should stick to good guys. The Dude should not be a bad guy. I was totally humming Iron Man all last night (Matty wasnt happy).

Heroes, current season: I have missed the last 3 episodes. Which makes Matty happy. But makes me sad, because I thought this season was going pretty good.
The Wire, Season 1: Recently finished this. I am pretty interested to see what happens in later episodes. A bit on the scary side I have to say though. Makes me happy I didnt go to Hopkins.
The Office, current season: Funniest show on TV. Hands down. Enough said.
Rome, Season 2: Wow. I thought the first one was overly expensive, lavish, violent and had a bit too much violent Roman sex. But no, I was wrong. That is season 2. I cant belive all that happened in one season. Worth seeing. I totally see why HBO cant afford another season though.
House, current season: So happy about the end of last episode!

Cant even really remember. But last night we made "Barbecue chicken salad" from my Southern Heritage cookbook. First whisk together 2 Tbsp cider vinegar, 1 Tbsp sugar, 4 tsp worcestershire (or soy if you are out like us) sauce, 1/2 tsp dry mustard, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp hot sauce. In a skillet, cook 2 slices bacon until crispy. Remove bacon and all but 1 Tbsp fat from skillet. In bacon fat, saute 1 small onion, chopped and 2 cloves garlic, minced until softened. Add 1 lb chicken breast cut into 1/2 inch x 1 inch strips. Cook until cooked through. Add sauce to pan and 1 cup frozen corn. Cook for 2 minutes. Make salad of lettuce, 1 red bell pepper cut into strips, 1 green bell pepper cut into strips, 2 green onions, chopped and bacon, chopped. Serve chicken mixture over salad.

Other things:
2 weeks ago was me and Matty's 10 year anniversary. We went to Annapolis for the weekend with my parents, godparents and family friends for the International Boat Show. It was a gorgeous weekend and we had a good time at the show, especially with the free Pusser's painkillers in the mugs after hours.

Last week was my Genetics department talk which went really well. Trying to schedule the big thesis committee meeting now.

Sunday Matty and I did the Philly AIDS Walk 15000 people raised $450,000 for the 12K walk or 10K run. We walked :-). It was really chilly though! But a beautiful walk up from the Art Museum to East Falls and back.

Ok, you are kinda up to date. Maybe. Well, that is all I have time for.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Palin quotes Anti-Semite

Yup. Another partisan blog post from me.

Associations are everything, or would be is the McCain campaign had their way. ACORN, William Ayers, Reverend Wright.

ACORN did bad things. And they also supported Obama. And Obama paid them to help with voter registration. However, Obama did not pay ACORN to do bad things. And there havent been any reports that Obama knew that ACORN did bad things.

William Ayers worked with Chicago Mayor Richard Daley reforming the city school program, and for his work was awarded an Annenberg grant. (By the way, the Annenbergs are conservative Republicans.) He also won the Chicago Citizen of the Year award for his work. He has served on the board of directors of an anti-poverty, philanthropic foundation. Ayers is currently a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Education teaching for social justice, urban educational reform, narrative and interpretive research, children in trouble with the law, and related issues. Oh and when Barack Obama was 6, he was a terrorist. And later, when he became a well-known educational reformer, Barack Obama was on the boards (with other people, including Ayers, Democrats and Republicans) of the Annenberg grant and the Wood Fund (the anti-poverty, philanthropic foundation.) Ayers has contributed to Obama's Congressional campaigns.

I am so not going into the Reverend Wright thing.

But the worse you can say, honestly, is that he has associated himself with people who have done bad things. But he is not alone. He has not put terrorists on his staff. He has not bombed any buildings. He was not alone during those sermons. And not many people stand up to their reverends or their elders or other respected people. Which is not to say that I agree with that. I would love to have the balls and for my elected officials to have the balls to stand up to everyone who does wrong.

But here is an interesting tidbit that is missing in most news sources nowadays. During Sarah Palin's speech at the GOP Convention she quoted this: "We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty and sincerity and dignity." That was written by Westbrook Pegler, a Hearst era fascist, pro-Nazi, and antisemitic journalist. He has said some other interesting tidbits, about some interesting things, other than his love of small town America (from the NY Times):
After an assassin tried to kill F.D.R. at a Florida rally and murdered Chicago's mayor instead in 1933, Pegler wrote that it was "regrettable that Giuseppe Zangara shot the wrong man." In the '60s, Pegler had a wish for Bobby Kennedy: "Some white patriot of the Southern tier will spatter his spoonful of brains in public premises before the snow falls."
Nice guy. And Sarah Palin (or more likely her handler) CHOSE this quote. I think there is a difference there. What would be said if Obama quoted Hitler? Or Louis Farrakhan? Or William Ayers?

Oh and since the debate is on and Matty wont talk to me:
- Palin's son has Down syndrome, not autism. He may develop autism. But he doesnt have autism yet. Stop throwing around autism and Sarah Palin. He is a special needs child. But not necessarily autistic.
- And her expertise with special needs kids is 6 months old.
- Canadian oil is NOT ok! Oil is NOT OK!
- And Bill Ayers did not say he should have bombed more, he said he should have done more. There is a difference.
- I swear I heard McCain snicker when Obama said tit-for-tat.

Ok, I need to stop before I start yelling.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Palin pro-rape?

So I feel like perhaps some anti-Palin fervor has been dwindling after generally ridiculous antic-less debate with Biden and we just can't have that now can we? So here we go with another story about why this mindless moose-eating robot should not have the second highest office in the land. (Though not as she believes the most important).

Apparently, while Sarah-dearest was mayor of Wasilla, the town, under the direction of her police chief began charging rape victims or their insurance companies for rape-kits and post-assault examinations. Now this was not something that she was directly in charge of (at least on paper) or that some could argue that she might even have known about. Except that because this practice was occuring in rural Alaska, in 2000 the state legislature tried to pass a bill preventing sexual assault victims from being charged for forensic tests. Which led to an outcry from the police chief who said in print:
Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman (May 23, 2000): "In the past we've charged the cost of exams to the victim's insurance company when possible. I just don't want to see any more burden put on the taxpayer," Fannon said.

According to Fannon, the new law will cost the Wasilla Police Department approximately $5,000 to $14,000 a year to collect evidence for sexual assault cases.
Now if I was the mayor of a small town and I found out, in a newspaper (which of course she read all of) that my police chief was promoting the practice of charging rape victims to collect evidence of a criminal act, I would be pretty pissed. And that he was leading a fight against state legislation preventing this for 6 months?! But is there any record that Palin did anything about it? Nope. When it was first brought to national attention (of which there has been very little but some) did she rush forth with an explanation of what she did about it? Nope. And keep in mind that the Alaska rape rate (as of 2005) is 2.5 times the national average. And that is the number of reported rapes. It is believed that the rate of actually reporting rape is only 16% (as of 1992, in Utah [highest rape rates in the country] this year it was reported that only 12% of rape victims report their crimes to police). And as late as 2005 30% of victims in Alaska who tried to reach victim support services couldnt because there were none available. So in that sort of atmosphere, is it really a good idea to decrease the likelihood of reporting sexual assault because their insurance company (if they are insured and it is covered) or they will get charged for it?

So let's say for the benefit of the doubt, best case scenario, that Sarah Palin had absoutely no idea that this was happening in her fair town of Wasilla. Is that good? That in a town of just over 5000 people (in 2000) you do not know about an outrage suck as this? And that when you did find out about it you did nothing publicly? I think that is simply beyond awful. I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tattooed pig ears?

I feel like I need to say something about all this talk about earmarks and pork. The definition of earmarks is:
congressional provisions that direct approved funds to be spent on specific projects, or that direct specific exemptions from taxes or mandated fees.
And pork:
appropriation of government spending for projects that are intended primarily to benefit particular constituents or campaign contributors.
This sounds hard. But from what I understand (and I would love to discuss this with someone who actually knows something) these are moneys attached to pieces of legislation or committee reports that go to specific projects (usually pet projects) that are used in order to get people to vote for things. This obviously sounds bad. But I dont understand how it can be so legal and so accepted for so long if there was a better way to do it. And by better I mean a way that actually works. And obviously gross spending needs to be looked at. Federal bureaucracy and things that dont work need to go. But according to Citizens Against Government Waste $18 billion was spent in pork last year. Do you know how much we spent in Iraq last month? $12 billion. (Off topic - that is almost $5000 a second!) So maybe pork is not the thing we need to worry about so much. Maybe we need to prioritize.

A little old bloggy blog

So I have gotten off the daily update thing since I heard from people that it was boring. Which I of course said it was going to be. But whatever. And I so dont have time at work anymore. But I would still like to discuss movies and recipes when I can. So while I wait for the debate to start in like 30 seconds . . .

We just finished watching Lars and the Real Girl. And it was awesome. It really was. Now the basic plot - Man falls in love with sex doll - does not at all describe this movie or do it justice. It exemplifies what is good, really good, about small town America. And of course Ryan Gosling is so hot. But see this movie if you get a chance. Really. I laughed, I cried, I cringed and I smiled despite myself.

For dinner this evening we had Warm Snow Pea and Chicken Salad. It is one of my faves. It is pretty easy and so tasty. We actually follow this recipe . . . ok, close anyway. Used half vegetable stock and half chicken broth. And I used tahini and tamari since I had it. Could easily veganize with tofu or tempeh.

Ok, that is all. Debate time.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Happy Virus Appreciation Day!

Soooo . . . how does everyone think last night went? I think that Palin was going to have to fuck up pretty badly to lose. Or that it was going to be near impossible for her to lose. Expectations were SO low. And after the Katie Couric debacle of last week she was going to be coached to within an inch of her life. Not to say that she was going to win per se, but that she couldnt really hurt anything. Or she was going to have to try really hard. And I have to say, because it is only fair, she is VERY good at what they want her to do:
She can learn her lines.
She knows the soundbites.
She knows how to speak in broad generalities.
She knows how to spout the party lines and the party lies.
She knows how to appeal to the apparently ignorant "joe-sixpack" and his wife "hockey mom." I would love to meet this couple one day.

However, she does not:
Know how to answer a question directly. (Though neither does Biden)
Know how to stay on topic. (Again, an issue for Biden)
Know that the lead NATO general in Afghanistan is David McKiernan not McClellan. Or what he has said about an Iraq-style surge in Afghanistan.
Know how to pronounce the word nuclear. Everyone with me now, NU-CLE-AR. Not NU-CU-LAR.
Know how to answer a question she isnt ready for. For instance, what has she had to change about herself? She didnt veto some budgets. Soooo, her stance was to veto all budgets no matter what?
Know how many troops we have in Iraq. 15,000 more than pre-surge.
Know that Obama has said that there were some successes from the surge. "The surge has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated . . . I've always said it's succeeded beyond our wildest dream."
Know that natural gas is not "clean" or "green."
Know that cooperating and getting along with other Republicans (once they turn republican), no matter their background (Lieberman and Romney formerly being Dems) doesnt actually make you a Maverick.
And of course she may in fact know that lies she spouts about Obama's voting record (tax cuts, tax increases, military funding), and McCain's voting record are lies, but I will put that under party lines and lies.

I thought Biden did an ok job considering he isnt really a debater. I loved his point about McCain being a Maverick at the end, but I think it got a bit lost. He did mess up saying that France and the US kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon since that was actually Syria, and maybe Israel, and Hezbollah is still strong in Lebanon (which he did say). He got a little weird on the judge thing, not quite sure what his idea there was. I guess to show that he isnt a flip-flopper on pertinent (to the campaign) issues? But he didnt "attack" her. He attacked McCain and McCain's record and policies. And he defended. But he didnt attack her (even when she attacked him) which is good because it would have turned him into a chauvinist picking on the girl. Which fucking sucks. She should be able to take whatever anyone throws at her. But of course that isnt going to happen.

So I dont personally think there was a winner or a loser. I dont think Biden hurt or helped anything. Unfortunately I think that Palin may have helped McCain by staying largely coherent (though entirely scripted). I still do not understand how anyone can vote for them. How anyone can not see that they are not different enough from the last 8 years. I know that one big argument is that Obama doesnt have experience and that he is largely just an idea of hope and change. But he has proven that he will surround himself with people who do have the experience necessary (and not just lobbyists). That he will listen to those people (something McCain doesnt seem to do). And isnt an idea of hope and change better than no hope and no change at all? Dont we have the right to hope and dream anymore? Palin keeps calling her and McCain an "i-dill" partnership (which I assume means ideal). But then tells us that we are being too idealistic when we want what Obama says we deserve and that he will try to fight for it. I know McCain is a war hero. I get it. Prisoner of war, torture, hero. I get it. I do. Believe it or not, I do come from a military family. And he should be respected and honored for those sacrifices that he made and the hope that he provided for the other POWs he was with. But that doesnt mean he should be respected for bad policies, faulty thinking and stubbroness when it comes to our future on the global and local stage. And Obama was a draft dodger or anything. He just wasnt old enough to fight and when he was old enough he probably thought that he was doing things as important to the future of the people he was helping. Because yeah, my grandfather was in the Army and he was stationed in Germany but he also graduated from Harvard Law. And I respect him for that too. And I respect Obama for doing what he has done. Maybe he doesnt come across as a guy you want to have a beer with at the Sidecar. But is that really a valid reason why he shouldnt be president?

Ok. That is all. I am just disheartened and a bit scared. Las tnight Matty said that it would be ok. Because the last two elections were such disappointments and slaps in the face to us. But in 2000 when we were upset and confused, we never thought that we would be where we would be in 2004. But at least we said to ourselves "There is no way that it can happen again, people have to see." And they didnt and it did. But even then we had no idea where we would be now. And now we are here and part of me is screaming. "It cant happen again. It just cant. How can this be? Who are these people? What are they thinking? What do they see that I just dont see? What do I see that they just cant see." But I feel like I have learned better and so who, in my heart and nightmares, do think is going to be president this time next year? John McCain.

And I do not have any hope of any change. And I am scared.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Another shared thing

Cuz they told me to.

And for you to use tonight:

But you should read my previous post too. Cuz it is a good example of a princess rant.

Me? Partisan?

So I just wanted to set the record straight. I bet some of you out there, (the 4 of you who read this) based upon recent posts, think that perhaps I am one of those dirty "liberals." Yes! I said it, the L word. You probably think that I am simply a McCain-Palin-hating Obama-Biden-loving tree-hugging liberals. One of those people who think that their government should provide services to its people and that we should (gasp) pay taxes for those services. One of those people who believe that a strong middle class is the way to a strong economy. One of those people who believe that EVERY person in this country deserves GOOD health care and GOOD education. One of those people who believes that our forefathers did not have automatic handguns in mind when they wrote the Second Amendment. One of those people who thinks that two people who love each other and want to devote their lives to one another should be allowed to get married. One of those people who thinks that I deserve to get paid the same amount of money for the same job as someone who happens to have a penis. One of those people who thinks that we should raise up the standard of living of those people in our own country and abroad (when we can afford it) who actually WANT and NEED our help. Not those who we will simply make a better profit or a better headline. One of those people who remembers that this country was built by immigrants. And who thinks that we need a valid and enforceable immigration policy (and foreign relations and assistance policy) instead of a fence surrounded by guys with guns. One of those people who believe that we elect people to office who are there to represent US. One of those people who do not think that Ronald Reagan was the second coming of Christ. One of those people who think that we have a responsibility to our children and our grandchildren and your children and your grandchildren to not completely destroy the one earth that we have. And that we should listen to experts and scientists and give them money so that they can do what needs to be done to cure our diseases and help prevent them from happening, to do what needs to be done to rid of us of our addiction to oil (not just foreign oil, all oil) and to find efficient and environmentally friendly and sustainable ways to live our lives. One of those people who think that our president SHOULD be better than your average Joe. And SHOULD know it and act it, be educated and erudite and be able to negotiate and listen to people saying that he or SHE is wrong and that a different course of action needs to be taken. One of those people that thinks the patriotic thing is to only fight the wars to need to be fought and let our servicemen and women survive to raise their families and work their jobs and live to fight another day if that need should arise. You probably think I am one of those people right? Well here you go:
Biden, a six-term senator from Delaware, said that Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the nation on television after the 1929 stock market crash. (FDR wasn't president yet and commercial TV didn't exist at the time.) He told a TV interviewer that paying higher taxes was "patriotic." And he called an Obama campaign ad ridiculing Republican presidential nominee John McCain's computer skills "terrible."
Ok, are we done yet? Of course I am all of those things. And I think that that makes me very patriotic. And I am embarrassed and ashamed that the guy who I think should be second in command of our country said those things. So just in case you dont get sarcasm and think that I am actually not a liberal. From the Sarah Palin hall of fame:

I love Jack Cafferty. Almost as much as I hate Lou Dobbs. And John McCain. And Sarah Palin. And George W. Bush. And Dick Cheney. And Joe Lieberman. And . . . this could go on and on . . .

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Can I just say Oh My God?!

People actually think this should be a 72-year old cancer survivor's heartbeat away from the presidency?!

She can't name a Supreme Court case other than Roe v Wade.
If you havent seen the rest of the Couric-Palin interview do yourself a favor and youtube it. Really. It is a bit terrifying, so you might want to make sure the lights are on.

Though it does make great comedy.

Thanks to Jawnny and Ciggitycite for keeping up on the Palin watch while I have been too busy and so making it easy to find these clips and links. I cant wait for the debate on Thursday. Biden makes me a little nervous since he tends to not think before speaking, but I am hoping for some damn good Palin moments.