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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Politics and comb overs...

Okay, as much as it pains me to say this, I think Obama has been doing some really stupid things lately and this morning was probably the stupidest. Seriously. Stupid.

In the first place, and I know I'm swimming upstream here, but I wish he'd let the damn government shut down. It's not like it's never happened before, it happens all the time. Hell, it happens ever damn year in California. We live. It's happened something like 15 times since Carter was in office. We lived. I'm sorry he didn't dig in. I have a great deal of respect for people who, right or wrong, dig in. It shows backbone.

Except in the case of Donald Trump.

I used to like the Donald. No, I didn't want to have him over for dinner, nor did I want to dine with him. In the first place, I admit, I watch "The Apprentice". I've SEEN the inside of his apartment. Woof. Seriously, how much gild can one place hold? Looks like King Midas indulged in some serious projectile vomiting in there. Was it Dolly Parton who said "It takes a lot of money to look this cheap?" Well, Trump proved it. But then, he has to live in that tacky place, not me.

But basically, I liked him. He seemed pretty up front. He made a lot of money. He's no philanthropist. But he's sharp and, even if what he does is taking advantage of people and loopholes he's never been caught with his hand in the cookie jar, he's always been up front about what he does, he's rich and not embarrassed to be. He's not being investigated by the SEC and, to the best of my knowledge, he's never spend time in Danbury Minimum Security. He has a sort of ethical attitude. A kind of bend but don't break the law...if you can take advantage of it go ahead on but don't hide it. He also admits that he has a terrible comb over.

But what I once attributed to skill and savvy I now think was nothing more than dumb luck. Because it appears that he's managed to do most of this while believing every piece of email that comes into his box. Not only that, he seems to catch his train about three years too late. This brings me back to Obama and the absolutely stupid thing he did this morning.

The guy's been in office for over two years now. Legally. he was born in freaking HAWAII and, with the exception of a few toothless, moonshined up tea partiers in the backwoods of Arkansas everyone has pretty much moved on with it.

Except that, apparently Donald Trump finally got around to reading his email a few months ago. NOW we're back with Obama and the Kenyan grandmother and whatever the hell Rush Limbaugh sent out in 2007, all of which was thoroughly de-bunked by early 2008. But it's news to Donald.

Now, frankly, and remember this because you'll never hear me say it again, I have to agree with Mitt Romney on this one. If Obama was, indeed, born somewhere besides Hawaii does Trump really think that the Clinton campaign wouldn't have been able to prove it? Hell, Hilary won all those electoral votes in California, she was his chief competition, does Trump REALLY think they wouldn't have FOUND out if Obama wasn't effing ELIGIBLE? Would have made her life a LOT easier. Mine too, I think she'd have done a bang up job in the White House.

But NOooooooo. Apparently Donald has just discovered this little glitch. Now if I were advising Obama I'll tell you what I would have said. I would have said "screw Trump. This is old news, over and done with. Shove the certificate up his ass and move on." But no. Obama releases the certificate.

Barack? This isn't going to end it, I could have told you that and so could your wife. Any person who's even dealt with children knows full well that, whenever two kids get into a "yes you did!" "No I didn't" fight, neither one of them wins. One of them will produce proof that whatever he says is true actually IS true and the other one will say "so what, you drew that picture yourself." It's what they do in second grade. Every mother knows it. Michelle probably told you, except you were too busy filling out forms to get a copy of your birth certificate to really hear what she was saying.

This is exactly what happened this morning. Pardon my French here, but the appropriate reaction to Trump's sudden discovery of the birther argument should have been "Really? Will someone tell him to shut the fuck up, I'm busy trying to close Gitmo here" instead of waving what is, undoubtedly his real birth certificate around because he finds all of this distracting. THIS is where he and I have diverged on our paths. The birth certificate is NOT distracting. It's funny.

Actually, if Obama were really smart, he would send Donald Trump an e-mail. He could tell Trump that his brother is actually a Nigerian Prince who, because of the political upheaval in that country, has been forced into exile by radical political forces and was forces to leave his billions behind in Nigeria. BUT...if the blessed Mr. Trump will just help him by supplying his banking information and a small, up front donation of, say, $500,000 U.S. dollars well, then, Obama will be able to set up a Swiss bank account and bribe the Nigerian junta into releasing all of his brother's funds. At which point the blessed Mr. Trump will have his $500,000 reimbursed AND will be able to take an additional 50% of the Prince's billions for his generosity in helping them.

Come to think of it, maybe I should send that e-mail...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

We're just here for the food.

Wow, a month. Seems longer. I have no excuse except that I've been in a funk of sorts and felt it basically a repetitious pity party to post it here.

As Easter Sunday approaches I'm thinking a LOT about food. Well, okay, I think a lot about food anyway, which explains why the ladies at the local Lane Bryant know my first name.

Well, I started a methodical project of spring cleaning on Ash Wednesday which was SUPPOSED to be finished by now, thus enabling me a lovely, unstressed time in which to put together an Easter Dinner worthy of the foodiest of foodies. Ha. And may I say...HA!

The hubster got the man flu which took up considerable time. My younger son was bombarded with tests and paperwork that I become involved with as they a) contributed to his Bachelor of Arts Degree (which will be conferred the week before Memorial Day at 8 o'clock IN THE FREAKING MORNING!) and the rather bulky envelope full of references and expensive test scores that must be submitted to the College of Education for his advanced studies next year, as my son would like a credential to teach English. I'm so proud I could burst.

Well, anyway, the clutter remains, although not as much of it and what's under the clutter is immaculate. I pulled the stove out and scrubbed the floor, I've put up hooks for the mop and broom and my kitchen counters, while not quite as Zen like as they were when I started this project as still pretty damn clear. The bookcases were unloaded of ALL their contents and the wood washed with a mixture of vinegar, water, dish soap and olive oil.

But, it's not done. Therefore, my inspired menu was adjusted today, to allow two less days for cooking and two more days for cleaning. The rosemary crusted leg of lamb made way for a ham. It's easier, takes less watching and it's .88 a pound right now. Lamb is $5.49 a pound. You do the math.

I was thinking about this today though, as I was chasing down culinary lavender to use in my dessert, a somewhat elegant sounding dish that involves strawberries over a yogurt based custard drizzles with a honey lavender syrup. I found the recipe in a light, healthy cooking magazine and it just sounded wonderful. Not to mention the fact that it has no refined sugar which means my father will actually try some. I can make the syrup a couple of days in advance, as well as the custard stuff but I had to chase down the lavender. I found it at a place in Santa Monica (koffkoffPenzeyskoffkoff) but it takes four buses and as many hours to get there from here. Besides, this store is full of pretentious cooks. I know this because it was a pretentious cook who turned me on to it when I was, I realize now, a pretentious cook myself.

I managed to find the lavender at an equally pretentious store down the street from me. But it only required one bus and six bucks for the bottle. I'm good with that.

I'm glad, actually. No, not about the lavender. I'm glad that I discovered what buffoons foodies are (for the most part.) I'm glad I'm not making cumin and rosemary scented lamb and, instead, will be sitting around the table with my family eating a way too salty ham and drinking the wrong wine from the wrong winery while someone yells something like "NO...they pulled him over for a busted tail light. THAT'S when he told the cop it was a bag of oregano!"

I think of these foodies now and again, I've been thinking of them this week as I adjusted and pared down the menu. I'm thinking of their oh so proper chervil fresh from the Rich Bitch on the Beach Farmers Market and their oh so proper Holiday meals, complete with asparagus tongs and marrow spoons and their carefully selected guests culled from the local University. And their friends, who feel that living in the nouveau riche desert communities that have spring up just east of the Irwindale gravel pits but the houses are big and drafty and all made out of tickey tacky which gives us real class out here, who will be squeezing people who don't want to be there into a dining room that's filled with more crap than mine is and then bragging about their superb abilities as hot wife, good mother and the next Julia Child.

I was thinking about them tonight as I threw together some sort of pasta, meatball, sauce from a jar, cheese from a package thing in the electric skillet and shoving frozen garlic bread in the oven to go with so that we could all grab our plates and hit the living room in time for "Jeopardy!" No, it's not a pretty sight and no, we don't set the TV trays with place mats and crystal, in fact, we don't use the TV trays at all. But the food was tasty enough, the game lively and, guess what you horses asses with your Bristol Farms mentality? We ate together. My boys are in their twenties and yet, when every one's home by 7, we still eat together. We play killer "Jeopardy!" here, btw. There are 61 clues to a game and, between the four of us, we usually nail 59 of them.

For awhile there, I was a pretentious ass in the kitchen. Now...not so much. At least I hope not. Every now and then I still watch the Food channel though. And I think of Julia Child, chowing down on an In-N-Out burger (which, btw, she was known to do on occasion) and I realize that food is glue. Whether or not it brings us to the table, to a picnic bench or to a ledge at the Tommy's on Beverly it's not pretentious, it's not reverent and it's NOT a weapon to be held over the heads of the less skilled and unworthy.

I try and do my best. Sometimes my best is a bucket of chicken. Sometimes it's grilled ham and cheese and sometimes it's a crown roast and strawberries with lavender honey syrup. It's all good. I feel sorry for foodies. I'll take my fat ass and my jar of marinara sauce over their fresh fennel aspic with caraway seed infusion any day. Because you know what? If I served that crap to my kids there's no way in hell they would still be at my table, such as it is.

Listening to three people all shouting at the television set because some boob can't remember that The Kinks sang "Lola" while my son says "this is good, are these turkey meatballs?" has become my idea of a great dinner. I recommend it highly.