Category Archives: Maddening

I’m Hangry. Please Don’t Jack Around

WARNING:  I’m a big fan of foul language. The following post includes a pinch of spicy and green leafy cuss words. Please avoid this article if you have delicate sensibilities.recipes1

 

Dear Foodie Blogger,

For the love of God, please choose  – preferably in the advanced planning stages before launching your wonderful new blog, whether you are a storyteller, photographer, or, and this is a big one…a fucking cook.  Because here’s the thing:  YOUR BLOG CAN’T BE ALL THREE.  At least not very well.  And definitely not if you want me to subscribe and tell all my friends about it.

I get it.  I know what you are trying to do.  I’ve seen it done well but not often, and not unless you can legitimately add graphic artist to your resume and know how to skillfully design a page with photos of sumptuous food logically arranged around the ACTUAL RECIPE IN A READABLE FORMAT. That’s a lot of work for the average Foodie blogger.  Try not to get too fancy about it.  If you don’t pay a large staff to do everything except the cooking, just post the recipe with a few photos of the finished product. Really. That’s all you need. If you absolutely must write a 17-paragraph narrative about the recipe, maybe do it after you’ve posted the ingredients and cooking directions.  A couple of people will be interested.  Not me but maybe some others.

I love and enjoy each of these specific blog genres  – storytelling, photography and cooking –  but when combing them, if they each carry equal weight, what you end up with is a blog that is, at first glance, big and beautiful and envy-inducing, “Oh my God I wish my hot dogs looked this pretty!”  On further inspection, however,  when I’m trying to find the actual recipe, if the blog becomes complicated and confusing because I’m spending way too many of my expensive minutes searching and scrolling and clicking and pressing arrows to find the F&(*ing  ingredients or oven temp, you’ve lost me in a mad fury.

 

Yum

Bologna sandwich with huge tomato slice. Easy.

The photos may be stunning, the narrative captivating and the actual recipe may be to die for – but I’ll never know. And just so you know, right before I slam my cursor on the X at the top right side of your page, I’ve uttered several violent missives directly at you. Personally. Likely something uncouth about your waste management apparatus. I’m hateful like that.

If your blog is a slice-of-life narrative about how you’ve gotten healthy and trim following a certain eating plan, I’ll follow along because I love stories of success and personal victory.  I love seeing the before and after photos and I’m inspired to try your plan  with you and encourage you along the way.  But that’s different. I only read those blogs when I’m already too full and disgusted with my piggish self. When I’m hungry I don’t care how fat I am.  That’s the point.

If I’m looking for a recipe, bets are, I’m hungry, I’m in a hurry, I have a slab of thawed meat I don’t know what to do with, and likely several people standing around asking me what we (translate: me) are doing about dinner.  If all of these elements happen to be in place at the same time, which they so often are, I may also be approaching homicidal. Now is not the time for me to read about your personal relationship with lean, non-GMO, organic, grass-feed, free-range pork steak. Your farm-to-table adventures hold no sway with me. I especially don’t give any effs about how you filched the recipe from your husband’s mother after she accidentally ate a magic brownie in the backseat of a yellow Volkswagen in 1973.  I swear I don’t. That story is only interesting to you and your siblings.  And maybe your children if they’re old enough to be told about the ‘70s.

If I have to click more than once to get to the actual directions on how to make the recipe—I’m gone. Tempted to do a slideshow style recipe?  Lose my number. I’ll never be back.

Seriously?

Seriously?

Generally speaking, and I’m guessing I’m in the majority here, when I’m looking for a specific kind of food or recipe, I Google it.  I need directions for an interesting way to make something to eat. Something different for a change.  I’m looking for an easy-to-read list of ingredients and directly below/beside that list- the actual directions to mix it all up and cook it.  I don’t want editorial comments after each ingredient. I know cumin is spicy.  I’ll cut it back if I’m feeding kids or sissies. I know cilantro is pungent. You don’t need to warn me that if I don’t like it I should use less.  Let’s assume here that I have at least an iota of cooking experience.  I know where the kitchen is. I know how to turn on the stove. Trust me.  Also, if you must tell me in the list of supplies needed section that I should use a clean cutting board (as opposed to…. what?  A dirty one?), you’ve misunderestimated me. I can’t like you at all and maybe forever if you say something like that. If I’m smart enough to find your blog, you must trust me as a reader.  I know about Hepatitis.  I was in the army.

I love a good story.  I’m a huge fan of photography blogs.  I’m always searching for good recipes.  I never combine these activities. I don’t have time.  Here’s a news flash: NOBODY HAS TIME.

I block out daily reading times and (too) often, I allow myself some (precious) online minutes to admire the interesting collections of art and photos on various blogs, including food blogs. But not when I’m hungry.  When it’s dinner time, I’m looking for food ideas.   I want the deets, the 411, the goddamned ingredients. I don’t want the history of Turmeric and beet juice in America. I also don’t’ want to do an additional search to find out how many shrimps make up eight ounces or what size package of meat makes up “28 ounces of pork roast” (1.75#s, FYI).  For God’s sake.  That’s just cruel. Please. Be merciful. One more thing here while we’re discussing mercy: any recipe that calls for “X amount of cups plus 1/2 teaspoon” is just showing off. Just trying to make the author look like some kind of fancy chef. I mean really.  That extra 1/2 teaspoon is more or less a few pinches. Everybody knows that. Don’t be fancy. You lose credibility.

 

The big payoff in being a considerate Foodie Blogger is that if I like the recipes I’ll be back for more.  I’ll subscribe.  I’ll re-blog.  I’ll spread the word like a cupful of softened butter. I’ll tolerate the annoying ads because I get how that works and I appreciate what you are doing.  I’ll even click the ads if they interest me because again, I get it. I do draw the line though with auto-play video ads.  I’ll only stick around long enough to damn you to hell before I click the X and be gone from your site. Forever. Have some respect. Or, lose me. Either way. Plenty of Sushi in the sea. I don’t need a science lesson or a fun story on how you learned to properly boil water.  I need dinner.

Meh... not bad.

So-so Mexican food from a local place. For when Google is down.

My one and only Foodie Post:

Best Black Bean Soup

I’ve never done a foodie post and I may not do another one. This one, half-assed at best, I only thought of while I was making my favorite black bean soup. So, bear with me while I try something completely new. The post, that is. The soup I make fairly often.  Read Article

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Just Kill it and Walk Away

Blame it on the social network society- but I have become like a cat who plays with a mouse before I eat it and walk away, leaving its head and feet  for my human to step on and scream.   I’m not the only one.  I see it more and more on Facebook and blog banter.  I’m not sure I like it.

Let's play a little game..

This all occurred to me today when I toyed cruelly with an unsuspecting dumbass who attacked me on Facebook.  I knew it was cruel because I felt nothing.  I wasn’t angry.  I wasn’t defensive.   I wasn’t hurt. I wasn’t afraid.  I was, in fact, amused.   I did what I had to do.  I baited and re-baited the trap and watched it snap and snap and snap.  And I laughed.   The laughing was guttural and snorty, from deep in my chest and sinus.   Not the wholesome kind of open-mouthed donkey laughing  – like when somebody falls in a hole.  It was just mean.

The best thing about the attack was that it  happened as soon as I woke up and during my morning routine whereupon I have hot coffee at arm’s length, an ashtray with a burning hot cigarette on the wash stand (yes, I have a wash stand), and my phone in hand.  Also, the radio on the  AM band where I am learning to accept the new talking-head named Greg Something  as he bellows and argues and taunts some rotten politician or rule or law that I generally also don’t like.  The attack was timely.   It started my day just right.  I love to be attacked in the morning.

So there I was, sucking hard on a hot Winston, blowing satisfying plumes of grey smoke into the bathroom and just reaching for my steaming cup when the phone bloinked and vibrated on the hamper.   Odd and exciting.  I hit the Facebook icon and bam:   Garrett Mikkelson slammed my FB email with a giant, ugly, hateful and most delicious email calling me a “fucking retarded bitch..”  Naturally, I reeled with pleasure.   What a great way to start the day.   And it just kept getting better.

Garrett is only a virtual acquaintance but I recognized him right away.  A week or so prior I set out to troll some GOP candidate’s Facebook pages.   I landed on the Gingrich page.  I skimmed the usual fan propaganda  –  mostly boring and predictable and I agree with some of it.   Then I saw Garrett, also trolling but with a very different agenda:  Big Ron Paul Fan.  Big, Crazy Ron Paul Fan.  And angry.  Kept spewing frustrations and venom at the Gingrich fans and suggesting that Ron Paul is the only real choice for Commander in Chief and all who think otherwise should die (or, at least, piss off),

“…Its some small things to what our nation needs to get back on our feet. Tell me thats stupid or wrong and you can piss off.” 

Garrett made several other inflammatory and fairly goofy comments on the Gingrich page, most of which were either ignored or summarily dismissed using simple logic.   I have gone back and secured some of the comments so I can enjoy them again at my leisure.   Here’s a good one- in response to an obviously well-read, well spoken Newt fan:

“…you must not fly very much.. Warrantless searches of autos on highways, naked body scanners that cause cancer, participation in illegal arms trade, lightposts that record conversations. It’s essentially a headless beast with no elected oversight.

Wait… light posts that record conversations??  I missed that one the first time.  I guess I need to look  more into Ron Paul and his theories.  He may be more fun than I originally thought instead of just annoying as hell, as I originally thought.   I know, I know.  Paul is not tripping on the same brown acid as my new best friend Garrett.   But still.  Nothing funnier than an extreme conspiracy nut.   <*Footnote* (aka: body note)  Turns out there are reports of these lamp post listening devices being used in other countries.   Not sure if I believe it.  But it almost makes it funnier.>

Garrett  continued his coitus interuptus of the Gingrich orgy,  commenting  about war mongers and despicable candidates like  Gingrich who love fighting wars.  He insisted that this is his Country too and that he has a right to not be drafted or fight in a war,

America was the reason because of the attacks, im sure this whole entire war was a set up. Its terrible that it’s happened. But we must move, Ron paul is the most genuine candidate there is. Its sad that he doesn’t get more publicity, because he wins just about every single poll there is. But whenever Cain, Romney or newt win something they bust out the balloons and bring out the band for excitement. This all just makes me sick to my stomach, any you james, need to educate yourself.

While Garrett’s comments may seem almost too simplistic and benign for any decent person to even consider taunting – and to be clear – I did not taunt him in any way before this morning – he gets way, way more interesting.  Trust me on this.

In spite of my intended troll-only objective, I could not resist a jab or two at Garrett and some others.  I suggested young Garrett would defend his Country if it were truly his,

“Garrett Mikkelson if this were really your country, you would be willing to defend it. “

I replied to another Ron Paul Fan who is also an OWS  supporter,

“Dxxxxx Brown Don’t you ‘occupy’ folks have a City park to clean up?  Oh, wait.. that’s right.. working is for the 95% .. you know, the ones that fund all the losers and malingerers.”

And then I forgot about it.  I got on with my day.  My week.   I worked.  Cooked.   Slept.  Smoked cigarettes.  I drank coffee.  I celebrated Thanksgiving.   I never once thought about Garrett or the other trolls.  Then, I woke up this morning.  Garrett Mikkelson formally introduced himself to me, up close and personal.

I’ll post the whole email from Garrett when I’m finished here.  It’s short and violent.  I posted part of it already on Ron Paul’s Facebook page.  And the conspiracy shit-storm began.  Ron Paul fan’s are a

Here.. put this on...

distrustful bunch, anxious to share philosophies on gold and silver and greed and minding our own damned business.  It was like throwing a bucket of honey on a picnic table and the ants and flys swarmed it and became a little frenzied.  The rapid-fire responses  began immediately after my posting of Garrett’s email and they were urgent – but gentle.   Generally lacking any recognizable grammatical rule,  they eagerly list  suggestions that I join them in the conspiracy party, maybe try on a foil cap and under no circumstance should I save paper dollars in a bank account.

One guy suggested that I may have ‘made the whole thing up, that the email should be reported to the police, not to Facebook,

What you are doing is lowering your credibility to the claim that anyone actually did send you that message.”

Others suggest I immediately call the police and let Zuckerberg know about Garrett’s email.  Because Zuckerberg needs to know, they said.  And I should get Garrett’s IP address and,

“… be sure to save the emails.

I immediately received a friend request from a Ron Paul Fan.  It was creepy and fun and I couldn’t stop for awhile.  I’m still not finished.  But I’ve got it all on hold until I can think it through and load my .38.

In the meantime, the following is the conversation that started my day:

Garrett MikkelsonYou’re a fucking retarded bitch. Calling occupiers losers?.. and your god damn right i would defend this country.

Me:   huh?

Garrett Mikkelson: Next time watch what you say on public sites.

Me: or what?

Garrett MikkelsonYou’ve just proved your ignorance. Or else i’ll find you, cut you up into little pieces then feed you to my dog. Honestly people like you never cease to amaze me. Still living in Indiana?

He must have a pretty big dog.

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Seven-year (B)itch. AKA: Anetha.

I’ve been waiting for seven years to be really, really pissed at T-mobile but it took me quite by surprise when it finally happened.  I have been so accustomed to hanging up from calls with them knowing full well that I should quit them and get another carrier but their  World Class Customer Service kept me  all aglow and fluttery.

Extremely limited coverage, serious hardware malfunctions for months at a time  – with high dollar phones that were meant to be state-of-the-art –  (but released months before they were ready for the public:   HTC HD2..need I say more?), no service at all in places I visit regularly and for that matter, very spotty service even from the recliner in my living room – yet, so overcome by the sheer joy of being treated with respect and feeling so appreciated by the techie talking me through whatever billing or hardware or glitchy error I have ..I hang up every time.. content.  T-Mobile loved me so much – all that other bullshit was hardly worth mentioning.  Hell, who needs reliable coverage anyway??

A lesson I should have learned when I was 18 years old:  Using K-Y  jelly when you bend me over every month DOES NOT MEAN YOU LOVE ME.   But Still.  Those phone calls were so satisfying.

I paid  for cell service for seven years knowing full well that I could just pay a little more with another carrier and actually have a signal at my in-laws in BFE (where trust me, a cell phone is often my only salvation), at the campsite we frequent every summer and oh hell yes, even in my Lazy-Girl chair in the living room.

I stayed and stayed.  Because they had World Class Customer Service.  Had.  Keyword.   For seven years.

It ended the day I reached Anetha at T-Mobile Customer Care.  Anetha did not Care.   Her supervisor, Shantel, who finally took over when I explained to Anetha that I preferred not to speak to shitheads such as herself, also did not Care.  Shantel insisted that TM  provides World Class Customer Service and was extremely disappointed that I did not believe it anymore.  Anetha, on the other hand, actually challenged my statement that this was the first bad customer service experience for me in seven years (Fo rea gir? No way!).

While waiting on hold for Shantel to take over, the piped-in music played the famous Rod Stewart song,  The First Cut is the Deepest. Even the song was a remake, sung by some generic female vocalist in a wanna-be sultry voice that came off more whispery and lifeless.  It made me a little sad.

Few companies are able to keep me loyal for as long as T-Mobile has.  Normally I would tolerate the kind of poor coverage, limited hardware and typically shysty contract-renewal-scheming  for about a day and a half.  Somehow though, TM‘s World Class Customer Service kept me happy,  if not a little embarrassed at my own willing acceptance that I was being schmoozed and plied.    I actually believe T-Mobile had a genuine understanding of what consumers really want.  Ultimately, understanding that they end up the big winner by just treating me with loads of respect and kindness is a simple concept that  T-Mobile seemed to embrace.

I’m glad it’s over.  It was actually too good to be true.  At least for any longer than seven years.

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Okay, Now What?

Here's the low-revs, high-torque way to move c...

Here’s the low-revs, high-torque way to move cement blocks. And shiny! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the World’s Worst Dancer

My husband and I have a few indigenous dances we do regularly.   One has to do with dinner and my need for him to give a full account of his reaction to whatever I cook for him.    This one is pretty easy to figure out  and only gets complicated because of obvious personality disorders.

I cook because it is the only thing that I can do for him that he can’t – or won’t – do for himself. He does many things that I cannot do.  Changing the oil, putting on brakes, fixing random broken things, plunging out the toilet,  all the dirty, heavy jobs.  I can’t – and don’t want – to do any of that. When I see him carry out these unpleasant tasks, my heart is filled with a joy I cannot even put into words.  Not because I appreciate him and his sense of manly responsibility, but because I am so, so, so glad I don’t have to do it myself.

So I cook luscious meals for him that I know he could not figure out on his own and would not take the time to find a recipe.   This is the one thing I can do for him that he can’t do.  He loves food.  Almost as much as he loves a cold beer on Friday night.  He told me once that he worries about how much he loves food.  It was cute and funny but I realized how powerful food really is for him.

The thing is, I can cook fairly well but I don’t care anything about cooking.  So when I put a meal in front of him I need to know that it was worth my considerable effort. He knows this somehow.  So instead of just saying, “Oh, my gawd, I can’t believe how good this is…how did you do this??,” he pushes the food around and talks about the mower or his job or the upcoming tractor pull (my mind shrieks like a siren here) or how he needs to change some oil.

What he doesn’t talk about is how much he loves the food I have specially prepared for him.  It’s a game.  He knows I want to hear it.  He won’t say it.  So I ask.  And he says, “Yeah.  It’s fine.”  So I say, “You mean, um, like, ‘don’t make it again’ fine  Or, ‘it’s so-so’ fine or, like, exactly, what do you mean by fine?”

“Yeah, it’s good,”  is all I get the first go-round.  But it continues until I get what I want.  Which is to say, some form of, “This shit is so f*&*%&g good, you are a great – no- a remarkable- an unbelievable cook..”   Well actually, it never gets quite that good but the concept is there.  He really means to say all that stuff.  He just needs me to beg.  This goes along with his emotionally constipated personality, of which, he is a text-book example (More on that later).

But this is just the Food Dance.  I need to be told my food is good and that I am a good wife for making it.  And I am willing to beg to get it.  Not so much because I need to hear it.  More because I need to break through his control of the situation and force him to say the words.  That may go along with my controlling personality.  And, I like to win.

Tonight’s dance, though, speaks more to how boring and ill-suited we are to each other.  He was supposed to be at a tractor pull and I was thrilled that,  A. He did not ask me to go and B. I was going to eat Mexican food that somebody else, somebody who loves to cook, was making for dinner.   But he didn’t go to the tractor pull.  It rained. They canceled the tractor portion of the event.   He didn’t feel well.  And, to make things strange right out of the chute, he asked me to stay home with him instead of going to eat Mexican food.  I can’t remember him ever doing that before,  so, because it was so strange a request, I compromised.   I went to eat but promised to be home quickly.

I got home as promised and that surprised him because I am not generally home quickly or early and sometimes not until very late.  I think out of sheer gratitude he figured he would do something that I like to do for a change and play on the computer.  He actually pulled up a chair and suggested we look at something fun on the internet.  I assumed he meant porn so I tried to find some but he insisted he did not mean porn so I landed on – BIG ASS CHEVY TRUCKS WITH 10 INCH LIFTS on You Tube.  He was thrilled.  And felt so generous, I think.  That he would actually sit here and play on the internet, like I like to do, and to be so very gracious and magnanimous about the whole thing made him feel especially pleased with himself.

I did not have the heart to tell him that THIS IS NOT HOW I PLAY ON THE INTERNET.  And that watching big-assed Chevy trucks  in-person or on You Tube is the equivalent of me asking him to help me sew buttons on a new doll dress that I made or for gawd’s sake read a book.  For the record, I do not make doll dresses.

But, here we sat.  Him hating the computer and the internet and me hating big-assed Chevy trucks – which apparently rate a whole 2 minute video if they can sit still and spin their tires long enough to create smoke and all kinds of shirtless guys in boots running around laughing and high-fiving.  We spent 45 minutes watching this.  It was excruciating.  Possibly for both of us.

This is a new kind of dance.  Our kids are all gone now so we keep finding ourselves alone in the evening asking,

“Wanna’ watch a movie?” Nah.     “Wanna’ go fishing?” No thanks.     “Wanna learn to crochet?” Um, no.    “Wanna see if my tires will spin and smoke?”  Seriously?      “Want me to cook?”

 

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Get Out Of The Way!!

Whaaaaatt?Okay, so I get that great care should be taken when driving a 4000 pound vehicle where pedestrians are milling around – like the Walmart parking lot.  But seriously.  Get the fuck out of the way.

I mean, is it just me or has the flow of traffic in parking lots taken a turn for the worse?   When 7 cars are stopped for two or three slow, fat, smart-assy pedestrians who would actually be going backwards if they walked any slower, I cannot be the only driver thinking, fuck it, hit them.  Or at least drive up really close to their fat asses  and honk like hell.

Courtesy, safety, caution.. I get it.  It just doesn’t make sense for 7 cars to stop for 1.5 minutes to wait for these inconsiderate pukes to lolly-gag their asses across the driveway when it would take only 1/2 a  minute for all 7 cars to get past the cross-walk making it perfectly safe and convenient for them to stroll at their leisure any old way they wish.

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