Friday, July 30, 2004

"Like Hamsters in an Oriental Massage Parlor..."

From Bill Bonner at  The Daily Reckoning

"...Let's face it, dear reader, no matter who wins in November, we are losers all of us, in for another quadrienne of grief and buffoonery.

One of the wonders of modern politics is this frequently posed question: how is it possible that in a nation of 293,845,317 people, the best we can do for an election is a contest between George W. Bush and John Kerry? Among the multitudes of able-bodied, native-born citizens there must be many thousands of reasonable intelligence and standard morals. Some must even be above average in both qualities. And a few are surely exceptional. Even if you exclude the lawyers and career politicians as unfit on moral grounds you still have millions to choose from.

Yet, Americans have chosen as their champions two of the least attractive homo sapiens since Tyson faced McNeeley. It is as if a man had his choice of the finest houses of Hollywood or the Hamptons...yet decided to move into a dank cave and sleep on a bed of tick-infested wet straw...

...The race in November has turned out to be a classic contest between a fool and a knave; we're not quite sure which is which. On the one hand, George W. Bush - scion of a rich, New England family, with the most powerful connections in the nation, a Yale graduate, Skull & Bones member and Harvard MBA - pretends to be a dumb cowboy who just follows his instincts. On the other, John Kerry - also from Yale, also a Skull & Bones member, with a billionaire wife,
fabulous homes all over the place, and a 'go along' attitude to practically every piece of pork-barrel legislation ever served up in Washington - pretends to be a 'man of the people' determined to restore justice to the tax system.

Both the men, and the process that put them where they are, are frauds. But Americans love fraud and self-delusion. They take up one flim-flam after another as if they were free drinks. They keep at it until their legs buckle.

The American, wrote Daniel Boorstin in "The Image" (1962), "lives in a world where fantasy is more real than reality, where the image has more dignity than its original. We hardly dare face our bewilderment, because our ambiguous experience is so pleasantly iridescent, the solace of belief in the contrived reality is so thoroughly real."

George W. Bush is president for an obvious and dreary reason: he doesn't seem to think enough to worry people. In the early years of the 21st century, anno domini, America seems especially bent towards self-deception. The last thing we want is a leader who will jeopardize it. What the two candidates have in common is that neither threatens America's happy delusions. One pretends he is not smart enough to see them; the other is plainly not dumb enough to disturb them.

But when Americans go to the polls in November, they will go like hamsters into an oriental massage parlor. They have no idea who the people are, what they are doing, nor what any
of it means. Their candidates are imposters. Their platforms are elaborate lies. And their actual programs are both incomprehensible and unforeseeable to the poor schmucks who enter the polling booths.

We have no interest in politics here at the Daily Reckoning, except insofar as it helps us understand markets. Both are expressions of mob psychology, as near as we can tell. A man
on his own, driving down the road, will usually make the right decisions and more often than not end up where he intends to go. But put him in the great mass of voters or investors, and all his good sense seems to disappear out the window like a cigarette butt. All of a sudden he presses
down the accelerator and heads for the nearest brick wall.

Likewise, a man on his owns knows that he is best advised to leave his dumbbell neighbors alone. But let him join a political party, and he fantasizes that he has the right and the power to tell everyone on the block what to do.

The depressing spectacle in Boston shouldn't surprise anyone. The whole nation is enjoying a make-believe world. No one wants to break the spell."

Your correspondent,
Bill Bonner
The Daily Reckoning

John Kerry veut "restaurer la credibilite de la maison blanche" --Le Monde

(Today's front page in France.  The world is watching.)
 
Dans son discours d'investiture, jeudi soir � Boston, le candidat d�mocrate � l'�lection pr�sidentielle du 2 novembre a durement attaqu� le pr�sident r�publicain sur la d�cision essentielle de son premier mandat : l'invasion de l'Irak et la guerre contre Saddam Hussein.

Boston de notre envoy� sp�cial
John Kerry a d�cid� d'attaquer George Bush, de front, sur la d�cision essentielle de sa pr�sidence : l'invasion de l'Irak. Acceptant, selon l'usage, jeudi 29 juillet, sa nomination comme candidat � l'�lection pr�sidentielle, par la convention d�mocrate r�unie � Boston, il a assur� qu'il sera un commandant en chef "qui n'entra�nera pas -les Am�ricains- dans la guerre en les trompant".

"Pr�sident, je restaurerai la fiabilit� et la cr�dibilit� de la Maison Blanche", a-t-il d�clar�, paraphrasant M. Bush qui, en 2000, promettait de "restaurer l'honneur et la dignit� de la Maison Blanche" apr�s le scandale provoqu� par la liaison de Bill Clinton avec une stagiaire.
Le s�nateur du Massachusetts, accus� par les r�publicains d'avoir une position inconsistante au sujet de l'Irak, a donc choisi de se ranger du c�t� de la majorit� des Am�ricains, qui, selon les sondages, consid�rent cette guerre comme une erreur. Il reprochait � M. Bush, depuis plusieurs mois, de ne pas avoir pris le temps de v�rifier si l'Irak de Saddam Hussein poss�dait des armes chimiques, biologiques ou nucl�aires. A Boston, il s'est oppos� de fa�on beaucoup plus radicale au pr�sident sortant, en d�clarant : "Les Etats-Unis d'Am�rique ne font jamais la guerre parce qu'ils le veulent. Ils ne font la guerre que parce qu'ils le doivent." Le candidat d�mocrate a d�nonc�, ainsi, ce que l'on appel� la "guerre choisie", livr�e par M. Bush, en mars 2003, alors que les Etats-Unis n'avaient pas �t� attaqu�s par l'Irak et que ce pays ne mena�ait pas leur s�curit� ou leurs int�r�ts vitaux.

Cliquez ici pour la suite

Bye-Bye Starbucks

Good news!

My brand new espresso machine arrived yesterday, and I am pleased to report it makes most excellent express, complete with a top of caramel colored crema.  Even the frothed milk tastes better.

Someone, please, get me a towel.

Now I can finally arrest my $2 a day habit at Starbucks, and make my own rich frothy goodness.

My next project is to become a bean whore, with the end goal of becoming a true Barista!

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Eh la bas!

Ok all you francophone wannbees, here is your first lesson in Creole French:

EH LA BAS
Original Louisiana Creolo Lyrics + English Translation

E la ba! (E la ba!) E la ba! (E la ba!)
Hey over there! Hey over there!
E la ba, ch�ri! (E la ba, ch�ri!)
Hey over there, dear lady! (Hey over there, dear lady!)
Komon sa va? (Komon sa va?)
How's it goin'?
Mo ch� kouzen, mo ch� kouzin,
My dear cousin (male), my dear cousin (female),
mo lenme la kizin!
I love the kitchen!
Mo manje plen, mo bwa diven,
I eat a lot, I drink wine,
e sa pa kout ariyen.
and it costs me nothing.
Ye tchwe kochon, ye tchwe lapen,
They kill a pig, they kill a rabbit,
e mo manje plen.
and I eat a lot.
Ye fe gonmbo, mo manje tro,
They make gumbo, I eat too much,
e sa fe mon malad.
and that makes me sick
(Contributed by Leonardo Kenji Shikida - May 2003)


GAH!

Ok.  So last night I just happened to look at a calendar and I realized I only have 2 more full weeks left in South Bend.

Can we say panic, anyone??

It's not so much the loving South Bend thing, it's more like loving the people IN South Bend thing.  After 2 months of being cradled and fed in the proverbial womb, it's birth time.  And that freaks me out.

Not to mention the fact that I have done very very little to sort and pack anything. 

And the fact that I am not in the "going back to school" mindset.

And the fact that I have still not received anything from the school I am going back to regarding advising, registration, and the like.

And the fact that I do not feel like making another cross-country trip by car.

Anyone feel like going down with me? 

Or better yet, can I just stay in the womb?  I'll be good.  I promise.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Ha ha!

I LOVE it!

So I don't know if you all have heard the song "F*** It" by Eamon, but I think it's kinda catchy.  Well, I should explain.  I was listening to it and liking the beat, and then I started listening to the words and thought, "DAY-UM..."  Esp because I was listening to it on French radio and they don't bleep out anything.

Basically this guy wrote it for his ex-girlfriend, and he's not really nice.  It's so offensive it's sort of become a little joke now, but...um...*cough*...I still kinda like the beat...

Anyway, today I'm again listening to the radio, and now apparently his ex-girlfriend has written her own hit single, entitled, "F*** You Right Back."  And she is not very nice either.

So you can click here to see her very own music video.  I really recommend listening to French radio, cause then you can hear it with all the expletives included.  If you like that kind of thing.

Ah, l'amour...c'est si beau non?

Awash in a sea of Republicans...

What's a left-wing independent to do?

Sugar Shock

I watched "Uptown Girls" last night.

Would someone please pump my stomach to dispose of all the sugar?

Does anyone else think Brittany Murphy is too squicky/squirmy/scary deer eyed/bobble-y headed?

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Reason #551 to be a famous athlete

Not only do you get gazillions of dollars from endorsement contracts, but apparently you get a lot of action too.

D'oh!

Oops.  Sorry son.

Monday, July 26, 2004

This is WRONG.

The people at this network are all going to HELL.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Goodbye Jerry

Jerry Goldsmith, a wonderful composer of Movie/TV soundtracks, died today. 

He wrote a lot of wonderful music, but I think my favorite was the soundtrack for Rudy. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

George W Bush's National Convention--2004

I am pleased to post this year's schedule of events.  Don't miss out!

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

My car is alive...with the sound of muuuuuusiiiiiic....(ahhhahhh)

I got my radio replaced today!  Whohoo my friends!  Whohoo!

I defy anyone to come and steal it.

Just the Facts Maam...

So as we get closer to the election, this website might come in handy.  Read on below:
 
Factcheck.org: Our Mission

We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit, "consumer advocate" for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding.

The Annenberg Political Fact Check is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The APPC was established by publisher and philanthropist Walter Annenberg in 1994 to create a community of scholars within the University of Pennsylvania that would address public policy issues at the local, state, and federal levels.

The APPC accepts NO funding from business corporations, labor unions, political parties, lobbying organizations or individuals. It is funded primarily by an endowment from the Annenberg Foundation.
 
 

The Colocs, Reunies

Well please excuse the delay in coverage of Meg's and my reunion on Sunday.  I've been otherwise occupied.  Heh.
 
Sunday was a beautiful day, and I woke up bright and early to hop on the South Shore to downtown Chicago.  For all of my readers who don't live in this area, the South Shore is this great little train that costs $9 one way and takes you right into the heart of downtown Chicago.  No traffic, no tolls, no expensive gasoline, just sit back on the dirty uncomfortable seat and enjoy the 2.5 hour ride.
 
At least, enjoy it until someone throws a pen at your face.
 
Yes, someone threw a pen at my face.  While the actual intentional throwing was never confirmed, it hit my nose so hard that I have to think there was a little plotting in there.  But since I had my eyes closed, we'll never know.  I just gave the man my best "go-to-hell-and-somersault-25-times" look, a la Akyaa (but no Ghanian accent), and went back to dozing.
 
So here are the highlights of the day, post-train ride:
 
Meg and I meet up at the Randolph St. Station.  Embrace.  The hetero life mates, together again.
 
Walk through the long station and underground parking to Michigan Ave.
 
Chicaaaaaaaaago!
 
Check out Millenium Park, which is just now opening, 4 years late.
 
Decide to come back later to check things out.
 
Head to Bennigan's for lunchies.
 
Put our name on the list for a table sur la terrasse and attendre un peu.
 
Discover that there are FRENCH PEOPLE there!  Waou!
 
Get a lovely table in the shade and have a good American meal.  Well, I guess it's an Irish style restaurant...so have a nice Irish-style American meal.
 
Order our lunch and ask for incredibly complicated changes and substitutions.  Cause we can.
 
Flag down waiter and demand free refills.  And more water.  Cause we can.
 
Leave Bennigan's and head down to the gigantic bean.
 
Get distracted along the way by the big people fountains.
 
Enjoy watching the kiddies play in the water, but get freaked out by the moving faces.
 
Move on again toward the bean.
 
Decide there are too many people around the bean, so sit down in the shade instead.
 
Make our way toward the waterfront.
 
See Navy Pier in the distance.  Decide to walk there.
 
Walk and Talk.
 
Talk and Walk.
 
Decide Navy Pier is much further than originally thought.
 
Sit down for a rest.
 
Decide to head back toward Millenium Park and get a drink instead.
 
Pop into Cosi's.
 
Snag a table on la terrasse.
 
Sip beverages and people watch.
 
Make our way back to Meg's car.
 
Court has a joyous reunion with her posters, which she has not seen since France.
 
Say our goodbyes.
 
Meg leaves.
 
Court heads back out to Michigan Ave.
 
Court buys coke.
 
Court finds train.
 
Court grabs one of the last seats left.
 
Court watches the mob of Cubs fans pack on.
 
Strange lady comes and sits down.  Pulls out a smelly container of yogurt and begins eating.
 
Court tries to breathe through her mouth but keeps forgetting.
 
Strange lady finally puts smelly yogurt away and pulls out bag of nuts.
 
Strange lady eats bag of nuts and pulls out a smelly health bar.
 
Court shoots mental daggers at Strange Lady with smelly food.
 
Strange lady eats health bar and it appears that she is now out of food.
 
Strange lady gets off at next stop.
 
Thank God.
 
Court stretches out.
 
Court notices guy in front of her, apparently rocking out to his headphones.
 
Court then realizes guy is not wearing headphones and is just rocking out.
 
Arrive in South Bend.
 
Thank God.
 
***************************************************************************
It was a joyous reunion.  There will hopefully be another before I head down to Tex-ass, and before Meg heads over to Ireland.  But, if not, we'll always have Strasbourg.
 
 
 
 

The Cajun Way of Life

So here is the latest news maker from my homeland.
 
I don't know.  I'm of Cajun heritage and I think this is a really cruel "sport."  There's gotta be a line somewhere.

Monday, July 19, 2004

I'm so glad I don't live in California...

I don't know if Hans and Franz would approve of this...
 
I like that the Republican rep is talking about the Democrats holding out for special interests..."Hello Pot.  This is the Kettle.  You're black!"
 
I say, let's just ship both parties off to a deserted island and start from scratch.
 
No, actually, let's send them to the South Pole.  Why should they get to bask under the sun in paradise?


Sunday, July 18, 2004

i, Court

So I've never really considered myself a big science fiction kind of girl.  In fact, I've generally always made fun of the dorks that got into all that "unreal" kind of stuff.
 
But today I realized I'm sort of a science fiction dork myself.
 
*shudder*
 
First, I love the Star Wars trilogy.  Although I got into it kind of late in life.  I also loved LOR and even read and enjoyed the books!
 
So when I saw the previews for i,Robot I thought "Whooo..." and then immediately realized, yeah, I'm a dork.
 
But that's ok.  Among the dorks, I like to think of myself as being quite cool...the one other dorks look up to.
 
Anyway, I conned Drevs into seeing it with me (Will Smith was the star, so it wasn't that hard). I really liked i Robot.  I like Isaac Asimov too.  The only thing I remember reading by him was a short story when I was in 8th grade.  It was about the "Sugar People."  Can't remember the name of the story, but this family moves in and they're weird, and then one day they're outside with everyone and it rains and they melt because they were made of sugar.
 
That's some freaky sh*t.  But I kind of liked it. 
 
Anyway, i Robot gets into the whole man vs machine and higher intelligence and all that.  Very cool.  And ah, to be Jada Pinkett.
 
I also got out to Between the Buns, where I haven't been since I've gotten back from France.  In fact, the last time I had gone was right before I left for France, when the Dr. Osborn (father of Oz) was in town and took us all there for our last American burgers.  Ah, the memories.
 
Anyway, after the Buns and a little Tour de France action on the new (to me) mini tv at our booth, Drevs and I went to Martins for some groceries and got to see a little drama unfold.
 
On our way out, we were approached by a man, fairly well dressed, looking very distressed, saying that his car had run out of gas and could we give him some money so he could get home to Walkerton or someplace.
 
Oldest trick in the book.
 
So we both said no, we don't have anything, and he went to this other guy in the parking lot.  Suddenly this undercover cop jumps out of nowhere, flashes his badge, and says "We've been getting complaints about you all day."
 
Then he grabs the guy by the elbow and dragged him into the store.
 
Drama drama.
 
I came back home awfully tired, but then Bridge and Carol called so I of course had to go shoot the proverbial sh*t with them on the porch for awhile.  Good times.
 
Tomorrow I'm off to Chi-town to see my hetero life mate!  The colocs have not seen each other since we said goodbye in the Dallas airport, and I am tres excited.
 
I feel like such a little socialite. 

Saturday, July 17, 2004

The sad state of our country...

Well folks, this is what it's come down to.
 
Who's going with me to Canada?!

Friday, July 16, 2004

Politics

So as you may have noticed, I just placed a little "Kerry for President" banner on my blog.
 
In all honesty, I am not really all that enthralled with Kerry. 
 
It's more about being a member of the ABB Party (Anybody but Bush), and I figured I would do my part.
 
Once again, it appears this election all comes down to the evil of two lessers. 

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Toga! Toga!

Well, just got back from the annual sales party chez the Gordons.  Once a year, the sales staff comes in from all over the country and has a week of meetings, along with a week of fun.
 
Or something like that.
 
In my brief period with PG, I never once made it out to the big party.  Not that I didn't want to go, it just always seemed like there was something going on. 
 
So this year, after finding out the theme was Greece/Olympics/Toga, I had to go.
 
Highlights of the evening were as follows:
 
Togas togas everywhere (but please keep your shirts on some of you).
 
Shishkababs!
 
The "Olympic Games," featuring basketball (strapping a basket onto your head and throwing ping pong balls in), horse races (stick horse racing--my team did really crappy), and archery (any of you barflies up for darts?).
 
Disturbing the peace.
 
Getting my long overdue massage from the King.  Much too short.
 
The non-sanctioned Olympic event--Cannonball Splash.
 
Listening to all the water run out of the pool.
 
Getting hooked up with a gigantic tupperware of fruit to take home.
 
*****************************************************************
 
Kudos to Lori and John for being great hosts and party-throwers.  I regret having missed the previous years'.
 
And now it's off to bed.

I don't get it...

Why are people so threatened by homosexuals having the right to get married?

As someone else so articulately put it, don't the likes of J Lo and other hetero celebrities make more of a mockery of this "sacred institution" than Bob and Steve?

I say, "Let them eat wedding cake."

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Uh Oh

Just went downstairs (which I haven't done since I've been back) and discovered they have Diet Mountain Dew in the coke machine there.

Not good. Not good.

Happy Bastille Day!

Time to yank out your tri-colored flags, run out to the fireworks stands, and rise up against "the man."

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Court! Court Court Court!

Have you all seen the Starbucks commercial for the canned espresso?

I LOVE it.

If you haven't seen it, basically it's about this guy named Glen, who wakes up one morning and opens a can of S's double shot (yech) and suddenly the band "Survivor" appears behind him singing Glen's own personal soundtrack to the beat of that oldie but goodie, "Eye of the Tiger."

So we follow Glen through his morning routine, his commute to work, and to the office, all the while hearing this motivating song about Glen's ambition through the corporate climb. Glen leaves the elevator, obviously pumped and motivated and ready to start the day, and then the next guy comes in with his double shot, and BAM! Survivor starts singing for him.

Not only does this commercial make me giggle, but it makes me yearn for my own personal anthem. Come on, how many times have you been excited or pumped up about something and walked down the street feeling like you have the earth in the palm of your hand, your own motivational soundtrack playing in your head? How many times have you thought, "You know if I could just have my own washed up 80's rock group singing behind me, I could do anything!" ???

And a double shot espresso (but preferably not canned) can give you that heart-racing good feeling, at least for an hour (or about 45 minutes, in my experience).

My props to Starbucks, for realizing the dream of so many.

You can read more about the commercial here.

Monday, July 12, 2004

I'm Going to Hell

This picture kind of freaks me out.

This quiz says I'm not going to Hell, but it's wrong.
You don't belong in Hell. Sorry.

...You
probably f*cking lied or cheated. F*cker.


Why Will You Go To Hell?
brought to you by Quizilla

Brought to you by the moronic creators of "Freedom Fries"...

Oh please.

Or read la version francaise...

Well, I suppose they needed something to dip their patriotic fries into...

"Give Daddy what he needs, Bean-Whore..." --Mark Lundholm

So in the interest of saving a little $$$$ today I decided to ask for a double espresso instead of my regular souped-up express, thinking I would just pour a little milk in it.

Very disappointing.

First, the flavor was just not so good. Many people scoff at the idea that espresso can have a nice taste, but it can. If it's served in a cafe in France.

Second, the creme was not warm! So it totally lukewarmed my cup. Boo.

I do have an awful nice caffeine rush going on right now though.

At least it did that right.


Idiots.

Hey, I have a good idea. Let's go run in front of a bunch of stampeding wild animals with big long sharp objects sticking out of their heads and see what happens!

Sunday, July 11, 2004

"Well, isn't that conveeeeeeeeeient..." --the Church Lady (SNL)

Could it beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...SATAN?????????

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Homeless No More

Hello all,

I am pleased to announce that after three weeks of stressing, worrying and obsessing about where I'm going to live in Austin, I have finally found a home.

Awhile back, when I was starting all the housing hoopla, my mom produced the name of my 2nd cousin thrice removed (or something like that) who lives in Austin. So thinking "what the hell" I emailed her.

Since that time, she has bent over backwards giving advice and suggesting places, and then found out that her 32 year old school-teacher neighbor was renting a room in her house across the street.

We chatted for a bit today...she lives within walking/biking distance from the school, the rent is reasonable, the house sounds cute, and I am gonna do it!

Of course now I have focused my attention from worrying about finding a place to live to worrying about getting along with the person I'm going to be living with, but I think it'll be alright.

But for the moment, I am just so damn relieved to have found a place that I can't focus on anything but that.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Whohoo!

I just discovered that I can plug my computer speakers into my iPod at work.

Thank you Apple.

Ghetto Fabulous No More...

Well, the garbage bag and duct tape have been removed from my car window, and the remaining glass shards vaccumed away.

I finally have a brand new window in my car.

But don't worry, I'm still bitter, angry and resentful about the whole thing...

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Top Ten George W. Bush Complaints About "Fahrenheit 9/11" (courtesy of Letterman)

10. That actor who played the President was totally unconvincing

9. It oversimplified the way I stole the election

8. Too many of them fancy college-boy words

7. If Michael Moore had waited a few months, he could have included the part where I get him deported

6. Didn't have one of them hilarious monkeys who smoke cigarettes and gives people the finger

5. Of all Michael Moore's accusations, only 97% are true

4. Not sure - - I passed out after a piece of popcorn lodged in my windpipe

3. Where the hell was Spider-man?

2. Couldn't hear most of the movie over Cheney's foul mouth

1. I thought this was supposed to be about dodgeball

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

Interesting that this warning comes the day after Kerry announces his running mate.

And, as always, we don't know "where how or when they will attack."

WAKE UP AMERICA!

Star Schmucks

Well this little cartoon sums it up pretty well.

Yet I will still be getting my "tall," not small, latte today.

Careful where you watch it, cause there's some bad language...

(Thanks to yayaempress for the link!)

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

By popular demand...BAM!

Well I have been flooded with requests for the fromage blanc recipe.

Actually, I've only had two people email me about it, but I like to pretend I'm more important than I am.

And my mom also told me that Emeril had it on his show yesterday, and she walked an extra 15 minutes on the treadmill so she could watch it, therefore, I have to make it worth her while.

So in the spirit of spreading fromage blanc love all over the world, here goes:

First, you must know that fromage blanc does actually exist in the States, in the beautiful state of Louisiana. It is called "Creole Cream Cheese" however. My mom said when she was a kid they always had a carton in the Frigidaire, and they used to eat it right out of the box with sugar on top.

As I understand it, fromage blanc or creole cream cheese is expensive to mass produce because of all the dairy regulations in the states, so it has almost died out. You can still buy it in New Orleans, thanks to Chef John Folse, but it's hard to find, and can be a bit pricey.

Fortunately, it is quite easy to make on your own, so without further ado, I present to you:

Fromage Blanc or Creole Cream Cheese
1 gallon skim milk
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 Rennet tablet (you can find these in the grocery store by the ice cream toppings)

Heat milk to 80 or 90 degrees. Stir in buttermilk and rennet and set aside at room temperature. If you have to cover it, use cheesecloth. After 24 hours, you will have curds. Pour this into a mold (I used a colandar or you can get a plastic container and punch holes in the bottom) and allow to drain for another day or so.

The fromage is ready when it's no longer dripping.

In Louisiana, they usually pour cream or half and half over it to serve. You can also find recipes using fromage blanc/creole cream cheese from Chef John Folse and Emeril. It can be both a dessert or a meal-type food. For example, in Alsace, they serve it with garlic, onions, and roasted potatoes.

A couple notes on texture--when I finished mine, it had the consistency of ricotta. To get it more like French fromage blanc, I poured a little milk and half and half in it and used a blender to whip it.

Oh, and if you're a Fromage Blanc virgin, the best way to eat this is with strawberries. And maybe a little sugar on top.

Delish.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

I am the Master of all that is good and holy...

Friends, I have successfully made fromage blanc, and it is goooooooooood.

Therapy

This gave me a nice laugh. Or a hearty chuckle. And a few ideas.

"No thief, well maybe a few, is stupid enough to steal a car that sticks out like a stripper in church. Abnormally wacky objects on a car will do just that--A giant dildo on the top of the car, a big ugly head, and of course giant flames that shoot off the top of the car at random times, killing birds and various superheroes with the power to fly and make hilarious quips at the villain's expense in a matter of seconds. All of these items in the product line are removable and can either be deflated or folded up or something like that."

taken from Half Bakery

Monday, July 05, 2004

Fire in the Hole!

So I was so caught up in my car drama yesterday, I forgot to wish everyone a happy Fourth of July. I hope you all had a lovely event to celebrate the liberation of America from evil British tyranny. Muhahahahahaha! (don't worry Brits, I do love you...)

Fortunately my 4th got much better after all the car hoopla. My friend Kathi had a cookout chez elle, and invited several of our program friends and her whole family. It was awesome, and luckily the rain held out till after we had finished eating. We simply went back inside and had dessert and coffee and the "guys" (Kathi's son and his friends) took that opportunity to buy even more fireworks.

In the excellent tradition of Louisiana logic, the state of Indiana has a great law that says it's legal to sell fireworks here, but illegal to set them off. You can imagine how well that one is enforced. I was equally amazed that Indiana sells the big "real" fireworks to average Joe Shmoes. Louisiana will only let you have boring stuff. I suppose these can be a bit dangerous, but tant mieux for us. It was really cool.

Anyhoo, when it got dark we all headed down the road to this empty area and the show began. These guys are some serious fireworks do-ers. They had apparently been stocking up their aresenal for a few days, and we literally had two trunkfuls. The main orchestraters were Kathi's 2 nephews, her son and his crazy friend, who decided it would be a good idea to use a propane blow torch to set things off. Oy. Fortunately he did make it out of there with both hands.

The spectacle lasted for 2 hours at least, and everyone started to drift home. I decided to stay and watch the guys shoot the rest of the little fireworks and then watched as they just started lighting things on fire because there was nothing else to shoot. Fun times.

The evening ended with a midnight trip to Denny's, where I haven't been since my senior year in college. Talk about Twilight Zone. Not much has changed, from the decor to that renowned Denny's service (haha) but the company was excellent.

Tomorrow is back-to-work day, as well as try-to-get-the-glass-replaced-on-your-car day. Wish me luck.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

El Diablo: The Curse of the Black Honda Civic

My car was broken into last night.

I was awoken at 5:00 this morning by Nanci, telling me the police were here and I needed to come out because someone had broken into my car.

So, stumbling around in the darkness, I find my jeans, I find my glasses, I do not find any gum to cover up my morning breath, and I head outside to see my little black car, window smashed open, stereo ripped from its nest in my dashboard.

Mother. F*cker.

So we talk to the police, who tells us there have been a bunch of car break-ins around the neighborhood recently, and that they have a suspect, so maybe there's a chance they'll find my stereo.

So, I'll be sure to hold my breath for that one.

Nanci and Pat, who are the most wonderful people in the world, taped up my window (so now I have the hooptie mobile, complete with a black garbage bag and duct tape, I'm stylin') and even vacuumed out the glass for me.

I went back to bed, and then woke up realizing that since the bastards were in the car, they might have also gotten in the trunk.

No...they wouldn't have gone in the trunk, would they?

Yes, yes they would have.

And they decided to relieve me of the damnblasted speakers that I brought back from France (they'll have fun trying to use them with a European cord, I hope it blows up in their faces) and my leather backpack/purse, that was fortunately empty except for some lipstick and crap.

The police report has been filed, I called my insurance company, and they will replace everything (after I meet my deductible, so basically I am still out $$$$$$) except the speakers. Because the only contents not attached in a car that are covered are luggage. My speaker is not considered luggage.

Even if it was in a suitcase?

Even if it was in a suitcase.

I'm running the gamut of emotions about all of this, but none more than bitter irony--first, I just bought this stereo when I got back from France, because the factory one was broken. I haven't even paid for it yet. I have never owned anything bling bling in my life. It has a detachable face plate, that I have been very good about removing from the car when I leave. And then the one time I leave it in there, BAM.

But what's killing me most of all, this GD car has brought nothing but trouble since I've bought it. If anything else happens to or because of it, I am going to sell it.

Seriously. It is the devil.

And it shall henceforth be known as El Diablo.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

And the waiting begins...

I just completed the first step of making my own fromage blanc.

This will be a 2 or 3 day process.

Wish me luck.

Fahrenheit 911

When I was a junior in high school, I took American history at ULM (our local university). It was once a week, for 3 hours, but the time flew by (most nights) because of Dr. Cozine, our professor.

He was an excellent teacher, and I will always remember the first thing he said to us on the first day of class:

"If you want to know the underlying reason for any major historical event in our world, any at all, just take a look at the money, and that will lead you right to the answer."

Now, think about that for a moment...

(Exploration...American Revolution...Heading Out West...Civil War...etc etc etc...)

While these events are multi-faceted (take WWII for example), if you really stop and look at the bottom layer, you see his point.

Pretty interesting idea, huh?

I have always liked Michael Moore, way before the war, "Bowling for Columbine," or any of that stuff.

I saw "Roger and Me" when I was in college and it left a huge impression. I was not only impressed by the film itself, which is quite powerful and brilliant, but also by the fact that I viewed this film in three different classes: sociology, public relations, and art.

Talk about multi-faceted.

So while I don't agree hands down with everything that Michael Moore believes and says, I respect him greatly. Because I truly believe he gives a sh*t about the underdog, he is not afraid to speak his mind, and he puts his money where his mouth is. And, he's a brilliant film-maker.

Bridg and I had tried to go last week for the opening of Fahrenheit, and it was sold out. Quite frankly, I was surprised it even came to South Bend, being one of the most conservative areas in one of the most conservative states in the country. So I give the theatres some credit (although I'm sure it's all about the money).

Anyway, I went to the show tonight ready to take things with a grain of salt, because this is, after all, Michael Moore.

Yes, I can be objective, even where George W Bush is concerned.

But quite honestly, all jabbing comments about GWB aside, I don't know how anyone can see this and ignore the truth that lies inside the film.

For me, what was the most striking about this film, was not the anti-Bush tone, nor that everything boils down in the end to the money. Rather, it's all about the images of the war. Casualties and injuries, both Iraqi civilians AND our own military. It is so easy, when watching nightime air raids on CNN, to distance yourself from the images and look at them like a movie, or a video game. They are distant and unreal. You don't see any people, you just see flashes of infrared light.

And seeing these images, while hard to watch, it just really drove home the point for me that war in this day and age really is hell. No one wins. Yes, the world is better with Saddam Hussein gone, but--could we have done this in a more diplomatic way? Namely the UN, which was set up to handle situations just like those we fear?

And are we capable of rebuilding these people and changing years of long-standing culture? Should we really be the ones to "liberate" them? Do THEY really want us to liberate them? And are we really "liberating", or is there an ulterior motive? How do we decide who we are going to liberate and who we will leave be? Why aren't we in Africa or South America, liberating certain countries from war lords and violence just as heinous as in Iraq?

Could it be because they don't have any black gold?

Hmmm...

My other fear in seeing this movie was the image of Americans it would give to foreigners. Since I've been in France I've gotten really sensitive to that. But I think Moore does a really good job of showing the negative side of Americans and the positive side too. It is not anti-American, but anti-Bush administration. It is not against the military or the American people, but against the wealthy elite, who wheel and deal and cause pain in the lives of so many, not to make the world a better place, but just so they can get just a little bit richer.

Please go see this movie. If you are already questioning the war motives, this film will make you want to go out and fight for political change.

And even if you are a card carrying member of the George Bush fan club, you should still go see this film. If for no other reason, then to see what the "enemy" is saying. Then you can use it to form your counter attack.

And at the very least, it'll give you another reason to hate Britney Spears.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Once again...that's just wrong

A side of Colin Powell I never want to see...

Cheers Marlon

Marlon Brando
1924-2004

"Watch out for sweaty people mumbling prayers..."

Thus says the terror alert segment on the news this morning.

I have become so hyper critical of the news since I've gotten back. I'm sorry, but it's just crap. And all it's doing is provoking Americans to become more scared and crawl further and further into our isolated shells.

Caution is good. Fear is not.

*Court steps down from her soapbox*

Thursday, July 01, 2004

That's just not right...

The two screeching cats (see yesterday's post) on Le Mouv just said "Mutha F*ckah" on the air.

This was, of course, after playing a Rage Against the Machine song.

My ears! My mutha f*cking ears!

Space Nerd

Does anyone else think the whole satellite going to Saturn thing is super cool?

I don't know, I've always had a little fascination with Saturn. Cause of the rings and all...

"Walkin cooler for sale...inquire within"

Just went for a walk around the river and saw this sign up on the area liquor store.

Yeah...sounds a little shady to me.

But, then again, this is the liquor store that on the first anniversary of September 11 put up a sign saying, "God Bless America. Open Late."

I held out as long as I could...

I made it till 10 a.m. sans a coke, but the evil carbonated nutra-sweetened goodness won out in the end.

What a satisfying *CRACK* it was.