Thursday, January 22, 2015

and when the band plays "hail to the chief," oh they point the cannon at you

I'm pleased to see the new presidential campaign season ramping up, although I am sure to be annoyed before too long.  It's such a delightful little pageant of people trying on costumes they think the American people will find compelling.  One of my favorites of the disingenuous narratives is the way that each of the candidates attempts to downplay their extreme privilege.  So many of them suddenly become middle-class children of blue-collar or immigrant (but not the wrong kind of immigrant!) parents, and they worked for everything they have and nobody ever gave them nothin' and AMERICA, blah blah blah.  I'm curious to see how this election shakes out, because it seems that when a two-term president is leaving office the candidate from the opposing party often takes it, which would mean that a Republican has a pretty good shot.  I should call Ken Rudin and ask him if my memory is serving me right.  And I wonder if it is affected if there has been a midterm election in which the opposing party took Congress.  But regardless of that, I hope hope hope Mitt Romney wins the Republican nomination, and I hope hope hope that he chooses a woman or a minority or both for his running mate (HA HA HA like that would happen), just so that I can make a comic called "Fortunate Son and Token."  And they would have exciting political adventures--the first one would be "Fortunate Son and Token Go to Washington" of course.  I was actually a little surprised when Romney chose that atavistic gym rat for his running mate last time, because I think it showed a lack of political acumen.  Like, even if it was pandering, couldn't he see that people were in the mood to see more women and minorities on the ballot?  Did anybody in his camp float that past him?  Or am I way off?  Was everybody like, "Yeah, put a judgy bro on the ticket, that'll bring the crowds in."  

What do you think is the likelihood of a Mitt vs. Hillary election?  Would be interesting.  But like I said, I think the deck is stacked a little bit against the Democrats this time, and I wonder if Hillary's chances are improved by sitting this one out, or by running again?  Ooh, what if we had co-presidents, one from each party, and whoever won their party's nomination was it, and they would have to govern together?  Would it be an improvement or a horrible mess?  I don't know that it would change much, to be honest.  The same people would still be running everything.  

Friday, January 16, 2015

I could write a preface of how we met

I am a big Kurt Vonnegut fan, as I may have told you already, and right now I am reading Player Piano, which I don't remember reading before, and enjoying it immensely.  Kurt just gets me, you know?  If I had to write a self-important thesis for grad school it would definitely be a comparison of Vonnegut and Ray Bradbury.  Does anybody out there want to talk about them with me?  John hasn't read very much of Bradbury, and none of Vonnegut, so he's no help.  Right now I am thinking about Anita (Player Piano) and Mildred (Fahrenheit 451) . . . and there's someone else in the recesses of my brain they remind me of.  Anyway, I'm struck by the similarities, at least so far, between the two.  Different personalities, but equally enmeshed in the dystopian way of life presented in the novels, and equally resistant to unconventional thinking.  

I guess what I'm saying is that Player Piano is really great and interesting and I want you all to read it.  Heck, go read all of Vonnegut.  One of the characters in The Sirens of Titan, which I just finished, says, "Luck is not the hand of God," and hoo boy, does that ever need to be unpacked in a Gospel Doctrine class in a typical Wasatch-Front Mormon ward.  

Monday, January 12, 2015

baby, you've got a stew going!

Last night I dreamed we had bought a dog, and in the hazy state of half-sleep when you are waking up and not quite sure yet what is real and what is not I was like "OH CRAP."  It was nice to wake up the rest of the way and remember that there is no dog out in the garage wanting me to come feed it and take it on a walk.  I really did love Aggie for those two months we had her, but I found out in a hurry that I did not have the emotional reserves to be the kind of dog parent I wanted to be, and it was stressing me out to the max.  So although it's terrible that she was hit by a car, my mental state is better in the long run because of it.

I bought some thermoses for my kids to take lunches in, because they were in despair about sandwiches every day, and since they were talking to someone who took a granola bar (Kudos brand, which is just a straight-up candy bar, not even a bald candy bar like other granola bars) and a string cheese every day for lunch for her entire high school career (we are talking about me) I felt not a ton of pity for them?  No, I really did feel sad, because it made me remember the crushing ennui of repetitive food.  So off to Amazon to buy thermoses since nobody around here seems to sell them anymore.  And ladies and gentlemen, thermos technology has improved light years in the time since we were children.  They all said their noodles were hot as can be when they opened them up.  Good job, me!

I think if I were super rich, like old-money, Standard Oil rich, my affinity for hot dogs would be an endearing quirk, but as it is it's just predictable and sad.  But I can't help it!  Have you even bitten into a perfect Nathan's hot dog (redundant; all Nathan's hot dogs are perfect)?  They are incredibly delicious!  Throw some sauerkraut on there with Grey Poupon Country Dijon and Muir Glen ketchup, and you will be in heaven.

Friday, January 9, 2015

here am I sitting in a tin can

Well, I did it.  I made some chia pudding.  It was pretty great!  I figured I was in the target demo for it because of my fondness for all things porridgey, and I was correct.  Plus I guess chia is very high in iron, according to a Google search for "Iron content of chia seeds" and "Iron content of beef," which if you have been accompanying me on my travels through blood drive deferment you know is a good thing for anemic me.  I'm so fashionably wan and listless!

Has anybody made a David Bowie knife yet?  It seems like if someone did that and sent it to him it would be quite a nice gift, and maybe he would be so appreciative that he would invite the person who gave it to him over for dinner with him and his beautiful wife Iman, and then maybe everyone would get along so well that they would be laughing and joking together, and sharing things they'd never shared with anyone else, and suddenly David Bowie and Iman would bring me or whoever into their trust circle and disclose that they are actually from an alternate universe and that they liked my knife so much that to show their gratitude they were granting me smiting powers, and then there would be world peace.  I'm just saying it seems like a cool idea.

There used to be, and maybe still is, a fast food chain in Orem or Provo that sold hot dogs and such, and one of their value meals was a "Coney and Tots" and I was like are you kidding me?  It seemed like such an obvious euphemism that I figured they were killing themselves laughing every time somebody ordered it.  And even if it wasn't a euphemism before, it certainly is now, at least at our house.

I watched the second half of season 4 of Arrested Development yesterday, and it pleased me.  We got distracted from finishing it back when it came out, and for whatever reason never got back to it, and finally I said to myself, "Layne.  It is 2015.  It is time to put away childish things.  You must finish what you start."

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

you say harpy like it's a bad thing

Would you like an entertaining, easy, low-commitment book to start off the year?  Cool, because I want to recommend one to you.  It is The Chronicles of Harris Burdick, a book which pairs Chris VanAllsburg's illustrations from The Mysteries of Harris Burdick with original short stories by a number of great authors.  It's technically a children's book, but not in a dumbed-down or pandering way.  I really enjoyed it.

I've decided that I like that chia-kombucha mixture stuff better than straight kombucha because it's like I'm eating and drinking at the same time!  Plus it reminds me of tapioca pudding, which makes me think that I might actually be a good candidate for that insufferable-sounding chia seed pudding.  Except the recipe I saw calls for almond milk, and I am afraid of having a big old cup of something that tastes like my nemesis, almond extract.  Does almond milk taste like almond extract?  My sister says no, is she lying to make me feel sad?  That's not really like her.  But I think I'll make it with cow's milk all the same, because that's what I have.

I'm willing to check out that new TV show with Dwight Schrute starring as Dr. House on Bones.  It has potential, yes?

Monday, December 29, 2014

but without a sweetheart I never get enough

I forgot to tell you guys what the Lodge lady told me to do so I don't break my pans anymore--heat the pan with some water or oil in it, then dump it out before you put in the bread.

How was Christmas for everyone?  Ours was nice.  I love our families and it's good to see so much of them.  Lots of delicious food, good company, all our needs and most of our wants taken care of . . . it's a wonderful life.
I am starting an adventure in January, and if it succeeds I'll tell you about it.

Monday, December 22, 2014

product may stay: lodge enameled dutch oven

6 Qt. Dutch Ovens

You guys know how I'm crazy about my Lodge pans.  I have a few of their frying pans that I cook in every day, and I have two of the enameled Dutch ovens that I bake my sourdough bread in a couple times a week.  Fantastic pans.  Recently the enamel on the inside of the lid of my older pan started to flake off (did I tell you how my Cuisinart just flat out exploded its enamel in the oven? Don't buy Cuisinart) and I was like NOOOOOOO.  So I called Lodge to figure out where I'd gone wrong, told the nice lady about my process (put the empty pan in a cold oven and preheat oven and pan at the same time) and she was like, oh, you're not supposed to ever heat an empty enameled pan because it makes the enamel separate and flake off.  Whoops, stupid me.  Then she said she didn't know if they're be able to replace my pan because of the misuse, but to send them an email about what happened anyway, and long story short, they are sending me a new pan!  YOU GUYS.  I love a company that has this kind of customer service.  Remember when Zappos gave me a VIP account to make up for the terrible pair of Justin boots that Justin wouldn't replace?  Because of that I have spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars at Zappos (and have never bought another pair of Justins).  When I boycott, I boycott hard, and when a company earns my loyalty, I am a customer--a vocal customer--for life.  So although I am only one person and Lodge doesn't really need me, they treated me like they do, and that makes me happy.  Product may stay.

Here is their website.