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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

do you have the time to listen to me whine about nothing and everything all at once

It's been a while since I pontificated about something about which I am not actually knowledgeable. So here we go.

1. Gays in the Military
It seems weird to me that DADT was ever a thing. Why wouldn't the military want any good soldier who is willing to serve? Is there any real data implying or proving that homosexuality endangers soldiers' lives? Because of the sexual tension or whatever? If so, heterosexual men and women shouldn't serve together, either. In any case, I suspect that the expiration of DADT will have very little effect on the amount of sex being had by any of them.

2. Pacification
All you moms out there who, for instance, buy or make special bread for your kids because they don't like seeds: that's fine. But constantly caving to your children's illogical demands that they not be served food they see as unappetizing is not doing them any favors. If you allow them to steamroll you all the time, you'll end up in a place where they'll only eat mashed potatoes and ketchup. What about your desire to cook and eat something new and challenging? Don't you deserve validation? Compromise is good; complete acquiescence is not. Serve them the lamb curry in a sweet onion-tomato sauce (which is not even weird, Emmett). Sure you'll have to fight them now and then. So what? Eventually you will win--silent disgust is an improvement on vocal disgust. They'll be better, less entitled people for it, and if they're Mormons, they'll be less likely to offend someone who tries to serve them balut or chitlins on their mission.

3. Gay Marriage
Here's my overly simplistic solution: Everybody pairs up with the CONSENTING ADULT of his or her choice. If you get married by a religious figure, it's a marriage. If you get married by a secular figure, it's a civil union. Everybody gets to see their loved ones in the hospital and receive tax breaks. The end. Should a college education be a requirement? Maybe.

Is marriage being diluted? Yes, but it happened long ago, when the government got involved in a religious ordinance, and when the practitioners of traditional marriage screwed it up by being selfish and immature. So if you want to fight this battle you're going to need a time machine and a magic wand that makes people not be jerks.

4. Spice Jars
I keep my spices in a drawer next to my stove. But they were always rolling around all over the place, and the drawer is too shallow to stand them upright. I love those wee metal spice canisters with the clear lids, but they are overpriced, and that is a stupid way to spend money that I could otherwise spend on another pair of boots, or maybe an icicle crown. So I bought a bunch of wide mouth jelly jars and put my spices in them. Cute, orderly spices next to my stove, for less than a dollar per jar. And now I can buy bulk spices in fancy foil bags! It's one of the best kitchen decisions I've made.

That's what I have for today. I realize that I form opinions hastily, whether or not I have all the facts. Please inform me of any errors you see in my reasoning. I kind of have a stomachache about this post.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

that golden dress is not doing her any favors

I apologize if you've already seen this, but it is so worth watching even if you have. When we watched it I was laughing so hard I thought for a second I was going to suffocate. When he really hits his stride, right at "Hmm. I'm surprised at the concern!", and goes into the stream-of-consciousness rant, it is absolutely golden. The first part is too long, and there is a fair amount of salty language. Probably don't watch this with your kids or in-laws.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

not the first discussion

Hey! Did you know that Mormons are big old a cappella nerds? 'Course we are, myself included. My beef with it, though, is that the way popular songs get arranged for a cappella changes their sound--the chords get weighted differently, and the emphasis ends up on a different note, so it feels all wonky to listen to it and makes me sad I'm not listening to the real song. This is most pronounced with women's groups. Not sexist, true.

However: look at this. Well, look or don't look, but definitely listen.


Yeah, it would be nice if there were more bass and percussion, but still. That note that starts on 1:23ish? Wow. The lead singer is One of Us, if you were wondering. Hey, Mormons may be judgmental prudes, but some of us can sing.

It's good to see that hot pants are making a comeback? Curse my drumsticks!

Monday, September 19, 2011

what color are their hands now?

I hate PTA, you guys. I don't think it would be too bad for most people on the "board," as they grandly call it, except maybe the treasurer and secretary--those both seem like crappy jobs, too. And maybe those are all the jobs . . . sad! But there is so much bureaucracy and meetings and paperwork and minutes and budgets and yeas and nays and battling with the faculty . . . I do not understand it. Anytime I go to a meeting it's like being in a war room, where they're strategizing a perpetual death match with the teachers who keep asking for money, greedies! Seems like it's pretty much a tree-killing busywork generator.

Grant's basketball coach says "cotton-picking" as an adjective. Like, "Gimme that cotton-picking ball!" I didn't know people still did that. Don't get me wrong--it feels nice in your mouth and everything, with the same syncopation and hard consonants as mother-effing, minus the swearing. But it's probably equally offensive in the right company.

I went over to Magic Wendy's yesterday to make a buck rag for Tipsy, and I have goat pen envy now. Their setup is so nice, with straight fences, gates that close all the way so the goats don't escape, a nice keyhole feeder, and no piles of wasted hay mixed with goat and chicken excrement. Sigh.

Six years ago, give or take, the Relief Society in my Lehi ward had a demonstration on making jalapeno (pretend there's a tilde) jelly (taught by one Emily Mortimer, so call her if you want a piece of that sweet action). At the time I thought, "Who are these crazy people? Who would eat such a thing?" I tried it, and it was okay, but sort of weird, what with the hot and sweet. But everybody else was throwing babies about it, they thought it was so good. And it came to pass that it was totally a gateway drug, because last year our friends the Shipps gave us a jar of habanero jelly (really jam, because it's all chunky and jammy), and I thought I could choke it down, because I'd been introduced to jalapeno jelly. The more I thought about that first time I ate jalapeno jelly, the better it sounded, and the more I started to crave it, and then I opened up the bottle of habanero jam, and it turns out that I love it. Sugary hot pepper jelly, like, why did it even get invented in the first place? But it did, and here I am, with nine jelly jars of jalapeno jam that I made yesterday with Jeny Shipp and our friend Melissa. And it is delicious to me! It goes along with my theory that the older you get, the weirder your food becomes, because your taste buds are all dead and you have palate fatigue. Pretty soon I'll be eating actual garbage. Emily's fault. Jeny's fault.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

well I tried to make it sunday

So, what is the deal with horses? Are they trustworthy or not? I wasn't really afraid of horses when I was a young child, but as I got older they freaked me out more and more, and now, even though I love a good gallop, there is always a tiny fear in whatever part of the brain makes fear that I will be bucked off and have my head stomped on and die from brain damage, or be kicked and die from internal bleeding. Horses can smell fear, you know. I think they can smell arrogance, too.

I know horse people on both sides of the fence--those who believe that certain horses are bomb-proof and can be trusted absolutely, and those who believe that no horse is completely trustworthy. In my opinion, a horse is an autonomous being who despite all his training may one day decide not to do what you tell him to do.

We went riding for YW last night, and the combination of horses, 12-year-old girls for whose safety I was responsible, a number of younger children, and everybody climbing on and off and running in and around the horses' legs was almost too much for me. I think I have aged five years since yesterday afternoon.

We're having meatloaf tonight. Ike requested it for his birthday, which was last Saturday. By the time we went to two soccer games and emasculated some goats all our time for making dinner was shot, and we had to spend the remainder of the afternoon shame hiding and making a birthday cake which cracked into a bunch of pieces when I tried to unmold it, so we had trifle instead, and I must say, chocolate cake and chocolate and vanilla puddings go very well together, especially when hot. Emmett made a Star Wars scene out of Lego to decorate the trifle for Ike and make it more celebratory--Obi-Wan and Anakin fighting in pudding lava, floating on Lonchera cookies. It was quite a thing.

So we're having Ike's birthday meatloaf tonight instead. Can you imagine meatloaf without ketchup? Disaster! Speaking of which, I really like Muir Glen ketchup. Try it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

come make your own contribution to this melting pot

My grandparents grew up in the depression (the real one, not this fake baby one we're having now that is TOTALLY FAILING at giving us an equine rags-to-riches story). My grandma washes and re-uses disposable dishes and utensils. She will not listen to our silly arguments that she is defeating the whole purpose of disposable products. She also refers darkly to my grandpa's refusal to eat leftovers and thinks that he is woefully profligate.

John's parents have some spoons that have accidentally gotten caught in the disposal, so their edges are sharp and jagged. They will not throw them away, because John's mom is like my grandma. His dad is artistic and used to purposely put things back in different cupboards after he'd used them, so as to not stifle his creativity.

I don't do those things.

Per Tori's request I have put a new poll on the side. I hope you guys aren't sick of talking about PBJ sandwiches, but even if you are, it would be nice to have your input. I love this kind of stuff.

Friday, September 9, 2011

quotes they SHOULD be putting in vinyl, part 1

Justin Boots and I have buried the hatchet. They apologized graciously, effusively and repeatedly; I forgave them and told them they shouldn't put plastic in ANY boots, not just the "Handcrafted in the USA" ones. I'm sure they'll get right on that.

Now, for our new series. I think vinyl lettering is twee and smurfy. For me--you guys are going to have to make your own choices. But anyone who's seen my house would I'm sure agree that vinyl lettering here would be lipstick on a pig. ANYWAY, there are a number of quotes that I love that if I were a vinyl lettering sort of person would be on my walls in a trice. So, here is the first one:

"It's not true that life is one damn thing after another; it is one damn thing over and over."
--Edna St. Vincent Millay

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

this has an antique mystique that's so rare in new clothes

Well, the PBJ poll is closed. Let's discuss the findings. People who do it my way were the majority, true, but I was amazed by the strong showing of peanut butter + jelly on the same slice, then topped with a bare slice. That amazes me, because it seems like it would make a big jumbly mess, with the different consistencies of the toppings. But maybe it marbles it, and makes it more delicious--I had not thought about that. Maybe I'll try it. Most of you wipe the knife in between, except for a few of you whom some (not me) would call gross. That's why you do peanut butter first, really, because if you do forget to wipe, it's thicker than the jam. Peanut butter will not get into the jam, but jam will absolutely get into the peanut butter. It's a cross-contamination concern for some. Not me, because I keep my peanut butter in the fridge, and anyway I like to walk on the wild side.

This morning I put cream on Emmett's germade cereal and he raised a big stink about it, and I told him he was welcome for all the good food I make him all the time, and maybe if he's lucky he'll get kidnapped by some really horrible people who never feed him at all. It's Emmett's and my thing we do--fight about food.

We have a tomato that is pure, brilliant orange, somewhere between a cantaloupe and a mango in color. It is delectable. I want to grow it next year. It is called Amana Orange.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

wouldn't it be nice if we were older?

Justin Boots has until the close of business today to send me the direct message they were so concerned about, and then I'm going to have to take steps. Twitter steps. It might get ugly. Because I haven't heard a peep from them, and it's not like I want them to name a pair of boots after me (I wouldn't want my name sullied with their poor quality, for starters). I just want an apology. I want them to apologize for making cheap, shoddy boots, and for allowing their service reps to be snotty to their customers.

I am belaboring the point here, I know, but there is a reason people buy cowboy boots from a company like Justin. It's a brand they recognize as real cowboy boots, not something they could get on the clearance rack at Payless or T.J. Maxx. There is an expectation of quality, and for the boots to perform like a twenty-dollar pair of throwaways is a betrayal of trust, quite simply. Is the few cents they saved putting plastic in the shaft worth that? Is the time they save not training their employees to be civil worth it? Is that how little the name "Justin" and the company's history mean to them? WARREN! What were you thinking?

Sorry. I get very overwrought about things like this.

It's raining today, and if I lived in Seattle I'd be thinking, "Great. Looks like another day to fight suicide fantasies." But here in the blooming desert it's welcome. It means that fall is coming, which means cool temperatures and no swamp cooler making my clothes smell mildewy and pumpkins and turkeys and Jack Skellington. Yay!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I just wanted to get a look at that cute little outfit you have on

Emmett's soccer coach has scheduled hour-long practices on Tuesdays and Fridays. This is in addition to the Thursday and Saturday games. If I may be frank, that is abusive of both his players and their families. This is a rec league. Let's not pretend that these kids are hotshots whose parents are seeking validation. Four hours a week playing soccer, not to mention the driving? Plus I've got another kid in the league whom I'll have to schlep around? Pass. We'll go to one practice a week and he'll like it.

Yesterday I got my hair cut (Grant and Emmett agree that they liked my long hair better), and as soon as I walked in my hair lady said, "Layne! Don't buy Justin boots! You should have stuck with the Ariats!" See. She knows. But since I tweeted them my disgruntlement, Justin Boots is now following me on Twitter and has requested that I follow them so they can send me a direct message and see how they can help. Word of advice: if you've tried the normal lines of communication and are still being treated poorly, tweet about it. Many companies have employees specifically hired to watch out for them online, and you'll get results way faster, because Twitter is so public and can reach so many more people. They know that their reputation can get bombed almost instantly.

There is a new Latino market in Brigham that will soon be getting real, true chicharrones, which prompts the question: Is there anything more delicious than crispy fat? I submit to you that there is not.

That Dinosaur Train show is so dumb. I hate it. That T-Rex is going to eat his adoptive parents as soon as he gets big enough, and he should.

I had to go to a PTA meeting today, and let me tell you, PTA is a trip. The more I learn about it the more I regret having anything to do with it at all. But schools run better when the parents are involved, and I guess we all have to do our time in the mines. So I'll do it, but I won't enjoy it. Kelly, if you're reading this, I want you to ignore what I said. PTA is great, and by the way, do you want to help with Red Ribbon Week?