Sunday, May 31, 2009

New guests, and some informational clarity

We had an internets snafu, but we're back online--but the contest is over! Still, I'll keep the outcome a secret until the end of this post. Get ready for some serious video. By the way, live-blogging is a pain if you're doing photos or video, folks. I'm gonna load a few pics now, and I'll do the majority of the video tomorrow.

More arrivals--from left to right--Mikey, Brooke, and Joe, of local band Surgical Staff:

Here are a few stills from the big action:

Appetizers:
It was complete chaos the entire night, with over fifteen people in two small rooms. The food was good, but the competition was fierce!



I'll post video and stuff tomorrow--for now, it's after ten, I've had a margarita or two, and the competition wore me out!

And so it begins--Iron Chef: Mexican!


Here's the first meeting of our chefs.
















They shook hands, and then the trash-talking began:
video
Afterwards, everyone got here. Here's who's here:

Jazzy Jeff.


DJ Dorothy, the Disco Ultimatum.


Cinnamon Girl.

Domino, the official dog of Beginningtobird, my other bloggy.


and of course, Baby G and her friend Julie.

Stay tuned! The next update will be around 7, when the cooking begins!

Friday, May 29, 2009

FINAL! Iron Chef: MEXICAN!

Here's what happens when you get two self-described "foodie divas" doing something they call "brainstorming" -- which I call "being effing indecisive and making Delia crazy."

The email chain, after the "summer night" thing:

FOODIE DIVA #1:
how bout just something free form? iron chef "summer
night" we prepare an app, main course, and drink of our choice?

FOODIE DIVA #2:
hmm... delia, weigh in. the theme binds us together and
makes for heightened competition, i think. but this is a nice idea.

GUZMAN:
Both compelling arguments. However, I believe the theme makes
for a more level playing field. The judges are comparing apples to apples, or
fish to fish, or whatever the case may be.
On the other hand, an open-ended
"summer night" category allows each chef to fully unleash her/his creativity in
every aspect of the meal!
As such -- if you are both in agreement that such
a contest will provide for both a fair and compelling (we have our audience to
consider, after all!) competition, then I say YES.
If you agree to Iron Chef: SUMMER NIGHT -- please indicate. If not, come up with an alternative.

Despite my pretending to act like I cared about their opinion, I figured it was a done deal at this point. But I was wrong.

FD#1:
some more ideas:
iron chef appetizer: one hour to create 3 or 4
appetizers
iron chef mango: appetizer and dessert using the
ingredient
iron chef: burger. any kind, any style.

GUZMAN:
Now DECIDE on something already, Dr. ADD!

FD#2:
patience, delia!!!
i'll keep thinking/brainstorming. no rush! i like
appetizers and the burger idea, but dont want to exclude vegetarians.
pasta?

GUZMAN:
But I've already updated the blog post!
http://impeachmentandotherdreams.blogspot.com/2009/05/iron-chef.html
DAMMIT!

FD#1:
haha suck it up D. I had already created a facebook event for iron chef
mexican.
Foodie divas must be given creativity time:)
How bout this!
Iron chef burger. We have veggie burgers available
(morningstar grillers are very good) as well, but with the same toppings. We can
be graded on
--style (the type of burger - bbq, california,
etc)
--flavour
--presentation
or...we could be required to make two
burgers in the hour. One must be vegetarian.
same deal with the appetizers.
4 appetizers in an hour. 2 must be vegetarian.
I'm liking the
brainstorming!:)



Sweet jaysus. Watch Sunday and see what happens when I drink and emcee at the same time.

Okay, now I'm pissed.

You know my feelings about this whole SCOTUS/'happy hispanics' crap. I just read this completely insane article on the CNN website, and that was it. I couldn't help but write my own version for your consideration and comment.

NOTES:
Methodology: I've excerpted several passages from the original article; where I cut material, I've indicated with the word "--SNIP--". I've changed all instances of "Sotomayor" to "Roberts," "hispanic/Latina" to "white man," "he/him/his" to "she/her/hers," "Obama" to "Bush," "republicans" to "democrats," etc. To be sure that all changes are clear, I've bolded and changed the color of all the things I changed. No other changes have been made.

Desired result: Tell me in the comments whether such an article would EVER appear ANYWHERE but one of our blogs. Feel free to comment on any other aspect of this issue or this post.

Now -- the rest of this post is quoted directly (albeit as excerpts and the bolded modifications specified above) from the CNN article.

Roberts nomination: Is it about ethnicity?
John Roberts could be the latest white man to serve on the Supreme Court. And as we learn more about him, the more questions centered on his ethnic background abound. Was he chosen partly because of his white origins? Does he consider race in his rulings? Are we focusing too much on his ethnicity and not enough on his judicial history?
Roberts is, to say the least, a provocative pick on President Bush's part. Here are four of the questions commentators are asking -- and your answers.
What role did ethnicity play in Roberts' nomination?
Did Bush choose John Roberts partly because he’s a white man? Katy Brown thinks so.
"It's just another gimmick," said Brown, a college student from Charleston, West Virginia. "Just another opportunity to make something out of nothing: yet another white man [on the court]. ... Race is being played once again. So my question is, did he actually look at Roberts background; did he pick him because of the right reasons? Or did he just want to make another statement in America and base his decision on race?"
--SNIP--

What role will ethnicity play in his confirmation?
"I think it's important that we're making sure he is being judged on his record and not the other 'R' word: his race," said Omekongo Dibinga of Washington.
Dibinga is concerned that senators -- who must confirm Roberts before he can take the seat -- and the public will assume that Roberts' ethnic background will unfairly influence his decisions. "Let's not make him the immigration Supreme Court justice; let's not make him the next male Supreme Court justice," he said. "If we really want to talk about how he interprets the law even-handedly, then we should make sure that we are processing his nomination even-handedly."
Robert Stewart has a different perspective. He thinks Senate Republicans will hesitate to criticize Roberts for fear of being accused of racism or sexism, and he called Bush’s pick of Roberts "brilliant," partially because of the ethnicity and gender factors.
"Anyone who brings up either sex or race will set themselves up for being labeled sexist or racist, tarnishing their reputation," he wrote. "While sex/race/religion should not make a difference, we would be ignorant to not understand how this can be used by both sides, and with the Democrats in the minority in the Senate, this will certainly be brought up to discredit their opposition to Roberts.
"While it is often repeated and emphasized that his nomination is not based on sex/race, everyone knows that this is a card that will be played," he added.

Does Roberts consider race or ethnicity in his judicial decisions? Should he?
"Why, every time an [ethnic majority] comes into an office or a situation of making decisions for our country, do we get concerned about will they show favoritism?" Richard Gaskin asked. Political pundits and iReporters alike are highly divided on the validity of his question.
--SNIP--
...Joseph Condon of Richmond, Virginia, feels that Roberts "will not be wearing a blindfold when [he] makes rulings." He is concerned that Roberts would put his own beliefs and feelings above the Constitution and that perhaps his cultural background could unfairly influence his decisions. Condon had some strong words to describe his worries.
"If Roberts is confirmed, his personal experiences, conservative beliefs, and loyalty to blood and culture will be the basis for forming his judicial rulings, and not the United States Constitution," he wrote.

Are we focusing too much on his ethnic background rather than his judicial history and qualifications?
--SNIP--
...Gaskin -- who said that every time a white person comes into a position of power, the public unfairly worries about whether he or she will show racial favoritism -- thinks the conversation the country is having about Roberts’ ethnicity is the wrong one to be having.
"We can now have everyone getting equal chances, and I think that's what this should be all about," he said. "No matter what ethnicity you are, now we all have a chance to have equal rights. ... I hope [Roberts’ nomination] inspires people who come from situations of poverty or less hope to now have hope and change their lives."

Updated: IRON CHEF: Summer Night!

It's happening again: Matty and Anne Marie, my two friends who challenged each other in Iron Chef: Risotto, will be going at it again on Sunday night! In a much-anticipated rematch, Matty and AM will be heating up the kitchen on SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY!
The theme will be, in Matty's words, "free form... iron chef 'summer night'... we prepare an app, main course, and drink of our choice." AM agreed, and so it's on!

As the main dishes will likely be non-vegetarian, I will function once again not as a judge but as emcee of the event, interviewing both the chefs and the judges to bring you an action-packed night of pots, pans, paring, and preparation!

I'll be both live-blogging AND posting video of the intense competition! Those of you who've wondered about how much fun and/or how to do the Iron Chef thing at your home can watch and pick up tips!

I hope you'll join us for what will no doubt prove to be an explosive yet tasty night! Remember: SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY! Around 7pm Eastern time!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Quick hits

1. All hispanics are thrilled that Sonia Sotomayor, a self-titled "New Yorican," has been nominated to the Supreme Court. Every single one of us has been dreaming of this day since birth. Really. And it's not because she's brilliant or qualified or experienced. We're thrilled because she's hispanic.

2. The funniest part of the Sotomayor nomination is watching Faux Nooz struggling to come up with other news to distract from the fact that they can find NOTHING WRONG with this crazy uppity Mexican lady who thinks she can be on the Supreme Court. They'll gloss over someone of import saying yet again that Sotomayor is a quality person and an excellent choice, and then do yet another live broadcast from some "giant futuristic greenhouse" in California -- because THAT is breaking news, folks.

3. Conservative right-wingers are fucking insane idiots. Seems self-evident to me, but bloggy hero Vikkitikkitavi fuckin' CLOCKS a particular right-winger who claims she used to be a left-winger (but was, in actuality, still a fucking moron, as far as I can tell). BTW, if you're not reading Bells On, you're missing out on some of the best political and social commentary around, bar none.

4. Those spam emails and faxes we all get, supposedly from someone in Nigeria who wants to give us $875,000 if we'll only give him some money up front to get his money out of Nigeria -- these emails and faxes MUST work, because even after all these years, they are STILL being sent around. Someone somewhere must be falling for it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I have a newflash for you, NPR:

It is no longer news when Darth Cheney gives a speech.

To call his torture-works jerk-off session this afternoon at some reich-wingnut place "dueling speeches" with President Obama's upcoming Guantanamo-related speech is to assume that what the Dick says is just as important as what the sitting president says.

And that is one stupid, not to mention completely incorrect, assumption.

This morning from about 8:17 to sometime after 9 (Eastern time), NPR repeatedly equated Obama's speech with Cheney's speech. Here's a link to more on their web site: "Also sure to dominate the news are the speeches being delivered this morning by President Barack Obama and former vice president Dick Cheney." At least that's what the web site says -- on air, they didn't use the word "former" even ONCE to describe the Dark Lord.

They also called Cheney's speech "a rebuttal from the Bush Administration." Once again--does ANYONE besides the wingnut population give a shit what Dick or the Bush Administration have to say?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Meet the new boss...

...same as the old boss?

I used to bristle (okay, I'd scream too) whenever Chimpy and the Dark Lord would use "national security" as justification for whatever lawbreaking, lying, cheating, stealing, etc. that they did during their time in power. Stop torturing? No way, national security would be threatened! Tell the truth about the bogus WMD in Iraq? Hell no, national security depends on keeping everything secret! Reveal that Chimpy's people knew Wall Street was headed for a major-league Krakatoa-level blowout? Fuck no, people--national security relies on keeping this stuff quiet!

Now it seems that Obama has heard that song too, and he's singing it just as loud as Chimpy ever did:
In a reversal, the White House says President Barack Obama is fighting the release of photos showing abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan because he believes their release poses a national security threat.

Now tell me: just what "national security" is threatened by the release of photos depicting what EVERYONE already knows our soldiers did, photos that EVERYONE has already seen?

Apparently, Obama made this crap decision "after the top military commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan told the president they feared the release of the photos could endanger their troops." Um, excuse me, military dudes? I think your troops are already pretty much in danger all the damned time. I guess that's what happens when you play War in other people's backyards. They kinda tend to get pretty fucking pissed off when your toy guns turn out to be real.

Some generic White House official claimed that releasing the photos "would only serve the purpose of inflaming the theaters of war, jeopardizing U.S. forces, and making our job more difficult in places like Iraq and Afghanistan." Kinda missed the boat on these things too, don't ya think? How much more of a debacle can we have in Iraq and Afghanistan (not to mention Pakistan)? Our soldiers are already being killed, more every day. The terrists already "hate us for our freedoms," remember? And their strength is growing every damned day, thanks to the constant fuck-up of Chimpy's handling of the war.

It really disappoints me to see Obama playing the same cards and wimping out on revealing almost anything that reflects badly on the war criminals of the Chimpy Administration. Even when he authorized the release of Chimpy's torture memos, Obama made sure to promise that he wasn't prosecuting anyone.

Where's that whole "change you can believe in" thing Obama talked about? Where's the Constitutional law scholar who was going to restore our rights and freedoms and retrieve our Constitution from the shit-basket Chimpy threw it into? Where's the guy who was going to end these stupid wars, bring our troops home, and stop dumping money into the war profiteers' bank accounts?

I love the way Obama speaks. I like the things he says, and how he says them. Compared to the near-daily fear I had that Chimpy would declare martial law any second, I feel pretty good with Barry Obama in the White House. I believe Obama when he says he's for the little guy, not the corporate behemoths.

But this whole war thing, and the war crimes of the Chimpy Administration -- on these counts, he's no nearer to bringing us justice than the war criminals themselves. And that makes me really really sad.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

News from the world of hispanics

My, my, it seems that we brownies are big topics in the news lately.

First, it turns out that Golden Empire Mortgage, Inc. and its owner, Howard D. Kootstra, are being charged by the Federal Trade Commission with "violating federal law by charging Hispanic consumers higher prices for mortgage loans than non-Hispanic white consumers – price disparities that cannot be explained by the applicants’ credit characteristics or underwriting risk." It's 2009, and these assholes are still pulling this shit? The press release doesn't say anything about other "minority" groups, just hispanics. I guess this outfit figured they couldn't cheat blacks, but why not cheat the browns? No one pays attention to us anyway, unless it's to demand that we be shot as we're trying to cross the US-Mexican border to steal all the jobs.


Second, newspapers all over the country are apparently reading our little brown minds and noting that "Hispanics See Stars Aligned on High Court." Who knew? I hadn't realized I was seeing any such stars, but if the WaPo says so, it must be true. I read the linked story and had to go all the way down to the eighth paragraph before finding out just who these star-struck hispanics are: "Hispanic legal groups" and "the Congressional Hispanic Caucus." I see.

You know, I have no doubt that these groups are pushing right now because Sonia Sotomayor's name has come up more than once as a potential nominee, and so her peeps--my brown people--are kicking it into overdrive to get her a seat on the high court. And why wouldn't they? The woman seems to have good qualifications. Still, I hate the way the media generalizes the actions of these political groups and says that "hispanics" are doing this--like it's ALL of us.

The media never generalize the actions of white people; it's just us people of color (and foreigners, of course) who are lumped into groups having one voice, that voice saying whatever the media decides we're trying to say.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Allergy help needed

It seems I'm now officially an allergies sufferer. I had previously escaped such dangers as "Cedar Fever" in Austin and "Ragweed Mania" in Dallas, but apparently "Pennsylvania Pollen" is now kicking my ass. I'm all stuffy, my throat is almost swollen shut, my sinuses feel they're underwater, and I'm tired all the time. My eyes water for no reason, and they burn and itch like I've stayed up too late for weeks at a time. This blows!

I've been using my new Neti Pot religiously, and that has helped. I've also tried Zyrtec allergy medicine, but apparently my little histamine receptors are laughing at the weak Zyrtec molecules. I slept a lot this weekend, and that certainly helped me feel better, but most of the sleep was Benadryl-induced, so I'm now all balloony-headed too.

I'll take any suggestions as to how to rid myself of these symptoms!

...Oh sorry -- just fell asleep at my desk again...

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Moron-palooza: coming soon to an alternate reality near you

I saw a billboard for this "event" while driving home from Cape May on Sunday. Don't you wanna go? I mean, look at all the cool kids who go:

See? They have (counterclockwise from left) cute jock-looking guys, cute punky-looking chicks, serious and normal-looking (and still cute) girls, cute and kinda gay-looking but CERTAINLY NOT GAY! boys, and cool cute chicks in shades! I'm sure this is an absolutely random sampling of the cool kids who want you to come and talk about Jeebus and be cool with them!

And check out the oh-so-cool bands, full of hip and creative people!
Sooooo moody and cool! And I think that might be a born-again George Michael, third pic down! Wow!

You too can spread the word about Creationism and how AWESOME it is to be all Jeebus-y and stuff! And remember: "Plan on joining us. It will be the highlight of your summer, maybe your life! ™"