Tuesday 30 September 2008

L'Shana Tovah

So tonight I called upon my inner balabusta and came home from work, strapped on my apron and cooked up some matzo ball soup and luschen kugel. To be honest I wasn't 100% happy with how the soup turned out, not the best matzo balls I've ever made, but what can you do.

The kugel though was delicious. It's my great-grandmother's recipe and is a sweet kugel with apples and raisins. I'm looking forward to having leftovers for breakfast tomorrow. Kugel for breakfast you say? Yes that is how I roll.

If you'd like to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, but don't want to cook up a storm, have some apples with honey. Eating them will give you a sweet year.

Anyway we ate these goodies in honor of Rosh Hashanah and while watching the Celtic v. Villareal match. Unfortunately Celtic lost 1-0. Perhaps not such a sweet New Year for them. My favorite player is Nakamura....the game stats said he ran over 10km in 80 minutes, that is nuts!

Thursday 25 September 2008

The Great Schlep

My Jewish Grandmother doesn't live in Florida and already is planning to vote Obama, but I still find Sarah Silverman hilarious. There is a website, too: The Great Schlep

The Great Schlep from The Great Schlep on Vimeo.

Sunday 21 September 2008

Friday 19 September 2008

I need advil

I work on Buchanan Street, the major pedestrianized shopping street in Glasgow. See the underground station? My office is to the left. Fab location to work...lots of choices for lunch, short walk to my beautician, great shopping, easy/quick bus journey home and back. Oh except for the buskers.

Buskers you say? What's wrong with someone making a little money by playing some music. Nothing is wrong intrinsically, in fact I far prefer busking to begging, but I live in Glasgow. Glasgow is in Scotland. Yes Ryan we know this you say. So think about it, what kind of buskers do tourists want to see? Pipers.

Nothing against bagpipes...I can handle small doses as long as I'm not in an enclosed space. But when it's for an extended period of time, it is more annoying that the Native American (but suspiciously Latin American looking) pan flute band that used to play Beatles covers at the Foggy Bottom metro stop outside my dorm window.

Now there is a new hybrid of the piping busker, who wants to stand out from the crowd. It's pipes and drums, not in the traditional sense, but with African drums. Sometimes it's actual African men with tombolas and a piper or like today it was a band called Clanadonia.

I'm sure despite their scruffy, braveheart-esque (ooh tourists love it) appearance and head-throbbing beats that they are nice people, but today I have a headache and did not enjoy their little show.

This isn't from today, but you get the gist of what was outside my window.

Thursday 18 September 2008

I <3 Gloria Steinem

Palin: wrong woman, wrong message
Sarah Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Hillary Clinton. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger...
By Gloria Steinem September 4, 2008

Here's the good news: Women have become so politically powerful that even the anti-feminist right wing -- the folks with a headlock on the Republican Party -- are trying to appease the gender gap with a first-ever female vice president. We owe this to women -- and to many men too -- who have picketed, gone on hunger strikes or confronted violence at the polls so women can vote. We owe it to Shirley Chisholm, who first took the "white-male-only" sign off the White House, and to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who hung in there through ridicule and misogyny to win 18 million votes.

But here is even better news: It won't work. This isn't the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need. Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It's about making life more fair for women everywhere. It's not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It's about baking a new pie.

Selecting Sarah Palin, who was touted all summer by Rush Limbaugh, is no way to attract most women, including die-hard Clinton supporters. Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Clinton. Her down-home, divisive and deceptive speech did nothing to cosmeticize a Republican convention that has more than twice as many male delegates as female, a presidential candidate who is owned and operated by the right wing and a platform that opposes pretty much everything Clinton's candidacy stood for -- and that Barack Obama's still does. To vote in protest for McCain/Palin would be like saying, "Somebody stole my shoes, so I'll amputate my legs."

This is not to beat up on Palin. I defend her right to be wrong, even on issues that matter most to me. I regret that people say she can't do the job because she has children in need of care, especially if they wouldn't say the same about a father. I get no pleasure from imagining her in the spotlight on national and foreign policy issues about which she has zero background, with one month to learn to compete with Sen. Joe Biden's 37 years' experience.

Palin has been honest about what she doesn't know. When asked last month about the vice presidency, she said, "I still can't answer that question until someone answers for me: What is it exactly that the VP does every day?" When asked about Iraq, she said, "I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq."

She was elected governor largely because the incumbent was unpopular, and she's won over Alaskans mostly by using unprecedented oil wealth to give a $1,200 rebate to every resident. Now she is being praised by McCain's campaign as a tax cutter, despite the fact that Alaska has no state income or sales tax. Perhaps McCain has opposed affirmative action for so long that he doesn't know it's about inviting more people to meet standards, not lowering them. Or perhaps McCain is following the Bush administration habit, as in the Justice Department, of putting a job candidate's views on "God, guns and gays" ahead of competence.. The difference is that McCain is filling a job one 72-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency.

So let's be clear: The culprit is John McCain. He may have chosen Palin out of change-envy, or a belief that women can't tell the difference between form and content, but the main motive was to please right-wing ideologues; the same ones who nixed anyone who is now or ever has been a supporter of reproductive freedom. If that were not the case, McCain could have chosen a woman who knows what a vice president does and who has thought about Iraq; someone like Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison or Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine. McCain could have taken a baby step away from right-wing patriarchs who determine his actions, right down to opposing the Violence Against Women Act.

Palin's value to those patriarchs is clear: She opposes just about every issue that women support by a majority or plurality. She believes that creationism should be taught in public schools but disbelieves global warming; she opposes gun control but supports government control of women's wombs; she opposes stem cell research but approves "abstinence-only" programs, which increase unwanted births, sexually transmitted diseases and abortions; she tried to use taxpayers' millions for a state program to shoot wolves from the air but didn't spend enough money to fix a state school system with the lowest high-school graduation rate in the nation; she runs with a candidate who opposes the Fair Pay Act but supports $500 million in subsidies for a natural gas pipeline across Alaska; she supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, though even McCain has opted for the lesser evil of offshore drilling.. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger.

I don't doubt her sincerity.. As a lifetime member of the National Rifle Assn., she doesn't just support killing animals from helicopters, she does it herself. She doesn't just talk about increasing the use of fossil fuels but puts a coal-burning power plant in her own small town. She doesn't just echo McCain's pledge to criminalize abortion by overturning Roe vs. Wade, she says that if one of her daughters were impregnated by rape or incest, she should bear the child. She not only opposes reproductive freedom as a human right but implies that it dictates abortion, without saying that it also protects the right to have a child.

So far, the major new McCain supporter that Palin has attracted is James Dobson of Focus on the Family. Of course, for Dobson, "women are merely waiting for their husbands to assume leadership," so he may be voting for Palin's husband.

Being a hope-a-holic, however, I can see two long-term bipartisan gains from this contest.

Republicans may learn they can't appeal to right-wing patriarchs and most women at the same time. A loss in November could cause the centrist majority of Republicans to take back their party, which was the first to support the Equal Rights Amendment and should be the last to want to invite government into the wombs of women.

And American women, who suffer more because of having two full-time jobs than from any other single injustice, finally have support on a national stage from male leaders who know that women can't be equal outside the home until men are equal in it. Barack Obama and Joe Biden are campaigning on their belief that men should be, can be and want to be at home for their children.

This could be huge.

Wednesday 10 September 2008

Pop Tart or Evil Weapon of Mass Distruction?

Apparently Pop Tart filling also doubles as a molten hot weapon. I managed to burn the tips of two of my fingers fairly badly this morning with Strawberry Low-Fat Pop Tart filling. It hardened in like 2 seconds and I had to peel it off my fingers. These things need to come with a warning!

Tuesday 9 September 2008


Is this song out in the US? I wasn't sure of it at first, but it's growing on me. It's like Cake meets Eminem and Gym Glass Heroes. What are your thoughts?

Friday 5 September 2008

Palin Part 2

I'd like to point out that while the footnotes are moveon.org links, they are actually a mix of AP, Time and others....

-Palin recently said that the war in Iraq is "God's task." She's even admitted she hasn't thought about the war much—just last year she was quoted saying, "I've been so focused on state government, I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq." 1, 2

-Palin has actively sought the support of the fringe Alaska Independence Party. Six months ago, Palin told members of the group—who advocate for a vote on secession from the union—to "keep up the good work" and "wished the party luck on what she called its 'inspiring convention.'" 3

-Palin wants to teach creationism in public schools. She hasn't made clear whether she thinks evolution is a fact. 4

-Palin doesn't believe that humans contribute to global warming. Speaking about climate change, she said, "I'm not one though who would attribute it to being manmade." 5

-Palin has close ties to Big Oil. Her inauguration was even sponsored by BP. 6

-Palin is extremely anti-choice. She doesn't even support abortion in the case of rape or incest. 7

-Palin opposes comprehensive sex-ed in public schools. She's said she will only support abstinence-only approaches. 8

-As mayor, Palin tried to ban books from the library. Palin asked the library how she might go about banning books because some had inappropriate language in them—shocking the librarian, Mary Ellen Baker. According to Time, "news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire Baker for not giving "full support" to the mayor." 9

-She DID support the Bridge to Nowhere (before she opposed it). Palin claimed that she said "thanks, but no thanks" to the infamous Bridge to Nowhere. But in 2006, Palin supported the project repeatedly, saying that Alaska should take advantage of earmarks "while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist." 10

1. "Palin: Iraq war 'a task that is from God'," Associated Press, September 3, 2008 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=24701&id=13709-3054873-7XglVdx&t=6
2. "Palin wasn't 'really focused much' on the Iraq war," ThinkProgress, August 30, 2008 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=24702&id=13709-3054873-7XglVdx&t=7
3. "The Sarah Palin Digest," ThinkProgress, September 4, 2008 http://thinkprogress.org/palin-digest/
4. "McCain and Palin differ on issues," Associated Press, September 3, 2008 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=24703&id=13709-3054873-7XglVdx&t=8
5. Ibid
6. The Sarah Palin Digest," ThinkProgress, September 4, 2008 http://thinkprogress.org/palin-digest/
7. Ibid
8. Ibid.
9. "Mayor Palin: A Rough Record," Time, September 2, 2008 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=24704&id=13709-3054873-7XglVdx&t=9
10. The Sarah Palin Digest," ThinkProgress, September 4, 2008 http://thinkprogress.org/palin-digest/

And the Daily Show for fun :)

Wednesday 3 September 2008

Vote for Jared!

I don't normally whore out my friends, but my friend Jared is a finalist in a contest to be on the tv show Mad Men. We don't get that show over here that I'm aware of, but who cares-- if I can help out a friend, that's all that matters. He and I lived across the hall from each other freshman year at George Washington and was one of my best male friends throughout my time at GW.

So here's the deal:

My friend Jared is now a finalist and voting has restarted!

PLEASE VOTE!! (No need to sign up for anything)

1 - Go to http://blogs.amctv.com/mad-men-contest/2008/09/david-pete-finals.php and vote. Here, you can also see the criteria the finalists will be judged on.

2 - Leave a comment if you have the extra minute--it helps! Some of the comments so far are entertaining--including some from bitter non-finalists.

3. Post the link in your Facebook status asking your friends to vote; send out a MySpace bulletin with the link, asking your friends to vote; E-mail 10 (or MORE!) of your friends with the link, asking your friends to vote. Put the link in your AIM status, asking your friends to vote.

I know he definitiely appreciates your all your help!!!

Speaking of GW, anyone else miss the Lion?