Sunday, December 27, 2009

La Femme La Frida

Frida Kahlo is one of my all time favorite visual artists. I suppose that it is a cliche to say that now as Frida's images saturate greeting cards, pop art, websites, books, and everything else. Everyone has seen the movie. She was a genius-creative and a wounded left-leaning revolutionary, who made fantastic paintings and lived an admirable and interesting life (in my book, anyway).

It's always a catch-22 when someone you've long admired becomes part of the collective consciousness and moves the masses, or at least becomes familiar to the masses. Usually, I lose a little of my lust for the art or the person when that happens-- like the revival of interest in The Beat generation. Jack Kerouac in chinos for the Gap. Bleh.

I don't just like her because she was a lady painter. Frida owns a little piece of love from me for being a pinko commie revolutionary and making great work, which is so visually interesting, feminist, agonizing, funny, and rich with symbology. Steve and I saw the retrospective of her work at The Walker Art Center in 2007. It was intense. From the crowds, jostling for position in front of her work with their headphones to hear about the specific work to the sheer volume of pieces and the intensity of the work itself. Wowsa.

Here's the terrifying bus scene from the movie done by The Brothers Quay.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Solstice Sunday: Patti Smith Edition

I was feeling particularly moved by the work and action of Patti Smith this morning. Smith has long been in my top 100 women who kick ass list. She has influenced music, been a fearless liberal activist, is a die-hard New Yorker, and for 40 years bands from all over the world have cited her influence. She is a poet and the godmother of punk and I pretty much worship the ground she sings on. Her music is so filled with energy and emotion. I love her holiday music too. She sings holiday music! Smith gave up her driver's license on purpose so she could "see more" and she has been a fearless advocate against recent military actions by Israel, Iran, and the US.

Here she is singing Dark Eyes with Bob Dylan. Love. Happy Solstice!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Huzzah! I'm Back!

"Before you can be anything, you have to be yourself. That's the hardest thing to find." E.L. Konigsburg

OMG, I forgot about you guys and feminism! Just Kidding! What I did do was start two new blogs this Fall, Super Mon & Wolverine and Books 4 Hotties, the former co-authored with my husband-o and major partner in crime, Wolverine, formerly known as Kermit/Steve/Steve-O and the latter co-authored with Little Junkie, around books and our book club, Book Club 4 Hotties. Both blogs are hosted by Wordpress (sorry Blogger) which I like immensely more than Blogger.

The idea was really to move into blogging on Super Mon & Wolverine and not on here because I wanted to do what I do best (talk about my little life) using wordpress. I liked talking about feminist issues, but I felt like I was just reporting on what all the other feminist blogs were doing. But, then I was feeling like I was missing that feminist thing. So, here I am. Survival of the Feminist is back. For now. I know, I have done this before. I'm a tease of the feminist kind.

So, I've been focused on writing these blogs, reuniting with long lost friends, Book Club, work, raising The Kid, and watching Glee, and assembling a multitude of Legos.

All these things have inspired me to come back here to Survival of the Feminist and write about raising a kid with feminist values, feminist books for teens or kids or young adults, feminist blogs, feminist magazines and resources, movies, and so on and so forth. I think that will be an excellent project for Super Mon and Survival of the Feminists. What are some of your favorites? Here are some of mine so far with no rhyme or reason:

bell hooks Feminism is for Everybody
Bust Magazine
Bitch Magazine
New Moon Magazine (nothing to do with the movie)by girls and for girls
The Diary of Anne Frank
The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place by E.L. Konigsberg
Inkheart Series by Cornelia Funke

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Super Mon's Survey: Multiple Choice Edition

Please help a Super Mon out by taking this short survey:

1: Would y'all think it was weird if I migrated this here blog on over to Wordpress, where there are more fun things to play with (like widgets, lots and lots of widgets) and a friendlier layout?

A. Yes, definitely weird, don't do it!

B. Not weird at all, we'll follow you where ever you go, Super Mon!

C. This is me, not caring so much

D. All of the above

2: Super Steve, Super Mon's husband-o of NINE YEARS has expressed interest in re-entering the blogging world. Super Steve, formerly known as Kermit and Dirk Diggler, PhD in another life, has A LOT to say, including that he would rather not be called Super Steve. Steve, therefore, also has a lot of art to show off, as is evidenced by his facebook page, our flickr page, and our living room. Don't you all think Steve should blog about his interests? Which include, but are not limited to: art in its myriad of forms, vinyl records, being a dad, liberal politics, and not driving a car.

A. Yes! We Love STEVE!!!!


3: Super Mon and Steve are contemplating a blogging partnership over at WordPress. Word Press allows bloggers to have multiple pages whereas Blogger, from what I can tell, does not. Super Mon's musings would have a page, Steve's art and records would have a page, Super Mon & Steve might write on the same things sometimes. Do you think it's a good idea?

A. Yes! Do it, you crazy kids!

B. No, Don't mix blogging and matrimony

Bonus Question: Does a Blog called Super Mon & Steve already exist on Word Press if you click here?

A. YESSSSSSSS! Another Blog to read!!!! Awesome!!!!!

B. What's a blog?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Question of the Day?


What's your favorite movie line?

Mine is from To Have or Have Not starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. After a lot of on-screen sexual tension and KISSING, Bacall's character says, "You know how to whistle don't you, Steve?" and then she departs saying, "You just put your lips together and blow." And, she leaves and he whistles. "What Whew"

Monday, August 17, 2009

In Which Yours Truly Doesn't Rant Or Rave-- Even A Little

See that picture in the header of a bee on that globe thistle? That was taken by Super Steve who is a super photographer as well as painter and sculptor and a super Big Daddy. It's so pretty, I just want it to stay there forever. Sigh. That's a GREEN bee. Have you ever seen such a thing?

I feel I should tell you about where the author of Survival of the Feminist (now known as Super Mon) finds herself these days. My doctor has strenuously advised me to try whatever I can to CALM THE EFF DOWN. De-stress. Two doctors have said this to me in the last 2 months. My kids have had a lot of health issues in the last year, my work has had a lot demands, I have practically had to abandon my own studies (I have a lot of despair about this one because I want an MFA, I have wanted an MFA for as long as I can remember, even though there are no jobs for MFAs out there, that's not what I care about), my finances are always on the edge, and I feel like I am behind in every area and not at all able to catch up. Sounds about right, for everyone, yes? Well, I would like to avoid diabetes and high blood pressure and early heart failure and any other sort of doom and gloom as long as possible so, I have had to take some drastic measures. Mostly, what has been happening is a lot of THINKING about what to do. I am not yet 40 but I got a knock on the head to take better care of me, and I am aiming to try, at least. Here's are three tasks that I proposed to myself to help myself feel/get better:

1) No News is Good News. I decided to not read the news obsessively anymore. that doesn't mean I am not going to read or listen, but not to everything every day. I am, and forever will remain, politically liberal. Bleeding heart. Liberal. Feminist. Poet. Rainbows. Kittens. Healthcare for all. Oh, and that separation of church and state thing is also particularly important to me. I care about the state of our country, about my friends and family, about my community. But, I get seriously stressed out when I listen to NPR hosts talking about the Recession everyday and how the foreclosure problem is never going away. I get seriously distressed by watching Town Hall protests and listening to idiots like Glen Beck (even though I know he is an idiot). I get down-right enraged when I hear the religious-right exalting themselves and their belief system as being the only belief system and advocating violence, prejudice, and demonization of anyone who disagrees. It hurts my heart. Literally.

2) The ol' get more exercise, and eat better routine. No need for details. And/or details to come later when I have actually done something in this category.

3) Book Club. I really, really like books. I also really like friends. My friends like books. I would like to get books and friends and food and wine in the same room. I don't go out much. I like hanging with my family in the evenings, but I am missing the camaraderie of friends getting together, so....voila, Book Club. Now, I think Book Club needs a name, don't you? Book Club for Urban Bitches? Book Club for the Relatively (in)Sane? Book Club for Bloggers? I would like Book Club to turn into Writing Club, or a spin-off of some sorts, but I'll start small.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

For the Birds

I tend to obsess about topics I am interested in. For instance, cooking and eating (see every post from yesterday back to 2004) Currently, I am obsessed with learning about birds. This photo was taken in our back yard. It's one of a pair of hawks that come to visit our giant maple and eat the little brown birds who are happily feeding in the front. I have seen a hawk decapitate a sparrow in the tree right outside my living room window. The hawks are coming back regularly now. It's a smorgasbord of little brown birds.

I have two bird books: one is lost and one is not very great. For instance, today there were two birds on the feeder with long beaks, black and gray markings on the wings, and rusty brown marks on their tummies, and the closest I could come to identifying them is that they are some kind of warbler. Maybe.

I gave my parents the book I want Birds of Minnesota and Wisconsin for Christmas. But, really I should have kept a copy for myself because while they have an enormous bird feeding system, and have tons of birds, they don't care so much what kind they are.

I am obsessed with birds of late, and I know I am not alone. Me and a lot of seniors are into the birds. I would never have birds in my home, but I like looking at them outside, nibbling away at the three feeders. Hiding from the hawks. I am not quick enough with the reference guide and have definitely missed out in identifying a bright blue bird in early summer. All blue. No black. No white. Not an indigo bunting, but what? See? Obsessed.

My son's name, Corbin, means raven or dark as a raven. I like the corbies. The crows. The ravens. They're loud and they eat dead things, but they are so smart. I watched a crow figure out how to open a peppermint candy, once. It took about 40 pecks at the plastic, but she figured it out, and swallowed the peppermint, whole. Tricksters, the crows.

I am not an official "birder." I don't go into the field with my field glasses and my guide and my vest with a lot of pockets. But, I am not ruling it out as a future option, either.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I ruined the eggplant

It was a little tough. I salted. I sauteed. What did I do to make the most beautiful of purple plants the consistency of shoes made of Styrofoam?

Also, the great guitar guru Les Paul died yesterday. What an amazing person! Here's a clip for your Friday enjoyment!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Health Care, Schmealth Care

As I wait for the coffee to brew I am thinking about health care and my friend who just underwent open-heart surgery. She's 39. She has had a whole host of health problems resulting from cancer which grew under her heart as a kid. Radiation to the chest does not make for an easy life later. Before her surgery she was in the hospital with both congestive heart failure and then acute renal failure last month alone. She can't really get a break. When I went to visit her in the hospital, she was feeling nervous about the surgery and she asked her husband "How are we going to pay for that [surgery]?" And, he answered,"We'll just keep making payments." How much does it cost to routinely receive critical care? More than you or I or anyone you probably know makes in a year. Or, even in a couple of years. She has insurance, but it's not going to cover 100%. That leaves her, permanently disabled and unable to work-- and healing from her surgery (one of many), and her husband to sort out the significant remainder due. Her story might bit seem uncommon due to its severity, but it's not. I pay about $2700 per year for my family coverage premium, my employer pays around $13000 per year for my insurance. If that goes away...well.

That Health Care Reform is NEEDED shouldn't be a partisan issue, but of course it is. We liberals want to usher in Communism, Socialism, Fascism and eat your flags, your grandmas, and your babies so people can get insured and receive health care that won't bankrupt them, I guess. But what about you conservative folks? What is your solution here? Am I missing it because you're too busy ripping up posters of Rosa Parks and talking about "Death Panels?" Am I missing it because many, many members of your fringe are screaming and yelling and spreading rumors and lies like a bunch of bullies on a playground? Only you're bringing your guns and your patriotism with you so that somehow makes it, what? OK? No.


You do realize your taxes are going to fund two foreign wars, right? You realize we need an infrastructure and that we have to pay for it, right? We need roads, airplanes, telephones, televisions, meat, pharmaceuticals, education, cars, vegetables, homeland security, and radio, right? You realize that all those things are overseen by FEDERAL AGENCIES, right? You realize that oversight doesn't mean we're communist, right? You realize you probably aren't going to agree to every decision they make, right? I just want to know, without comparing anyone on any side to Hitler, what would you propose we do? Here are some facts, with sources, but you probably won't believe them anyway.

From the National Coalition on Health Care (click here to read the whole article and its sources):

In 2008, total national health expenditures were expected to rise 6.9 percent -- two times the rate of inflation.1 Total spending was $2.4 TRILLION in 2007, or $7900 per person1. Total health care spending represented 17 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

U.S. health care spending is expected to increase at similar levels for the next decade reaching $4.3 TRILLION in 2017, or 20 percent of GDP.1

In 2008, employer health insurance premiums increased by 5.0 percent – two times the rate of inflation. The annual premium for an employer health plan covering a family of four averaged nearly $12,700. The annual premium for single coverage averaged over $4,700.2

Experts agree that our health care system is riddled with inefficiencies, excessive administrative expenses, inflated prices, poor management, and inappropriate care, waste and fraud. These problems significantly increase the cost of medical care and health insurance for employers and workers and affect the security of families.

National Health Care Spending

In 2008, health care spending in the United States reached $2.4 trillion, and was projected to reach $3.1 trillion in 2012.1 Health care spending is projected to reach $4.3 trillion by 2016.1

Health care spending is 4.3 times the amount spent on national defense.3

In 2008, the United States will spend 17 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on health care. It is projected that the percentage will reach 20 percent by 2017.1
Although nearly 46 million Americans are uninsured, the United States spends more on health care than other industrialized nations, and those countries provide health insurance to all their citizens.3

Health care spending accounted for 10.9 percent of the GDP in Switzerland, 10.7 percent in Germany, 9.7 percent in Canada and 9.5 percent in France, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.4

Employer and Employee Health Insurance Costs
Premiums for employer-based health insurance rose by 5.0 percent in 2008. In 2007, small employers saw their premiums, on average, increase 5.5 percent. Firms with less than 24 workers, experienced an increase of 6.8 percent.2

The annual premium that a health insurer charges an employer for a health plan covering a family of four averaged $12,700 in 2008. Workers contributed nearly $3,400, or 12 percent more than they did in 2007.2 The annual premiums for family coverage significantly eclipsed the gross earnings for a full-time, minimum-wage worker ($10,712).

Workers are now paying $1,600 more in premiums annually for family coverage than they did in 1999.2

Since 1999, employment-based health insurance premiums have increased 120 percent, compared to cumulative inflation of 44 percent and cumulative wage growth of 29 percent during the same period.2

Health insurance expenses are the fastest growing cost component for employers. Unless something changes dramatically, health insurance costs will overtake profits by the end of 2008.5

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust, premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance in the United States have been rising four times faster on average than workers’ earnings since 1999.2

The average employee contribution to company-provided health insurance has increased more than 120 percent since 2000. Average out-of-pocket costs for deductibles, co-payments for medications, and co-insurance for physician and hospital visits rose 115 percent during the same period.6

The percentage of Americans under age 65 whose family-level, out-of-pocket spending for health care, including health insurance, that exceeds $2,000 a year, rose from 37.3 percent in 1996 to 43.1 percent in 2003 – a 16 percent increase.7

The Impact of Rising Health Care Costs

National surveys show that the primary reason people are uninsured is the high cost of health insurance coverage.2

Economists have found that rising health care costs correlate to drops in health insurance coverage.8

A recent study by Harvard University researchers found that the average out-of-pocket medical debt for those who filed for bankruptcy was $12,000. The study noted that 68 percent of those who filed for bankruptcy had health insurance. In addition, the study found that 50 percent of all bankruptcy filings were partly the result of medical expenses.9 Every 30 seconds in the United States someone files for bankruptcy in the aftermath of a serious health problem.

A new survey shows that more than 25 percent said that housing problems resulted from medical debt, including the inability to make rent or mortgage payments and the development of bad credit ratings.10

About 1.5 million families lose their homes to foreclosure every year due to unaffordable medical costs. 11

A survey of Iowa consumers found that in order to cope with rising health insurance costs, 86 percent said they had cut back on how much they could save, and 44 percent said that they have cut back on food and heating expenses.12

Retiring elderly couples will need $250,000 in savings just to pay for the most basic medical coverage.13 Many experts believe that this figure is conservative and that $300,000 may be a more realistic number.

According to a recent report, the United States has $480 billion in excess spending each year in comparison to Western European nations that have universal health insurance coverage. The costs are mainly associated with excess administrative costs and poorer quality of care.14

The United States spends six times more per capita on the administration of the health care system than its peer Western European nations.14

Read the rest!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Julie & Julia & Super Mon

I haven't seen the much anticipated Julie & Julia movie starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. Yet. First, I wanted to read the books, Julia Child's My Life in France, and Julie Powell's Julie & Julia. Which I am doing now. I have tried to stay away from reviews of the movie too as reviews make me grumpy. The books are always better than the movies, anyway. I am always interested in the blogger who gets published on real paper kind of stories, and I am most definitely interested in food.

Since I didn't know about Julie Powell's blog or her Julie/Julia project until it was announced that the movie was coming out, I thought I better catch up. As a Foodie-come-lately (I really got into Food, big F, when I was 32 and pregnant--and I did so with a single-minded determination and/or obsessiveness), I have often admired what I know about Julia Child's life. She worked for the OSS in WWII, she was a true blue Democrat, she discovered Food (Big F), at 37 and she had a great and lasting love affair with her husband Paul Child. Sigh.

I used to only watch her television shows as a teenager-- we didn't have cable. I remember catching her show on PBS and being slightly embarrassed by, yet fascinated to watch this person. There was something kind of sexual (in my uninformed adolescent mind), yet also entirely too pragmatic, about the way she handled poultry and lamb. My mother is not a cook. And, my father never cooked for our family unless it involved a grill. My mom is a fine baker; she makes deadly fudge too. But spaghetti dinner at our house consisted of a pound of unseasoned ground beef, a box of Creamette spaghetti noodles and a can of Hunt's tomato sauce. I had a lot of intestinal issues as a kid. We had spaghetti once a week.

I was interested in the person of Julia as a teen; she was a spy, after all. But then I thought that was probably pretty nerdy. And, as I had already let it be known amongst my friends that I liked poetry and WWII and French history to much mocking and hilarity, that I kept my intrigue of Julia Child quiet, and eventually dropped it to pursue other, more exciting topics like local, Wisconsin boys.

I thought she was English for a long time too. I had no idea she was a native Californian until just a few years ago. Her voice was odd to me. High, yet, rumbly and strangely accented.

I have NEVER made any recipe she has crafted. I don't own her cookbooks, and French cooking in general scares the shit out of me. There's all that clarifying and reduction and dividing and fussing. I like Italian cooking with it's big, bold easy flavors, veggies, pasta, and CHEESE!!!! I make fantastic corn meal dough pizzas with pears, onions, mushrooms, spinach & Gorgonzola (or sheep's milk feta)and I broil a fine medium rare steak with a side salad and bob's your uncle. But, I admire the challenge Julie Powell undertook of making all 524 recipes from the Mastery of French Cooking in 365 days.

I try to watch cooking shows on PBS, and of course, every street food fan's favorite, and my boyfriend Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations on the Travel Channel.

The Food Network kind of makes my head go all fuzzy and white inside. It's Food Porn, but it's not GOOD Food Porn. It's not very creative. I mean Porn should, er, get you off, right? At least I haven't found a show on that entire network that doesn't make me rock back and forth, yet. Emeril's BAM, and Rachel Ray's oeuvre don't inspire me to want to make and try new food. Not so sexy. I will say Emeril at least seems like a food lover. Probably my dislike comes from the fact that it's so MAINSTREAM. There is nothing nerdy about it. My sister has Rachel's magazines. I was reading one while at her house recently, With her $6000 stove, and her exposed brick kitchen, Rachel makes tostadas with bacon as the secret ingredient. And, that is fine for her. For her legion of fans. But, I would rather learn how to make ratatouille. Or authentic tamales. Or one of Julia's many sensual recipes.

Michael Pollan, wrote an article for the New York Times Magazine called "Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch" about this phenomenon exactly. As well as talking about Julie & Julia and Julia Child's career. Pollan wants us to stop watching and start cooking. Obviously, with lots of local and organic vegetables. I'm all for it. It's certainly healthier and more fun to cook. I don't want to give up my food moderate dose of food porn, though. I am not going to stop watching or reading Anthony Bourdain, or PBS. And, I have a slight cookbook addiction and that's not going anywhere.

A little challenge: watch the robust, Italian lady on PBS's Ciao, Italia as she makes bread and cheese casserole. Then make it for your next potluck (maybe at my house) and I will make spaghetti carbonara and someone else will bring salad, and there will be wine and people will start thinking you are a food genius.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Death By Chocolate: A Birthday Extravaganza!

Once again the ladies from work have made working on my birthday very tasty indeed. In addition to lunch with Pam at The Weinery (mmm Southern Dog with slaw and chili), I was also given a tiara and a 10 pound chocolate mousse cake from Death By Chocolate. Seriously, what's left? That delicious cake, the tiara, both bosses away, and many birthday wishes from my lovely friends, has made this a fine, fine birthday! I am looking forward to dinner with my boys and a visit to the Peace Ceremony at Powederhorn Park tonight. Yay for Birthdays!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Question of the Day: More About Love and Stuff--Take Another Little Piece of My Heart

Speaking of LOVE. Welcome home Euna Lee and Lisa Ling! Holy, good job Bill Clinton!

I don't buy for one second that this was Bill upstaging Hillary, or whatever Huff Po's stupid headline says. This was planned, even though we didn't know about it, and if he got the job done, so be it. That's all that matters. I am guessing Hillary and Bill WORKED TOGETHER on this humanitarian, not diplomatic mission.

Tomorrow is my birthday. It is one year before a birthday ending with a zero. We don't have huge plans, Super Steve and me. Super Girl is with her dad, so that leaves the three of us, me, Super Steve, and The Kid. Last year, I went out with friends and had too much sake, which was fun, but felt a little off because my beloveds weren't there. Not that the sushi bar and limitless sake is a place for a 5 year-old, but I missed them having them there with me.

The Kid and Super Steve have been talking about getting me a gift. It's hard shopping with The Kid because he is hyper and full of id, and his father justifiably stresses about embarking on such an endeavor alone with him. It's one of the ways Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) presents itself in our child. I find it sometimes endearing, sometimes exasperating. In any case, Super Steve is feeling the dilemma of getting THE GIFT with little to no time by himself in which to do it, since he is on daytime dad duty.

Super Steve is a fantastic gift-giver. I mean, for mother's day a couple of years back he made me a silhouette of The Kid that made me break down in tears. He had The Kid (who doesn't exactly sit still--see above) stand against a wall where he traced his profile including his rooster tail and what was left of his chubby baby face and painted it with black ink and framed it. How he got The Kid to be quiet about it, is beyond me. It was a complete surprise and I was moved beyond words. When we were courting, Super Steve slipped a letter under my studio door, written with a quill in real ink, no less, and sealed in wax, with all kinds of romantic poetry inside. And, pretty much I was hooked after that. His best gifts to me have been art, letters, things he has crafted out of his very own heart and imagination, and music he has thought I would like. Not that I am complaining about the Kitty Bag he gave me, or the Hula girl ash tray, the typewriter-shaped planter, or bracelets, a heart/sparrow locket, or records and records and books of poems; I love them all!! But, there is something about the way to my heart being in his thoughtful, creativity that I more than love. These gifts from Steve make every and all of my heartaches disappear, they makes arguments (fites) and misunderstandings dissolve. They make me feel loved.

The Question of the Day is a Birthday Present to Me-- so I hope you'll respond. Inspired by Shakesville about the best gift you've NEVER gotten. Like something you've always wanted, but no one has yet to deliver. A lot of the commentators misread and think it's about the best gift you have gotten, not NEVER gotten.

Anyway, what's your best gift from the heart (cue some cupids, butterflies, rainbows, and kittens)? Have you ever been given such a gift, or given such a gift that is so truly right on, and from someone's heart? It can be something bought; not all of us are married to, or lovers with, or related to, or friends with creative geniuses, after all. Here's a little Janis Joplin for my birthday pleasure. Tell me about your gift!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Modern Love

I just read the best article in the New York Times by writer and blogger Laura Munson called "Modern Love Those Aren’t Fighting Words, Dear." I sent it to a bunch of people, posted it on my facebook page. I have probably, officially joined the cult of Laura.

I think it's important to consider being responsible for your own happiness when you're in a long term relationship of any sort. Even if it's just with yourself. Since Super Steve and I will be celebrating 10 years of blissfulness together this August, and since we were just having a repeat of the same go-around that we've had for 10 years just a few days ago I thought a little relationship re-dedication of the modern kind is in order. The details of our little fite as I like to call it are not important, but the work we want to do so we can move on and remain happy in our relationship is.

Being in a long-term relationship is HARD. It's work. It's hard work. It's a delicate eco-system that needs constant attention (or, at least it feels that way). Sometimes things get wilty. And, sometimes when they get wilty it's about the other person figuring their out their balance and their sunshine and their, um, fertilizer. Ah, metaphors. As much as I loooorrrrrvve metaphors and as much as I love Super Steve, and he loves me, sometimes our humaness emerges we don't get each other. AT. ALL. You all know what I am talking about. So, don't go acting like you have the perfect relationship or something. If the article doesn't give you perspective on your LTR, maybe listening to Bowie will help.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Food Fite!

The House passed the food safety bill last week so the FDA can have more control in recalling tainted food, perform more inspections, enact fines, etc. This bill is not without its problems. It seems that it largely considers huge operations, and doesn't address the small, family farms, and their needs. While seeking a higher standard in food safety, the new regulations could become problematic for farms who offer diverse organic crops, heritage or heirloom products, and who package items in plants where conventional food is processed. Overall, steps to increase our food safety are good, but it doesn't hurt to be more informed.

Speaking of YUMMO food, that I hope is safe and free of E.Coli and salmonella... We're having corn from the farmer's market tonight. Roasted on the grill with some sea salt and cracked pepper. And, organic chicken and salad. Mmmmm. I love summer. I love corn. Who doesn't? Seriously!

I made the whole family come with me to the St. Paul Farmer's Market this weekend. Super Steve and Super Girl had to wait at the coffee shop while The Kid and I wended our way through the crowd. I have discovered that since its really only MY passion, and they all kind of hate going yo the market with me that I should really go it alone, but I made them come because I want them to love it the same as me. I want Super Steve and The Kid to see the potential of eggplant. All he tends to see is that our fridge is full and he doesn't want to waste anything, so where is it going to go, he wants to know. So practical, yet where is his imagination when it comes to my love of food? The Kid just wants to eat the whole time. He wants a hot dog, an ear of corn, some buffalo jerky. The Farmer's Market makes him hungry, no matter if he already ate.

I promised Super Steve that I would stop when my one bag was full and in that I got 7 ears of corn for 3 dollars, a whole bucket of zucchini, yellow squash, petty pan squash, some lettuce, some smoked string cheese, flowers, baby reds, fresh onions, egg plant, an heirloom tomato, and fresh basil. Mmmm. Basil. That is food for the entire week! We could have picked up local meats too, but the co-op sells them for a little less.

Super Steve and I are on a challenge to improve our health, cook at home, and eat locally, for the month of August! We feel better when we have delicious (and safe) veggies in our bellies.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Life in France

Sigh. If only. I would sell all my worldly possessions to live in France and cook and write cookbooks, if I had any worldly possessions to begin with.

I am totally jazzed to see the Julie & Julia movie starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. I love Julia Child. She led an amazing life and is one of my culinary heroes. I am reading My Life in France right now and it doesn't disappoint. I have been watching a number of Julia's videos and here is one on early cookbooks in the Library of Congress. She sings! Bon Appetit!

I Can't Take A Pass on Poetry

I know, it's everywhere by now, but it's sooooooooo gooooooooooodddddd!!!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

You Can Dance If You Want To

Legendary choreographer and dancer Merce Cunningham has died at 90. Instead of writing on Palin's nonsensical exit interview (which was really entertaining, BTW), I think we should have a little dancing today!

Friday, July 24, 2009

On Wisconsin and Gay Marriage

My home state of Wisconsin, with its cows and its cheese curds and its rolling hills and red barns and Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and its Dells and its beer and its Packers and its two Great Lakes and its circus world museum is bucolic and picturesque as a pastoral postcard. Except when it comes to gay marriage. I should add that Minnesota, where I live now, is picking along at a snail's pace, but improving in the same way. Just this week the city St. Paul progressed and established a domestic partnership registry! YAY!

In 2006 in Wisconsin the gays and their right to marry got voted out in a lesser publicized election than California's 2008 Prop 8. I lived in Wisconsin during that time and voted NO against a constitutional amendment declaring that marriage should be only be between a man and a woman. Obviously. Say No to hate, my sisters and brothers.

To allow voters a vote to legalize discrimination is not only anachronistic, it is appalling at the basest level. We can only be defined by our worst, if discrimination is our route.

As it so happens in many of elections, the wording on the WI 2006 ballot was slightly confusing, and if you were not paying attention and maybe just glancing through, your vote may have gone to the opposite of what you believe. I mean, are we voting yes to allow gay marriage or no that we're against it? No, that was not the way it was worded. It was "Yes" to write discrimination into law and no to allow our gay brothers and sisters the same rights as the heteros among us.

All the bigots came out of the woodwork to defend the so-called "sanctity" of marriage and they won. For now.

Governor Jim Doyle (D) introduced legislation to try to combat this bigotry by establishing a domestic partnership registry in Wisconsin for the 2010-11 budget cycle.

But, now, according the the Wisconsin State Journal, three members of different groups of right-wing, anti-gay zealots who say they are pro-family are fighting this in the Wisconsin State Supreme Court. I linked to the WSJ article, but here it is in full:

Group seeks to kill domestic partnership law
Associated Press

Social conservatives asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court on Thursday to strike down the state’s new domestic partnership law, saying it violates a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

The lawsuit, filed by three members of Wisconsin Family Action, acknowledges the court will not have time to act before the law goes into effect next month but says justices should halt registrations as soon as possible.

Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle signed the law in the state budget last month. Starting Aug. 3, same-sex couples can register with counties to receive dozens of the same legal protections as married couples, including the right to inherit assets, make hospital visits and take medical leave to care for an ill partner.

Wisconsin became the first Midwestern state to enact legal protections for same-sex couples through the Legislature. It also became the first nationwide to allow domestic partnerships despite having a ban on gay marriage and any "substantially similar" relationships.

The lawsuit argues domestic partnerships violate that clause in the constitution, approved by voters in 2006, because they are "virtually identical" to traditional marriages. Wisconsin Family Action led the campaign for the ban and threatened legal action against the law for months.

"This new domestic partnership scheme is precisely the type of marriage imitation that the constitutional amendment approved by Wisconsin voters was intended to prevent," said lawyer Brian Raum of the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal group representing the plaintiffs.

One of the plaintiffs, Wisconsin Family Action President Julaine Appling, called the law "an assault on the people, the state constitution, the democratic process, and the institution of marriage."

The lawsuit notes the steps to register domestic partnerships are similar to obtaining marriage licenses and says same-sex couples will receive "a substantial number of the significant legal rights and obligations historically reserved to married couples."

It names as defendants Doyle and two officials responsible for administering the registry, Department of Health Services Secretary Karen Timberlake and State Registrar of Vital Statistics John Kiesow.

Doyle spokesman Lee Sensenbrenner pledged to vigorously defend the law.

"We’re confident these are, and always have been presented as, just a set of basic legal protections for committed couples," he said.

One hurdle that Wisconsin Family Action members face is proving they have standing to bring the lawsuit. They claim they do because they are harmed by the use of tax dollars to administer the registry.

A memo by the nonpartisan Legislative Council concluded this spring the law should survive a legal challenge because it does not give "comprehensive, core aspects of the legal status of marriage to same-sex couples." Those include the ability to divorce and share marital property.

Another obstacle is that supporters of the ban repeatedly said it was not intended to stop government from providing health, retirement and other benefits to same-sex couples short of marriage. Those statements were a key point in the Legislative Council analysis.

"Legally, it’s clear they have no basis for the lawsuit," said Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, a gay man who sponsored the law. "They simply don’t like a certain group of people."

The lawsuit was filed with the state’s highest court to speed up the outcome by bypassing lower courts. Four of the court’s seven justices would have to agree to hear the case.

Raum said he hoped to have a high-court decision "within a matter of weeks."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

In Which It Is About You

Well, listen. No one is commenting. I realize everyone is busy commenting everywhere else, and that I am guilty of commenting nowhere, but still, I can hear crickets chirping. I can also tell people are reading, but not commenting. I am magic that way.

I bring this up because I like blogging. I have liked it for a long while. Late at night while while I am in my jammies typing away and not a creature is stirring not even my spouse and I am writing and thinking about hot dogs and science and shoes and children and guitars and half finished thoughts and everything else I feel pretty good about the project of the blog, but I become less sure in the light of day when NO ONE IS COMMENTING. My vow to you: I promise to not write about myself in the third person, and I promise that I will try and be funny sometimes, and that I will remain faithful as a blogger. It's my promise to you. If I had a ring I would give it to you. My promise ring. To you. All I ask is that you comment sometimes. Is that really too much?

Initially, I wanted to write about gender, feminism and other fun issues exclusively. But, I think my strength lies in writing what I want to write about. Which is anything I want, really. We've gone over this, so don't break up with me for my repetition. I am going to change things up a little. So we can spice up our relationship. So you're not bored. See, it's about you. Well, and me. It's a reciprocal thing. So, as I announced before I am going to write about more than feminism and gender, but also about cooking and food and eating and movies and The Kid and books and my husband and writing and art and my friends who blog too (but who are clearly too busy to comment over here), and my dog. Because, this is a big change from anything you've experienced from me before, I am changing my name. Don't judge.

Same URL, just a new name. I know you understand. It's better than real life where you have to pay the state to change your name and post a newspaper ad. Here, I can just declare my name changed. So, without further ado....welcome to "Super Mon." Your home away from home where you don't have to take out the trash or anything. Just throw me a crumb once and awhile!

Obama on Health Care

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Misogynist, Bigotted, and Prejudiced much?

I had a piece already to go and then, somehow, I deleted it. It was about a personal experience with misogyny directed right at me. I may re-write it some day, but for now, I want to concentrate on this, which I learned about on Shakesville. Professor Arthur Caplan, PhD, head of the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Bioethics addresses the issue of whether or not Dr. Regina Benjamin is too fat for the job of surgeon general. Yep. Fat. I have heard Art Caplan speak and he is a very smart guy, and I am glad that he is writing publicly about Dr. Benjamin's merits, but why is this even an issue.

Apparently the blogosphere was abuzz yesterday with the fact that Obama's Surgeon General nominee, Dr. Regina Benjamin, isn't skinny enough for them. It doesn't matter that she is the recipient of a MacArthur Genius Grant, or that she runs a clinic to treat the poorest of this country. Apparently, it is her weight that counts. Not the fact that there are 42 million (and growing) uninsured Americans. Not the fact that she was the first African American female physician to sit on the Board of Trustees of the American Medical Association, or that she rebuilt her clinic twice after two hurricanes.

Not only is Regina Benjamin NOT FAT, she is beyond accomplished.

Watch this insane fuckery if you can stomach it. Naturally, it includes images of disembodied fat people walking around and/or stuffing their faces. Because, you know, if you are fat, you should'nt be seen eating.

UPDATE: I keep adding to this post because that guy in the "No Chubbies" shirt who calls Regina Benjamin lazy is possibly one of the most offensive people I have allowed myself to watch in a long time. Bigotry is harmful in all its forms, this is true. And, maybe this item is old news to you, but I can't wrap my head around the fact that the Fox News guy is the reasonable one in this clip.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

15 Book Meme-y Thing-y

NEWS: Coraline is out on DVD. I am sure you already knew this, but if not, please go get it.

And, Have you been to Google Books? I haven't really figured out how to use it yet, but I intend on working on it tonight.

So, Greg tagged me on Facebook yesterday for a 15 books that have "stuck with you" meme. I posted it there, but why not double dip?

After all, I have already been introduced to at least 3 new books just reading Stephanie's list. Which is what I love about this sort of thing. You know, the high school memes and the what you don't know about me memes, they can suck it. The book memes are like little presents of love and happiness. I am not exaggerating either.

You know, since I can't really resist compiling lists of books together, I've been wondering if I don't have a little bit of a sickness when it comes to books. I would love to start some memes with a theme.

I mean I want lists of must read science books from my science-y friends, feminist readings from my feministy friends, critical theory from those people, and so forth. As well as memes for lists of poetica, art, music, fiction, childrens' books, non-fiction, graphic novels, cook books, parenting, and whatever category floats your boat (except religious conversion and auto mechanics--I don't have much of an interest in either of those disciplines).

It's weird, when I go to the library, I don't just check out one or two books, I check out 6 or 10. And, then I make little piles around where I am sitting. I do this with all my reading material. I barricade myself in with literature and magazines. And, that's just me. Whether he was like this before he met me or not, I cannot say, but Super Steve does this too. We are gluttonous checker-outters and our kid is learning our bad habits. Same thing when it comes to buying books-- I have my favorite sites too-- Powell's is brilliant, Amazon makes me giddy, ABE books also makes my heart race, but there is nothing like going to the bookstore and whiling away a couple of hours looking. It's addiction on a big level, but one I don't feel too badly about, unless we are moving. Then, owning so many books becomes a burden and not so much of a joy.

As you might have seen from earlier, similarly themed posts, I feel most at home in the company of other voracious readers and I like to find out what they're reading lists involve. Which is why I also like Good Reads. Lists and lists of books. The Hennepin County Library website is also excellent, but I find you have to absolutely know what you are looking for otherwise you're done for. Well, here are my answers to the meme. I added 7 or 8 more because who can stop at 15?

1. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
2. Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich
3. The Greatest of Marlys! by Lynda Barry
4. Homegrown Democrat by Garrison Keillor
5. Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon Books 1-6
6. Ida by Gertrude Stein
7. Kaddish & Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg
8. Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy
9. The Dubliners by James Joyce
10. The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry, JD McClatchy, ed.
11: Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison, Michel Foucault
12: Lunch Poems, Frank O'Hara
13. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling books 1-7
14.Directed By Desire: The Collected Poems of June Jordan
15. The Alienist by Caleb Carr
16. Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt
17. How to Talk Dirty & Influence People, Lenny Bruce
18. Shock Value, John Waters
19. Franny & Zooey, JD Salinger
20. Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke
21.Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett
22. Feminism is for Everybody, bell hooks
23. Gender Trouble, Judith Butler

Monday, July 20, 2009

WTF Monday

A church in Gainesville, Florida has posted a sign declaring "Islam IS of thy Devile" ("thy" and "e" added by yours truly). Because truly, The Dove World Outreach Center is living up to its moniker of peace, understanding, and outreach right there. I am happy to see that that article includes a healthy resistance by the non-ignorant residents of Gainesville including protesting, tearing the sign down, spray painting, etc. I am no Jesus expert, but I am pretty sure love thy neighbor is the opposite of that effing sign. WTF???!!!

Shakesville has more.

According to CNN Men are staying home with their kids. I think it's awesome that there are stay at home parents-- including dads. "Alternative families" is kind of a loaded term. But, my own family unit is comprised thus. Super Steve (aka Super Big Daddy) goes to school, but is also the person at home the most and has done the most child caring of the Super Kid during the daylight hours for the past six and a half years including full-time summer stay at home dad status.

I think what they are getting at in this article is that having a family is hard, or "a grind" as one of the interviewees puts it and that thankfully, the times have changed and some dads actually spend time with their kids as opposed to previous generations of fathers who didn't. I give this article some small props because at least they used a gay family too and managed to get the message out there that all families are not alike. It [the article] gives me a creepy feeling as though as a society we should not expect dads to be caregivers of their child even though they're interviewing dads who stay home. The stay at home dad who was interviewed said his main objective is to go back to work since being laid off. So this really becomes a story about how the economy sucks and some dads have to stay at home, but the other dads in the story say unequivocally that they would not be able to do it, and/or that they would have to be paid. I don't really like operating out of the binary, but how many moms have been paid over the last millennium? Surely, children benefit from quality time with mom or dad or dad and dad or mom and mom or just mom or just dad, or grandma, guardian, and so on. This article which says "Dads reveal struggle to balance work and family is not a revelation at all." It's giving credit for saying they don't want to do it. WTF???!!!

I have had it with the goddamned Huffington Post and their fucking sexist celebrity sensationalistic fuckery. I go there for a dose of liberal news and one of the most read articles is about celebrity boob tape. Fuckwits abound! WTF????!!!!!

I don't see Huff Po being any better than Brian Kilmeade of Fox News who said Americans are marrying other species and therefore impure or some such bullshit. WTF!!!???!!!

And, finally, Liz Jones, a writer for the Daily Mail chronicled her weight gaining experiment. Jones, a self-described "borderline anorexic" writes a very disturbing piece called "For 40 years I have battled anorexia - so what happened when I had to eat normally for three weeks?"

This is a bit of older news, but worth examining over and over again.

Jones writes: "I certainly don't practise what I preach and am in fact secretly proud that I'm still a size 8, a sample size. I love my concave stomach and I can't help, despite my beliefs, but regard women who are fat, who don't exercise, who gorge on things like Galaxy, as somehow lazy. They just don't try hard enough.

That's the thing about being a borderline anorexic: it makes you feel superior, clean, morally unimpeachable."


Friday, July 17, 2009

"She liked to talk and to sing songs and she liked to change places" --Gertrude Stein, Ida

I am reading a book called The Book That Changed My Life: 71 Writers Celebrate the Books That Matter Most to Them, edited by Roxanne J. Coady & Joy Johannessen. As the title explains this slender book is compiled of (short) essays by well-known writers about one (or more) life-altering books. This is precisely my kind of book. A book with a list of books. Like Nancy Pearl's Book Lust and More Book Lust well-known authors like Dorothy Allison, Dominck Dunne, Frank McCourt, Anne Perry, and many more write in The Book That Changed My Life and tell us of times in their lives when they were in deepest despair and a book literally saved them from their own sense of isolation, loneliness. They also write about the pleasure of reading, of discovery, of learning, of the "come to Jesus moment" a particular book might offer the reader. Literally and figuratively.

In her essay "Saved by Ida-Ida" Harriet Scott Chessman writes of Gertrude Stein's Ida, "I had never read a novel like Ida, so experimental, such a surprisingly giddy ride. Ida's life capitulated me back to my own childhood, when I'd known books really could change the world through the sheer force of imagination." I know what she means. when I first began to study Gertrude Stein in college I was euphoric in my discovery. I had read a poem here and there, "Very fine is my valentine" but then I read everything she wrote, and I learned about her life, and I was star struck for this dead, squat, somewhat ego-maniacal Jewish, lesbian, ex-pat, friend to Picasso and Matisse, friend to Alfred Steiglitz. I was hooked. Forever. Stein is what I read if I am stuck in my own writing, I keep her anthology close by and I just pick a page and read and the repetition of her words often (not always) act as some sort of stimulant. There are recordings of her reading her work. Old, scratchy, and just fine. Stein remains an enigma to me even though I know a lot about her. It's her writing. Her genius writing keeps me in awe-inspired.

There are so many books that changed me and my life for better or worse. I wish I could write long, slavering love letters to all of their authors. I guess I am already, in a way. But, for the sake of space, I will stick with just one.

Harriet the Spy by Louis Fitzhugh. Oh, this book! This was the book that inspired me to be a writer and a girl spy. Both things I have achieved with aplomb. Blogging is very useful this way. It kills two birds with one stone. Harriet, as a character, was brilliant. She wore her orange hoodie and her canvas sneakers and carried her notebook everywhere, and was sassy and smarter than her parents, her teachers, and, she thought, her friends. Harriet, hiding in the dumbwaiter is an image, indelibly implanted in my brain. I have written all these years because of Fitzhugh's Harriet. And, have sometimes gotten myself in a spot of trouble just like Harriet for not having the ability to know who should see what. Lots and lots of people have written on this book, but that doesn't make it any less powerful for me.(See the entire interwebs).

Harriet was an antithesis to the social convention that girls should aspire to only be ladies and never spies. The illustrations are fantastic and add to Harriet's adventures in New York's Upper East Side. Heartbreakingly, Louise Fitzhugh died of a brain aneurysm at age 46 and thus has a very small oeuvre to offer as her legacy.

Harriet speaks to girls and boys who need to be themselves, who have unintentionally (or on purpose) hurt their friends, and need forgiveness, and those who are misunderstood by their family and their classmates.

Harriet reminds us that it is never easy to just be yourself, , as she says "I want to remember everything. And I want to know everything." Like Stein's Ida, Fitzhugh's Harriet, in her own way, liked to "talk, to sing, and she liked to change places." Harriet says to Ole Golly, "I want to remember everything. And I want to know everything!" I know how she feels.

I have misplaced my copy of Harriet the Spy, but as my birthday is weeks away, I have faith that someone will know what to do.

To me, reading, whether for pleasure or pain, is like breathing. As cliche as it is, it is like breathing. The sensory experience of the book, especially a library book, with that smell, the heft of the paper, maybe cream-or egg shell in color, the feel of the type on the page, the history of the typesetting, the plastic cover protector, is real-life magic.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hot Dogs, Organs, and Harry, Oh my!

We had Chicago Dogs last night at Chris and Rob's Chicago Taste Authority. They were yummo. A hot dog with veggies and peppers. Perf. We will be returning Tues. Jul 21 for some Chicago dogs for a nickle.

The real news of the night had to be that we saw Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. I may have mentioned that I am a fan of the books, once or 400 times. Not sure. At any rate, suffice it to say that I consider the movies their own operation entirely. BUT, when you leave out or gloss over integral parts of the plot people who have not read the books may have a hard time GETTING IT. I say this because afterward, Super Steve turned to me and plaintively said, "Yeah, but did you LIKE any of it?"

Yes! Of course! I just wouldn't mind it if... well, you'll see.

We saw HP at The Heights theater in Columbia Heights, which neighbors Minneapolis on the North side of things. The Heights is a gorgeous theater with a Wurlitzer organ. It is fancy. The organ was being played last night, the art deco chandeliers were throwing prisms against the walls, there was a general excitement in the air. It's what movie watching ought to be.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

In Which I Confess An Unnatural Love

I used to write a food blog in which I hardly ever wrote about food. I mean, sure, meals I had made it into my stories about work and my family, but it wasn't really all about food which is what I intended it to be when I started blogging in 2005. That's fine. I mean, we're not married to one idea around here, are we? But, when I felt the luster wearing off that blog coupled with the desire to write more about feminist issues, and other high-minded pursuits I decided on the Survival of the Feminist route with occasional contributions elsewhere.

But then, I started this blog, and immediately questioned myself as to what I was doing. I like writing personal stories, and while I might include some social commentary, writing all social commentary is just not my schtick. I need the personal to be motivated, engaged, and entertained. I feel I write my best when I am writing about my kiddo or Super Mon's husband, Super Steve, and/or food, poems, art, music, friends, life, and even (gasp!) work. When I read something it's the personal that grabs my attention. Well, why can't there be both? I mean, this is totally oversharing, but I have these incredibly difficult decisions to make, and I need your help. Food or Feminism? Personal or Political? Doesn't seem like there needs to be a choice there, does it?

In any event, as much as I care about Sotomayor's confirmation hearings (she is kicking ass, BTW. Did you hear that Senator Fuckery (R-Oklahoma) say she would have some "'splainin' to do" when he was trying to get her to opine on gun control???) and the flogging of women in the Sudan for wearing pants, I really want to write about hot dogs today.

I have a secret confession: I love a good hot dog. The all beef kind, hopefully grass fed, with little-to-no scary bits, topped with A LOT OF STUFF. But, those are hard to get when you're out and about. You can find them at the co-op for about $7 for 8 dogs, but then you have to get all the fixings too. Plain with mustard and onions on a poppy seed-y bun is my favorite low-maintenance way. But, I love a good chili dog with relish, chili, onions, cheese, sour cream. In other words: Heart. Failure. Now, I have to say, just because I love the hot dog doesn't mean I eat them that much, even the grass-fed all beef ones are processed to the point that it's questionable to call it meat. Hebrew National is an excellent lower-cost dog, and Nathan's hot dogs are probably my favorite all time dog. Ever. I like flavor. Not the watery, gray, left to soak in water, or over-roasted on a spit like they have at Target.

Some Hot Dog News of Note:

July 21 is National Hot Dog Day! Go to Chris & Rob's Chicago Taste Authority on Tuesday for a nickle Chicago dog or two when you buy something else. Chris and Robs is my close-to-my-house favorite

Here is the link to the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council

The Weinery is a local favorite. It's right down the street from where I work on the West Bank in Minneapolis and has vegetarian and vegan dogs as well as Vienna beef. Their fries are amazing! I haven't been there in years and years. Last time I was there with Super Steve, there were some flies buzzing around because they had had their back door open. And, that skeeved me out for a long while. But, I think I am willing to try it again.

Serious Eats, my favorite foodie blog, has this to say about America's Regional Hot Dog Styles.
There isn't a hot dog on this list that I wouldn't try, but I am partial to the Chicago dog myself. That slaw dog looks AMAZING.

And, then there is Kramarczuk's (Ka-MAR-checks). Perogies, brats, eastern European salads, and sausages to die for. Arguably, the king of sausage sellers in Minneapolis.

Who's up for a hot dog on National Hot Dog Day??

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Circus of the Stars: Flashback, Flash Forward

Remember Circus of the Stars when Erik Estrada or poor Dana Plato would do tricks in super-tight tights? Well, I do. And no one did it better than Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter, as introduced by Telly Sevalis.

There's a lot going on here. There is another clip of Lynda having knives thrown at her. It's disturbing. In that video she's in a very tight costume with a plume of butt feathers so she looks like a giant barbie/bird. She stands against a wall with her arms up in a fuck me pose, and then some knives land near her exposed armpit, next to her breast.

I was reminded of Circus of the Stars today when I was thinking of our friend Sarah Palin, for some reason. Could be the circus-like nature of her character. She could have crossed my mind because I read an incomprehensible editorial she wrote in the Washington Post where she claims Obama's cap and trade energy tax will be the downfall of American economics. She doesn't seem to understand what it means to curb our energy use. Conor Clarke, in Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish as it appears in The Atlantic, sums it up nicely, here.

Or/and, it could be that I am still astounded that anyone, anywhere, is taking what she has to say seriously when she continuously, and without fail, gets it wrong each and every time.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday, Monday

Confirmation hearings of Judge Sonia Sotomayor are underway. I am listening on Minnesota Public Radio. There was an anti-abortion protester escorted out after yelling about genocide. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said Sostomayor would be confirmed unless she had a "melt-down."

Obama nominates Dr. Regina Benjamin as the new U.S. Surgeon General.

Neil Patrick Harris to host the Emmys! I don't really care about the Emmys! But, NPH is excellent!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Super Mon, the Strange

Hypothetically speaking, if I wanted to move on from my job, for instance, where would I go? Due the spectacular state of our economy, there is nothing to move on to. No great call for communicator positions with great benefits and job security.

Hypothetically, let's say I have tried 6 ways from Sunday to feel grateful about having a job in these tough times. Let's say that during these hypothetical moments I spend a good deal of time chiding myself every time the dark cloud of ingratitude floats above my scowling face. It seems I am an exemplary employee. I have buckled down, chinned (?) up, boot straps pulled, stayed late to just get it done, meet the deadline with class, and sass. I do a good job and move on to the next assignment. Tomorrow is another day, right? So, when I have to deal with a particularly irksome email from my hypothetical boss, I should just be a big girl, answer it, and get busy, right?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Holy Crap! Sarah Palin Quits!

Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska, former candidate for Vice President, has quit her job as governor of that state. Wow.

She is leaving in 3 weeks. 1 and a half years early.

She said it's "she is keeping her eye on the ball" and that it's "time to pass the ball."

I had a hard time following what she was talking about. I need to re-watch the video. Wow.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

News and More News

This week in the news:

India decriminalizes Gay Sex!

also reports on this.

A video of a man being harassed at Minneapolis PRIDE has received a lot of attention. MPR reports on the responses.

Camp Pendleton Sailor who was gay found dead on base

Algerian singer on trial for allegedly kidnapping and forcing his ex-girlfriend to have an abortion

American Medical Association finds abstinence only sex-ed ineffective

White House Advisor on Violence Against Women

Read the Executive Order for the Council on Women and Girls here

WWII Female Pilots Receive Recognition Long Over Due

One of my favorite features in the NY Times is the Times Traveler. Looking back at historical moments. In 1909 112 Suffragettes were arrested when they raided The House of Parliament in London.

UPDATE: The NY Times Time Machine is only available if you subscribe to the paper (rotters!) but, your library might have access to their archives

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Al Franken is the Senator from Minnesota

YES!!!!!!! As a Minnesota resident all I can say is it's about effing time!!!!

Al Franken is the Senator!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Michael Jackson

Friday, June 26, 2009

Billie Jean is Not My Lover or Friday Feminist Super Hero: Michael Jackson Edition

I naming Michael Jackson as today's Survival of the Feminist Friday Super Hero! You might think it's a stretch, but I don't. I think he fucked with conceptions of gender, broke racial barriers, he entertained us, and worked to end AIDs and starvation in Africa, and doing it in sparkling socks with revolutionary dance moves. He saw the world's problems as our problems and he did something about it when he conceptualized "We Are the World."

His music has stood the test of time for me much in the way Prince's music has. It's still relevant and FUN!!! I was entertained by him. I was, like so many others my age, drawn to his sparkle, his crotch-grabbing, hotter than hot dance moves. He was a one gloved, military jacket and skinny pants sporting, kicking it in his penny loafers pop singer. He was the curly-headed everything!!!And, his songs were the greatest of their time, maybe of anytime in the history of pop music. He was the King of Pop. He gets center-stage today because I am very moved by the suddenness of how he died, and I feel a lot of compassion for his children, his family, his friends, and for him.

In 1982 I was a 12 year-old kid in the middle of rural Wisconsin with some birthday money and a record player and Thriller is what I bought. What I played over and over and over again, much to my father's chagrin. I danced his dances, and I moonwalked (badly)all over the basement. Other music has had a great impact on me for sure, but this was my first album, and boy was it a doosey. The energy, the music, the poppiness of it. Wow.

Michael Jackson was to Generation X, what the Beatles were for our parents. He transformed us.

He was also human, and in the public's view he did a lot of weird stuff, stuff we don't understand, stuff that may have harmed others....children. We don't know the reality of his life. I'm not suggesting guilt or innocence, but I do know he brought a certain kind of joy to my life and broke down racial barriers for entertainers to come. That is what I appreciate about Michael Jackson, and how I will remember him. has some pretty smart takes on the impact Michael has had on our society, and, in turn what that society has done to him.

We Are the World


Thursday, June 25, 2009

RIP Michael Jackson

Buffy v. Edward

I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I love every second of every episode of it, except the last episode because it was the last. I have been reluctant to jump on the Twilight/ True Blood vampire-virgin extravaganza that has swept the country. A friend loaned me all the Twilight books so I would know what the big dealio is. I am not against reading these books, but I have some pre-judgment. Mostly it comes with being indoctrinated by Buffy that vampires are bad. And, virginity is underrated. Anyway, here is a great Buffy smackdown of Edward Cullen by Rebellious Pixels for your ultimate enjoyment. I will read Twilight, and I am sure I will find them entertaining, but Buffy will forever remain in my heart as "The Chosen One."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Where have you been Marky Mark?

So, how about that governor of South Carolina? What's his name? Mark Sanford. Right, he's against gay marriage because it's an abomination or some other fucking hypocritical moralizing made-up bullshit based on his so-called religious values, but disappearing to Argentina so he can fuck someone he is not married to is just a "mistake?" WTF?! Asshole. That is all the time I am spending on him because he is yet another politician with a "conservative mind and a liberal penis" as Jon Stewart so eloquently put it on The Daily Show last night. And, seriously, when is America going to stop voting in these cheating, lying, lying cheaters into office? When, America, WHEN? They only talk about their faith so you will vote for them. DON'T YOU GET IT????? O.K. I am done. For now.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Governor Mark Sanford's Affair
Daily Show
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Political HumorJason Jones in Iran

UPDATE: Farah Fawcett has passed away.

The Supreme Court has done something right. The Arizona teen who was strip-searched in her school for allegedly having ibuprofen has been vindicated partially. Notably, Justice Clarence Thomas (our favorite) was the only judge who dissented when 8 other SCOTUS justices deemed this action illegal, saying (and I am paraphrasing) the school had the right [to strip search] and that she wouldn't be the first person to hide drugs (!) in her underwear.

In a dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas found the search legal and said the court previously had given school officials "considerable leeway" under the Fourth Amendment in school settings.

Officials had searched the girl's backpack and found nothing, Thomas said. "It was eminently reasonable to conclude the backpack was empty because Redding was secreting the pills in a place she thought no one would look," Thomas said.

Clarence Thomas! How is this OK??? At all.There were no ibuprofen found on her person, or in her underwear. She was 13 years old at the time. 13!!! The court also ruled the school couldn't be sued for this gross violation. With my hero, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justices John Paul Stevens dissenting from the portion of the ruling saying that Wilson could not be held financially liable.

From Huffington Post: Justices John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented from the portion of the ruling saying that Wilson could not be held financially liable. "Wilson's treatment of Redding was abusive and it was not reasonable for him to believe that the law permitted it," Ginsburg said.

The case is Safford Unified School District v. April Redding, 08-479.

Well, like Governor Sanford, I have also been a little bit absent. But only from this blog and not from my spouse. I am confidant when asked of my whereabouts that my mate would know where I was. Well, mostly. He did call me to talk about a record during my doctor's appointment this morning. But, in his defense it's one he has been looking for for a long time. Night of the Living Dead on vinyl. Hello. This is important.

Where have I been? I've been doing summer-type things with my husband-o and my kidd-o for the last week and a half and haven't really sat down to blog about anything including the illustrious Governor from South Carolina, the Iranian revolution, Obama's Health Care Plan, DOMA, DADT, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, GAY PRIDE, or anything else. I have been eating, working, vacationing, reading, writing, and tending to my sick dog. (He has lymes, and ear infection, and a slammed-in-the-door-tail--OUCHIE!!!)