Sunday, February 18, 2018

Presidents Day


When I was a child growing up in Detroit, Lincoln's birthday was a holiday and George Washington's birthday was another holiday and since they were born in the same month, Congress finally decided that everyone was enjoying themselves too much and they combined the two and tossed in every other president and, ta da, Presidents Day.

We have had some very good presidents and a few real stinkers and a few who were SOBs and a few who were womanizers or bigots or noble or power hungry or just plain crazy (I'm looking at you Donald "Fake News" Trump).  This weekend we celebrate them all!

The best way I can think of to celebrate is by taking advantage of some mighty good sales but I am trying to be frugal so unless I buy a new mattress, there will be no sales being taken advantage of by moi.  I have my annual wellness exam, a/k/a my yearly lube and oil, and a few hours later, I have my eyeball wellness visit where they dilate my pupils and I walk out with those shifty, weird, ugly roll-up sunglasses inside my glasses.  No one bothers you when you opt to wear these things.

Afterward, I will treat myself to a nice lunch at some fancy place like Chipotle.  As I walk home from Chipotle, I will think about how glad I am that 13 Russian oligarchs were indicted and how our president thinks he is safe from prosecution.  I will think about Robert Mueller and wish him well with his investigation.  I will think about my coworkers who tell me, "Stop saying 'They have to build a case.'"  And I say, "They do have to build a case and that takes time. "  God bless America.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The horror!

It snowed.  A lot.  Long story short, this is what it looked like out the window at about five p.m. this evening.

I could tell you about my crazy Friday or other crazies but, hey, this is much better.



Sunday, February 4, 2018

Dinner is served!

A couple of weeks ago I was delighted to accompany family to the Women's March to the Polls and from there our personal march to the Art Institute of Chicago.  We saw things and I threw my attention to paintings of food.

As long as it's not going bad and getting fuzzy and rancid while you're painting it, food is as good a model as a landscape, probably better.  It rains outside, some cow insists on moving in and bringing her gal pals, that tree decides to just rot and fall over.  Food just sits there like it's waiting for you to bring a fork and tuck in, or pluck some feathers, fire up the oven, cook it up, and voila, it's Sunday dinner.  So the feast for my eyes was food, glorious food.









Sunday, January 28, 2018

I'm not a cook; I'm down with it

I can't follow a recipe.  It's not that it's too difficult to follow or that I can't read or anything like that. I simply don't have the patience to follow a recipe, especially if there are many steps, there is the involvement of a lot of time, and there's a long list of ingredients.  I make a very good turkey at Thanksgiving because there is just one ingredient which is the turkey itself.  I baste but that's turkey juices.  I make a very good veggie stew that I actually made up which can be converted into a fancier veggie meal which actually preceded the veggie stew.  The stew is made up of maybe five ingredients.

My late mom made the most delicious cottage cheese pancakes ever in the world.  They were light but filling and were served with a dot of grape jelly on each one.  I never had the patience to learn how to make them which made me a feel a little regret but then it perhaps was not meant to be.  I've never known anyone who made pancakes like this.

And then I bought some Bisquick.

Growing up, ours was not a Bisquick home.  My parents were from Poland and food was made from scratch and not from scratch with the help a melange of boxed ingredients.  My mom could really throw down some tasty dishes that were a combo of Jewish, Polish, and American recipes that came from her own mind and experiences.  Her ribs were like nothing made by anyone anywhere combined with out-of-this-world red cabbage made with mystery and a side of kasha.  She doctored the bejeezus out of Open Pit barbecue sauce and baked those ribs for hours.  I tell you, those were heaven falling from the bone.  She made potato pancakes and potato pudding and matzo brei and French toast that spoiled me for any other French toast ever.  I never heard of Bisquick until I graduated from college.

My post-college roommates were all from Bisquick households.  I learned a recipe for quick strawberry shortcake from those women that we could all expand or split as needed.  Within an hour, you were serving Bisquick strawberry shortcake to your boyfriend or the people in the cast of the show you were in or to your roommates and their male friends (who wanted to be their boyfriends but, well, you know).  Everyone liked it.  I moved away from them and Bisquick never came up again.

A few weeks ago I was in the store and saw Bisquick.  I decided I would make regular pancakes using the simple-to-follow recipe on the box.  I did it!  I made them!  They tasted pretty bad but I did it!  I still pined for cottage cheese pancakes but one step at a time.

A couple of weeks after the acquisition of the mix, I went to the internet and Googled "Bisquick Cottage Cheese Pancakes."  Boom!  There it was.  A recipe that would make two medium-sized pancakes.  That was plenty especially if they were nasty.  The ingredients:  1/4 cup Bisquick, 1 egg, 1/2 cup cottage cheese.  Hey, even I could maybe do it.

I mixed.  I put batter into the pan.  I turned it as instructed.  I put on a little grape jelly on each one.  I tasted.

They were delicious and I was reminded of home.  They were not perfect but for someone who is not a cook, they were excellent.  The right number of ingredients and the internet and a little patience from me made something I'd been craving for a long time.  Am I now satisfied?  Hardly because those things were good enough to have again ... and soon!  Next time I am going to attempt to separate an egg and beat the white before I add it to the ingredients.  I don't expect that to go particularly well -- imagine lots of bits of eggshell in the white -- but what the hell, it might be wonderful.  As my mom used to say (although she denied it), "You don't try, you don't go to jail."

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Women's March to the Polls

On the first anniversary of Donald Trump's unfortunate inauguration and the Women's March came the Women's March to the Polls.  Last year 250,000 women and appreciators of women marched from Grant Park to Federal Plaza. This year, 300,000 women and appreciators turned out and it was a beautiful day!  It was a mid-winter day that had temperatures in the upper 40s.  I couldn't attend last year -- I'd just moved -- so I was glad to have a voice in the proceedings.

People do NOT appreciate Donald Trump and neither do I and people were very happy to express themselves.  Yeah, I took pictures.






This lady apologized for the misspelling in the sign but said she decided to just go with it.  You go, girl!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

No more billionaires, thanks

The present governor of Illinois is a billionaire.  On the Dem side, the seeming-frontrunner or the guy who has spent the most on commercials is a billionaire.  The millionaire (maybe billionaire) member of a stinking wealthy family with lots of political ties and family political experience wants to be governor.  Why?

The present governor of Illinois doesn't know how to make a deal with anyone.  He just wants to be the man in charge who when he says jump, everyone does so.  It just doesn't happen that way in politics, especially in Illinois.  He thinks every one should jump for him is because he is a billionaire whose campaign was funded in part by the wealthiest man in Illinois who is, guess what, a billionaire.  Now he can spend his money however he wants and has done some good, giving a lot of money to his alma mater and giving the City of Chicago money to improve its bike trail.  The present governor of Illinois still doesn't have a clue and that's why he should be cut off.

The present governor had an TV ad a few weeks ago that said that he has a plan.  What?  To get people to jump when he says so?  How's that worked so far?  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

His latest ad attacks the seeming-frontrunner other billionaire by broadcasting a conversation he had with ex-governor and current prison inmate, Rod Blagojevich.  Rod's droning on and on, thinking he's a kingmaker and it honestly sounds like the seeming-frontrunner isn't really listening, like he's agreeing just so he can maybe get off the phone and have some pie or even chips and dip.  Then it says we should vote for the present governor.

My head about snapped off my neck.

The first thing that has to happen is a primary.  In the primary, people will twirls off to the polls and vote for whom they think should be governor.  GOP Senator Jeanne Ives of Wheaton is circulating petitions to get on the primary ballot.  You don't spend money attacking someone who may or may not be your opponent after a primary.  You either save your money until you have an opponent and then attack that person or you spend as little dough as possible, maybe just saying that's you're still there and please swing back and tick my name.  This is also the time when hardcore Dems like me do protest voting.  If you hate Rauner and you're comfy with Dems doing right without your vote, you vote for his opponent.  In this case, there are too many Democrats and that race will need my attention.

The second thing that happens is we all have to go vote in the primary.  Line up, it's your civic responsibility.  You're lucky enough to live in a democracy; go take advantage of that.

On Friday, I saw an ad that said something like "Vote for Biss.  The Middle-Class Democrat for Governor."  WHAT?

Thank god in heaven, Daniel Biss is not just middle-class but he is smart!  His wife is smart!  They live in Evanston and he has solid Illinois political experience.  He was in the Illinois House for one term and is presently a State Senator, represently the 9th Illinois district.  When I saw his ad, I was stunned.  I told my coworker who lives in Evanston and he said, "Yeah, he's a good guy."

So all y'all billionaires are on notice that there's a new person of the people on TV and he really is a person of the people and just a regular guy.  A very smart guy, to be sure, but not a rich guy with more money than the gods.

Please check this out.  Maybe you'll like him, too: https://www.danielbiss.com


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Frozen, non-Disney edition

See this here lake?  This picture was one week ago.  The lake is frozen near the shore.  I looked out the window to see if it was windy because waves tell me yay or nay.  Of course there were no waves as there was ice.  When I got out there it was sunny but windy and damp so it felt much colder than it had yesterday when it was really cold.  Mid-January thaw will be here by next weekend and then it will be over and will get cold again.  We don't live in Chicago because of the weather, now, do we? No, we do not.

The sun was setting, the lake was not yet freezing.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Do you have A LOT of extra yarn?



I recently tried to crochet something and it was the simplest thing I've ever attempted.  It was so simple -- just one stitch -- that I finished it.  Shall I share now that it looked like the dog's dinner? My tension was all off so it was all kinked up.  I took it to show my niece and sister as if their laying eyes on it would unkink and untwist it.  They suggested that I just undo it and start afresh.  After thinking about it for three days, last night I undid the whole thing and made a rather large ball of yarn.

I was in no mood to start the project afresh so I went to the interwebs and read the NY Times, a favorite method of murdering time.  There was a brief article with animals news of 2017, including donkeys who went to jail for four days in India and white giraffes.  At the bottom was an article about people who crochet blankets for elephants when the weather turns cold and baby rhinos whose mothers have been killed by poachers.  Those are big ass rhino throws which go on to be bedding the rhinos -- something soft in which to get comfy to sleep. But they are needed so if you have many extra balls of yarn and don't mind making ginormous objects that are about eight times normal size, get busy and help a baby rhino.  Or make many smaller throws and sew 'em together.  They don't have to be pretty!  Or maybe just make a scarf and give it to a homeless person.  "I hope you can use it," you can say, and then rush off.

Wow, you are so nice, much nicer than me.

Happy new year!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

VACATION!

When you don't get it together in time to plan a trip, I suggest a movie with a friend, emptying boxes from your move, and to finish watching the six seasons of "Game of Thrones" that you'd not seen (Season 7 makes much better sense with the knowledge of what went before) and then Season 7 to keep it all together.

Happy vacation to me!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Horndogs in the Hollywood, the White House, the Senate

With the revelation that, bottom line, Harvey Weinstein is a frigging horndog who likes to show his penis and, shall we say, insinuate his penis into lady parts that didn't want his penis there, comes the revelation that Louis C.K. is a horndog, Senator Al Franken has had his day in the horndog sun, Senator-Wanna-Be Roy Moore liked to date young women of ages 14 to 18 when he was a working attorney in his thirties, and Kevin Spacey has been known to grope boys and very young men, comes a big fat headache because the Horndog-and-Hypocrite-in-Chief is the worst offender of all and gets off without repercussions.  And one wonders if young men are paying attention or just paying attention to what they want to see.  And one further hopes that the day of the casting couch is indeed over.  And that the Horndog-in-Chief will have to pay for his hypocrisies.

Young men, no means NO.  Are you psychic?  If you are, get a storefront and set up shop and leave women alone.  "She wanted it."  No, she didn't want it.  She said, "No."  This is why you've not set up shop as a psychic, isn't it?  Older men!  Plez, bitches, keep it in your pants.  Are you married or in a committed relationship?  Either end the relationship or keep it in your pants.  Are you 18 or over and is he/she not yet 18?  Your pants?  Keep it tucked away.  If he/she is under 18 and is saying yes, yes, yes, and you're 18 or over, you say, "If you still feel the same on your 18th birthday, call me up."  You have to be the grownup.  Think of it as one of the things you have to do as an adult, like paying taxes, voting, serving on juries, getting an annual flu shot, and saying no to sex with underage individuals.

I feel bad for the Democrats because of Senator Franken (and I include myself among those for whom I feel bad), but at least he didn't deny it, he apologized, she accepted and said she didn't want him to resign, he called for an Ethics investigation into himself and his actions, and no one else has stepped forward and said they'd also been assaulted. Small consolation, huh?  And he was just touchy and Mr. Tongue.

Men!  Your pants need to be kept zipped with your penises stored beneath the underwear in front of you.  You don't have to be a horndog.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Flooded beaches

So even though it rained 4.5 inches in Chicago last weekend and the Riverwalk flooded -- first time ever -- the Foster and Montrose Beaches are beautifully clear of debris and water, just in time for winter.  Even though it's been a rollercoaster ride of weather -- warm, warm days that just aren't right -- for me, they're indicative of our current political clime and I am not hating it.  It takes my mind off the chicanery, the high jinks, the lies, the idiocy coming out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  The weather's not right and neither is this presidency.

What did they do with the water and why couldn't they do it in summer?



Sunday, October 15, 2017

1st Amendment

OMG OMG OMG and WTF?  NBC News reported some news which is to say they gave a truthful account of something that Donald Trump did and he used his favorite Method of Bile Distribution which is Twitter.  He said that NBC's license should be pulled because they were reporting fake news about his desire to increase the nuclear arsenal tenfold (which I believe it's what cause Rex Tillerson to call Trump a "fucking moron").  Later when the press came to cover a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, he said, "It's frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write and people should look into it."  When he was asked if he favored limits on what the media can say, he replied, "No.  The press should speak more honestly."

Let's split that into two points.  People did look into the press writing whatever they want.  Those people were the Founding Fathers and it was important enough to them that they made this the first thing (after the preamble, natch).

Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

In other words, asshats like me can write about what we think of events of the day.  I express my opinion and I get out.  I urge people to vote.  I urge people to just think about my point of view.  I do research to know my facts are pretty solid.  Then it's over for a week.  Who do I have thank for this?  Those sweet Founding Fathers of ours, a/k/a the Framers of the Constitution.  Thanks, guys!  If you came to this world today you'd shit your collective pants but because of you, I can say how you might shit your pants if you came to this world today.

Because of those guys, I can say that Mike Ditka is very probably insane, stupid, concussed one too many times, or a combo of all three, because he said there had been no oppression in this country for the past 100 years.  Yeah, the Negro League of Baseball was there because there was no oppression and everyone could play ball nice together.  The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., organized a massive march for Civil Rights because there was no oppression. In 1939, when African-American contralto Marian Anderson was barred from singing at Constitution Hall in Washington because it was owned by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and those wacky gals put whites-only into the contracts at the time, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt immediately resigned from the DAR.  NAACP Executive Secretary Walter White suggested a concert on public land and so Harold Ickes, the Secretary of the Interior, built a stage onto the front steps of the Lincoln Memorial and introduced Ms. Anderson to a desegregated crowd of 75,000.  One of the most celebrated of opera stars sang for 25 minutes, starting with "My Country, 'Tis of Thee."  When he introduced her, Harold Ickes said, "In this great auditorium under the sky, all of us are free.  Genius, like justice, is blind.  Genius draws no color lines." Hey, Mike, does this sound strangely like there was oppression to you?

So thanks again, Founding Fathers, for that swell first amendment, the freedom of speech, assembly, religion, and the press.  And thanks, too, to Gold Star dad Khizr Khan, who offered to give Donald Trump his copy of the Constitution.  What a shame Trump didn't take him up on the offer.

As to the press being honest, liars don't know what the truth is because their lives have been so firmly run by lies and falsehoods that the only truth they know is whatever lie they're peddling of late.  Yo, Trumpy?  Feel the heats?  Yer pants are on fire.

Monday, October 9, 2017

What happened to Sunday

I went to Ikea, Costco, Joann, Lands' End, all in the suburbs.  I left at 9:30; I returned at 5.  I was bushed, I assure you, and I was in no mood to think about blogging and then I forgot about that, too.

See you on Sunday.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Not a surprise, really

The Chicago Bears were summarily handed their asses by the Green Bay Packers.  A personal message to Mr. Mike Glennon:  How can we miss you if you won't go away?

Attention Bears owners!  Cheap ass, dumb, and seemingly apolitical as you are, wouldn't it be a good idea to grab Mr. Colin Kaepernick, he of "The Knee," and make him QB?  He took the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl.  Mike Glennon can rarely get the ball to move 5 yards into the end zone.  And think of the attention you'll get!  It can be a rest-of-season-plus-post-season contract -- he's not working so it could be a bargain and I know you love a bargain -- and then renegotiate next year if things go well.  Otherwise, hey, one and done; no harm, no foul.

Just sayin'.