Whenever I talk to my retired parental units and they note their recent purchases of collectibles, consumables, necessaries, and tchotchkas, I always ask, regardless of what the purchase is: is it made in the US? My bargain loving mother, who I tease about her budding hoarder tendencies, always gets rather quiet when she confesses that she doesn't know. Sometimes our conversations disseminate into bickering matches, because, despite our serious political differences and my parents accusations that I am a “bleeding heart liberal” (with my passionate response that I'm neither liberal nor conservative), I am and always will be confounded by the fact that many political conservatives and die-hard patriots, like my parents and siblings, do not know and most of the time never bother to ask where their goods are made. After a recent conversation where my father noted that I may have converted my younger brother into buying American-- and demanding US made goods whenever and wherever possible-- I asked my parents why the simple question-- where is this made-- is something their hippy daughter has to ask them. In light of my patriotic upbringing-- my father a proud Veteran and member of the Military Vehicles Preservation Association, my brothers and I often participating in Memorial Day and July 4th parades in a Command Car named after me-- I am a firm believer that aside from serving your country, as a soldier or civil servant, buying American is the single most important thing you can do. When voting seems completely pointless, buying American is the way to really get your voice heard.
Friday, May 24, 2013
Friday, April 26, 2013
I don't consider myself a rabid Rob Zombie fan. I could not stomach House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects fell completely flat for me. In fact the movie was like a box of popcorn-- eaten and easily forgotten. But, I did like his take on Halloween. In fact, in my college composition courses, I teach monsters as a theme and it is often a film I suggest for students for their final paper, in a long line of suggestions but I find some of the concepts interesting. I have, however, been a fan of his music for years. I've liked his style.... but now I'm wondering about his style, the concepts and what his message might be. ... I'm a college instructor. I am an analytical person by nature. I cannot read a story, watch a movie or a tv show without looking at deeper meanings. It's like breathing when it's part of your profession. There are times I try to turn it off-- especially when I get into bickering matches with friends and loved ones over the idea of "just enjoying" the film, show, book, et cetera and so forth.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
I’ve been on the hunt for brown bread for almost 20 years, ever since a trip to Ireland and a delicious bowl of traditional Irish stew and a slab of rich brown bread. It was nutty, sweet with bitter notes and a sour tang. I’ve not been able to recreate it, until now. I’ve tried traditional brown bread recipes but wasn’t able to come close to that particular brown bread. I’ve tried beer based recipes, some good some not so pleasant to the palette of someone who doesn’t like beer. I stopped trying for a time and tried just about every kind of bread you can make at home, with and without starters. I’ve tried kneading and not kneading. I’ve had successes that could not be duplicated simply because I didn’t write down some key ingredients and had some epic failures.
Sunday, April 14, 2013
So what to do?
I hope you're reading this as a preventative, because if you're not prepared ahead of time, there's not much to do other than use common sense and take your baby to see the doctor. I would NOT try many of the home remedies that tell you to feed your cat HUMAN anti-diarrheal medications like Pepto Bismol. I saw this on a veterinary website. Pepto and its storebrand counterparts contain Salicylate, aspirin essentially, is TOXIC TO CATS and should NOT be given to them under any circumstances. On the same site, for a vet in NJ, they recommended giving a blend of hamburger meat and rice. Beef is another no-no and can often upset kitty's tummy further.
So...what to do?