Ice, Ice Baby

September 28, 2007 at 6:43 PM | Posted in Journal | 3 Comments
  I don’t know if I told this story yet or not.  The crisp Fall air reminds me that soon it will be winter.  Soon, the cold shall set upon us.. . .The comfort of the cold dry air. 

  It was back in about nineteen and 86 or 87.  I was delivering for Domino’s Pizza.  It was January, I reckon.  A cold rain turned to ice, and left everything looking like a glazed donut.  It was very slick, and very dangerous. 
  So of course all the assholes ordered pizza. 
  It had warmed up to where the salted streets were clear, but sidewalks and driveways were ideal places to dislocate a hip.
  I had a delivery in Castle Point, a big neighborhood of tiny houses.  It was a mixed neighborhood, and crappy.  Now, twenty years later, it’s all black and crappy.  Forty years ago, it was all white and crappy. . .. Thusly, have I digressed.
  I get to the house, and I have to walk up the driveway.  The woman is standing behind the storm door, waiting, watching.  I proceed carefully up the driveway, picking my footing.  Suddenly, I slip.
  I fall down hard, legs up in the air, flat on my back, after bouncing hard on my shoulder against the car in the driveway.
  The pizzas, safe in their insulated bag, did a triple half gainer and landed on the ground next to me.
  I didn’t see the woman’s face when I fell, but I can imagine it.  She’s thinking lawsuit, insurance, and Oh, my God!
  I get up slowly, limping on my shoulder.  Shut up.  I pick the hot bag up and expertly flip it over, and slowly make my way to the door. 
  She has her hand over her mouth to display astonishment.  She says to me, "Are you okay?"
  My concern was more about the pizzas.  Was she going to refuse them?  I wouldn’t get tipped or paid, and may have to come back out with free ones.  This was going to be a shitty night.
  I said in answer, "Well, let’s look at the pizzas," as if to say, *how I feel will be determined by whether or not you take the pies.*
   So as I open the box and we look at them just as her husband walks up behind her.  He has no idea what has transpired, just that we are looking at the pies.
  We look at the pizza, we look at each other.  A hand tossed crust pepperoni pizza is a remarkable achievement in human engineering.  The thing is tough.  It looked perfect.  They should tile the space shuttle with these things.
  The woman says, "It looks fine–"
  And her husband says, "They look burnt."
  We both turn and glare at him.  He adds quickly, "But we’ll take them."


So, How’s It Goin?

September 28, 2007 at 6:40 PM | Posted in Journal | 1 Comment
  How are you supposed to answer that, huh?  "How’s it going?"  Do you really want to know, or are you just being polite?
  Because if I understood the context in which it was asked, I would be better prepared to offer up an answer to this interrogation you’re putting me through.  Get that light of my face, dammit!
  So, how’s going, *really*?–Expressed with a look of concern and thoughtfulness, and for a brief moment, your corporate predisposition of superficial interest and defensive ADD pulls back, and I see you as a real person, deserving of interest and a dose of the real me, instead of the traditional flippant response I am prone to invoke?  Is that it?  You really want to know?
  Well, my health is good.  I’m regaining my voice after having bronchitis.  I have money problems.  Not the most serious of my problems at the moment, but it does exacerbate the deeper ones.
  I got schooled by my older daughter about my relationship with my other kids, and it made me feel like shit.  I really did not intend to become an absentee father….
  But it happened.
  Now I have to repair the relationship with my little girl before it’s too late, and see if there is anything I can salvage with my son.
  You know, when he was little. .. .well, he was the apple of my eye, I swear to God.  Even as he got older, besides the fact that I love him, I liked him.  He’s a good kid.  Smart, sensitive, creative.
  Of course, he’s also moody and distant.  I swear I don’t know if that comes from his mother or me.
  It could be me.
  It’s all about the car, really.  The car is a flippin metaphor for our relationship now.  It’s broken.  I worked on it and gave up.  He liked it when it worked, but never came to have a look at it when it was broke down.  And, as usual, his sister steps in and tries to fix things, and let’s face it–she’s no mechanic.
  But she means well.

  I had resigned myself to the fact, long ago (Over a year ago–and Christ on a pogo stick in a funny clown outfit, it *was* a long, long time ago.  Measured in experience rather than temporal passage, it was a lifetime ago.) that not only would I not be with my wife (ex-wife now), which was for the better, but I probably wouldn’t be with my kids as much, if at all. 
  But all the rest–the kids, the older kids, the grandkids– the entire family………….
  It’s a big chunk of my life now gone.
  The older kids, especially Melissa, tell me their favorite cliches of late:  "Even when you were there, you weren’t there," and–what’s the other one?  I might not have been paying attention.
  Oh, yeah–"I don’t even know who you are anymore–"  Watch soap operas much, do ya?  Geez.
  But she was right about a couple of things, and I am man enough to admit that. I do need to make things better with the kids, if I can.  And I shouldn’t be afraid to call them, just for fear of talking to my ex.
  The hell of it is, lately she’s been the most lucid and understanding of the bunch.  Contemplate that for a moment.  Tne Storm–every where she goes is anger and misunderstanding leading to rage.  She has been the easiest one to talk to.  How did that happen…..?  I’m, glad, I guess, that she’s  
  I don’t know what the word is.  But this should tell me it’s okay to call and talk.  I just don’t know what to do about my son.  The car is first, obviously.  Taking care of school is next.  I’m going to have to do things for him, not only to try to "win him back," but also simply because he’s my son.
  I came up with a solution, almost Malthusian in its finality, but not nearly as painless.  And I’m sure it will lead to further hardship in the future.  Breaking into my piggy bank–
  But on the whole, I actually feel better.  Nothing has been resolved in the slightest, not really.  But I feel that I am at least. .. on track?  I have a direction to go.  I was wandering rudderless in an ocean of thick maple syrup.  Not able to sail, and not willing to jump overboard.  My Sargasso sea of syrup has–
  "What?  Yeah?"
  "You know, I didn’t *really* want to hear about your freaky life.  I was just making conversation.  I gotta go."

  And there I stand, at the copier.  Alone again, naturally.

Again, Dangerous Visions

September 24, 2007 at 11:52 PM | Posted in Personal | 1 Comment
  I wanted to change my blog:  the layout, the look, the overall *feel* of it.  I had a rough idea–very rough–of that which I desired.  However, implementing that vision seemed a formidable task.
  I found….
  I found what I was looking for, plus a little more.

  I have never been…wait.  Never say never.  Okay, I developed an appreciation for art perhaps a little later in life than you might think.  After all, I am an artist….of sorts.
  Actually, I’m not.  I’ve tried to be.  I’ve wanted, hoped, wished to be.  I have *yearned* to be….But thusly, ever it is not to be.  If anything, I’d like to be considered a "writer."  Or a writer/comedian.  Or a writer/comedian/gigolo.  I think that fits.  That’s going to be my new business card.
  I discovered The Impressionists a few years ago when they were touring the art museums.  Actually, it was just their works; turns out, most of these clowns have been dead for a while.  But I liked the artwork.  I *appreciated* it, just like you’re supposed to.
  An artist not represented, whose work I have also liked, is Salvidor Dali.  You know the name, you should be familiar with some of his stuff.  The melting clocks, the bizarre landscapes.  I’m not going to go into a whole big thing about his work.  Let’s just say that when I was perusing an online gallery of his work last night…..
  It spoke to me.  It really, really *worked* for me.  It–I don’t know.  I got it, I got him.  His bizarre, abstract bullshit.  His quirky mix of humanistic and spiritual.  Of natural and unnatural.  Of many a dichotomy thrown together in a seemingly half-hazard fashion on the surface; looking deeper, there is meaning, and substance, and heart.
  And one thing I noticed, which is why I feel like I "get" him, is I noticed some things in his work, specifically in the titles of his work.  His titles are as creative and inventive and quirky as the works themselves.  And. . .many times he will return to the same topic, the same title, and do it again.  A different take on the same topic.  A different view of a similar image, similar thought.
  I get that.
  I showed Detroit a few images, and she liked them.  She didn’t have the same desire to submerse herself in them as I did; this was a personal revelation.  But she did like the works, and helped me narrow my selection.

  The picture I actually wanted for the front of my blog is Quixote, the pencil drawing by Picasso.  But, a) it’s Picasso, not Dali; and 2) it’s fairly well known, and I wanted something more obscure that still gets the point across.  I’m not going to *explain* the title piece, called "The Ship."  It means something different to you than to me anyway.  The background, the new background?  It’s called, "Metamorphosis of Narcissus," circa 1937.  It’s a piece of work, I tell ya.  It speaks to me.  The background on the computer is now "Landscape of Port Lligat with Homely Angels and Fisherman," 1950.  Don’t freak out, Detroit.  And the background on my comedy blog is "Cabaret Scene," 1922.
  I’m not like this all the time, you know.  When I’m around people, I’m friendly and outgoing–a real people person.  It’s only when I’m alone and I have time to think that I get all deep and introspective.
  I guess you could say I’m a closet introvert.


September 22, 2007 at 12:28 PM | Posted in Personal | 3 Comments
  I sat back and took a good look at myself, and the epiphany I had was that I have been way to introspective lately.
  Sounds funny, doesn’t it?  My thought is basically that I’ve been thinking too much.
  I read over past blog articles, and I noticed a trend of where I spill my thoughts, pour my heart out, blah blah blah.  And then later, come back and do it again, slightly differently…
  But the point is, once I do it on a certain topic, or feeling, or whathaveyou, I should be done with that, right?  Well, to be fair, I have been through a lot in the last year.  But no excuses.  I’ve been introspective, I’ve thought about it, I’ve had *feelings*, and I should have come to some level of resolve or absolution.
  And I have.

  I mean, I think I have.  Kinda.
  Thinking is one of the most inexpensive past times you have.  Unless you keep coming up with stupid ideas that are expensive to implement but go ahead and do them anyway.  Barring that, it’s a relatively cheap form of entertainment.
  But I’ve been actively thinking about my problems, and trying to come up with a solution, or solution*s* to them.  I feel like it’s within my grasp.. . .
  And then other things come along that make me want to rake the sand and start over.
  I’ve been riding to work with Bunny–my friend Kim.  We have been friends for a long, long time.  Longer, in fact, than any of my childhood friendships have lasted.  You think it’s forever, but your teen years are only so long….
  I’ve known her since ’91 or ’92.  At least 15 years, then.  I have worked for her, numerous times, and she for me.  We have done things for each other than no one else would or could at times.  I hold some of her secrets, and she holds mine.
  I remember when she was going through a particular thing that I can’t talk about, and she said she had always looked to me for moral guidance, a standard.
  Yeah, I know.  I had the same stunned look on my face.  Mayhaps I was at one time, not sure if I am now.  And that’s the point of my reflection:  how far off the path have I gone?  Do I have it in me to regain it? 
  Go back and read in my archives last year, sometime between May and September, "Faith of Our Fathers."  The story of Samson, from the Bible, returns to haunt me yet again.  How moral do I have to be?  How moral can I be?  The barbed wire fence that helped contain me before was "For the Children."  But they aren’t around me alot anymore.  I can be good when my daughter is here. . .but other than that, how good do I have to be?
  My friend Kim seems to be on a higher moral plane–a higher spiritual path–than I am currently.  I’ve never been exceptionally spiritual, but I’ve had my moments, and I do believe.
  The bottom line I think I may be trying to meander to in a vague sort of way is, do I think I may ever return to church?
  I’ve always maintained that I still believe, and I still have my testimony.  But I have shied away from participating, partly from my guilty conscious and partly for concern about Kim (my girlfriend.)
  Or fiance now, as is fit and proper.  After we are married, all legal and everything, I could return to church sans quite a load of personal baggage, although it seems to matter to me less now.  She wouldn’t have to go if she didn’t wanna, and she has stated that yeah, she don’ wanna.  I’m probably as okay with that as she would be with me going back. . .
  To be clear, I wouldn’t be going back to church over guilt.  No, really.  It’s more of a . . ..ugh, God, I don’t know.  A longing?  Kind of like the feeling when you need a cigarette, you know?  You’re not sure what the craving is, but when you light up, everything is better.

  And some of my personal habits are not that enlightening, and over all I just feel like I am on the wrong side of the moral yellow brick road.  The thought that occurred to me (yes, Detroit, these thoughts do occur to me) was that this hobby/career that I am attempting is definitely a less-than-holy endeavor.  Comedy, and the lifestyle related to it–show biz, night clubs, alcohol, loose women (if I’m lucky), and questionable morals–are not going to Draw Me Nearer My God To Thee.
  My own material is offensive as hell.  Now, I do want to "mainstream" it a bit. .. if I can.  And for moral reasons, but for saleability.  I do know that what I have done so far on stage would not meet the prudish approval of my ex.  That is not the yardstick by which I wish to be measured, however.
  There is a balance.  I guess what I am questioning is my own integrity.  Do I have any left?  Did I ever?  Can I go this far, and no further?  How far is far?  How high is too high?  More importantly, I suppose:  How low is too low?

Don’t Taze Me, Bro–

September 22, 2007 at 12:09 PM | Posted in Personal | Leave a comment
  I like my job.  I really do.  I mean, I don’t like it alot, I don’t love it.  I like it.
  I like the hours–bankers hours, paid holidays, more PTO than a white man should have.
  I like the environment–in an office, hot and cold running babes.
  I like the pay–I probably make four bucks an hour more than what I’m worth.
  I like the other benefits–401k, matching, stock plan, company parties, free coffee….
  And I don’t want to lose my job.  I find this out a little late, I guess.  I work in the banking industry, specifically in the mortgage arena, and we have seen a downturn in the market.  It didn’t dawn on me when I first took this position that it is seasonal.  But yeah, it is.  People generally try to buy in the summer, and move before school starts.
  I see my job as the bottom rung in terms of importance to the big picture.  What I do can most easily be described as data entry.  I take the loan documents and scan them into the computer, so that people can access the information anywhere.  An electronic file system.
  Kim, my friend who got me the job, says the job is important, because they don’t want to go back to paper filing.  Before, if someone needed a file, it would take three people working full time three days to find it.  And that was just a few years ago–four, I think.  Right before the system was implemented.
  So there is that.  But a memo was just handed down, explaining that, essentially, they would be looking for excuses to get rid of people, so watch your ass.  Now when I see the big boss on the floor, I feel like he’s trolling….

  There have been a few occasions where I was stressed out over my job.  The time with the belligerent employee, for one.  And the time when I was alone on the floor, and not getting much done, and wondering if everyone forgot about me.  Made me really wonder if I had any value…?
  And so, I have become just another employee, just another drone.  Arrggh.  For better or worse, I fit in.  Ugh.  And I fear losing it.  But how much do I fear it?
  Well, I like the hours and benefits.
  If I got fired, I’d have to get another job with benefits.  Not sure if I could get the hours…So that would suck.  What would happen to my blossoming comedy career?
  Would I end up as a restaurant manager again?  I guess that is my nightmare.
  Or something else entirely?  Uh.. that might be scarier.  I don’t want to lose the house.  I don’t even need to make alot of money, really, but I need to make *decent* money.
  It’s always about the dough, now, i’n’t?  My friend Kim is driven by a desire to succeed, and while she is not overly materialistic, she measures success in dollars.
  But she does have success in that she has five great kids, doing well and raising them right.
  I’ve never been "success"-oriented, or money oriented, although I feel I am more materialistic than her.  When I think of the things I want, they are mostly things–tangible, material things.
  I don’t know.  It’s not like I don’t know what I want.. . .I just wonder now if what I want is the right thing.

Physical Graffitti

September 17, 2007 at 11:47 AM | Posted in Journal | 2 Comments
  The title I wanted to go with was "Sick Again," but I may have used it already.  And I wanted you to get the reference to Led Zeppelin, because it’s the last song (I believe) on the album Physical Graffiti.
  Which is the greatest album of all time ever made.  If you disagree, it’s because you haven’t heard it or you like rap.  In any event, you’re wrong and I’m right.

  And Physical Graffiti may be more oddly appropriate because yeah, I am sick again.
  It’s pissing me off, alot.  I used to be impervious, I rarely got sick.  Even the allergy thing, I’d get it, blow snot for awhile, and be done.  It seems like ever since I started working at the bank, in an office environment, I get sick about twice a year, like clock work.  Except maybe more like a calendar.
  Now, back in the spring of–what is this, 07?–so the spring of 06, I got a bad sinus infection while my son got pneumonia.  That’s where my thought process came from.  Because last fall I got pneumonia.   This spring I got an infection again.  And here I am again with freakin bronchitis.  Fucking lungs.
  I missed work on Friday because, never mind going to work, I just couldn’t envision getting up and shaving.  Saturday I slept all day, then went in to the restaurant. Luckily, we were slow.  I petered out after about three and half hours, and had everyone else do the work.
  Sunday I woke up fine.  I thought, "Oh, I must be getting better–"
  By 1230, I needed a nap and a handful of drugs, and not in that order.  I took three advil–because I’m a sissy for pain, a mucinex, two couch suppressants because the mucinex works too good, and a benedryl so I could stay asleep once I fell asleep.  I would really liked to have had a tylenol with codeine. . . .
  But I need one even more now.  I pulled a goddamn muscle in my chest or my stomach or my spleen–or whatever the hell it is–from coughing.  It hurts like a bitch to cough, and I have to cough to get the stuff out.
  You want to torture the terrorist?  Bring them to the Midwest to "enjoy" the weather and the allergies.

  So I drive Detroit to work this morning so I can have the truck (Being down to one vehicle  is as fun as I remember it being when I was young.  Everything we do is like when I was 20:  No kids, cars barely run, no money. . . ) and then I go to the doctor.  I see Robin, the tall blond chick.  I mean doctor.  She listened to my sad, pathetic story, then used her stethoscope to listen to my sad, pathetic lungs, all the while nodding understandingly.
  Finally, her diagnosis:  "Wow, dude, you’re really fucked."
  Well, that wasn’t her exact phrasing. 
  She gave me a script for a z-pak, and prednisone.  Gave me some samples of allegra, and a sample of a nasal spray.  "Before we try any hardcore shit, let’s give this a try."  Again, paraphrasing.  But that is the gist of it.
  I have bad allergies in the spring and in the fall.  I need to treat those symptoms as early as I can, before it turns bad.  Like start taking something in the middle of August before the Fall atrocities begin, and probably late February, early March before the Spring Cavalcade of horrors steps in. 
  Otherwise, they’ll have to operate.  Remove my sinuses?  "Yes, and the best way to do that is to remove the entire head.  Solves alot of other problems, too."

  I’ve been having alot of bizarre dreams and hallucinations lately.  Have I told you that?

Addendum:  Feeling alot better, it’s night time, about to crash for the evening.  Just wanted to add a thought for all of you so willing to hop on the "everybody deserves healthcare" bandwagon.  I called my doctor this morning, and I got in this morning.  And I pay for that service.  If I don’t want to pay, I can hop a bus down to the clinic and wait around for several hours.  When my ex was pregnant with our son, that’s what we did.  (Well, we didn’t hop a bus.  I had a car.)  We would arrive at the clinic at 8 am and generally be seen about 3pm, but it was almost always the same day.  But that is where you go when you are poor and can’t afford it.  That is fucking life.
The statistics you hear about people who don’t have health insurance are mostly bullshit.  Most of the people who don’t have it actually have the option to get it, but opt out because they are young and healthy.  Admittedly, some people legitimately don’t have it or can’t afford it.  My ex is now one of them, but my kids are covered.  But as it stands now, everyone has access to the emergency room and clinics, even illegal aliens.  The poor in this country are better off than all but the richest in the rest of the world.  Sadly, the normal state of affairs for humanity throughout history is poverty. 
But for God’s sake, you can’t save the world for everyone.  Most people in other countries that have socialized medicine acknowledge that we have a better system.  Perfect?  No.  But nothing is.  You can vote yourselves bread and circuses–and that’s how lots of people get elected–but sooner or later, someone has to pay the piper.

Barbie Dream House

September 11, 2007 at 4:36 PM | Posted in Journal | 2 Comments
I had a dream……..
I was on my way home, to my new home.  It was in Venedy, the old town I lived in.  The street was Downing (which doesn’t exist in that town), and the address was 165.  The house was on a corner, facing this house that I had played in when I was a kid, when the house had stood empty and abandoned.
And my house was a duplex, now.  165 Downing, apartment 43.  But it had been apartment 25, but that was scratched out, changed.  The driveway was steep.  I could get in with my truck, but I worried that my girlfriend was going to have to park on the street.  And it wasn’t that steep a minute ago.
I looked around.  The yard was weird.  It seemed as though, instead of grass, there was some sort of woven netting laid down, which kept the grass from growing.  It went around the trees, right up to the trunks. 
I was getting the oddest feeling, like the house was haunted.  Was it something I had heard about it?  I went to the back porch, and the porch went over an opening to the basement, creating sort  of a deck, and hidden cellar kind of space.  In the basement opening, there was an outhouse.  Rickety, old, full of holes, about to fall apart.
  Above it, on the porch, was this thing hanging.  A cage, I guess?  hard to describe.  like an iron maiden, big enough for one person, and it looked like a person in it.  On closer inspection, it was actually just a decoration, like for Halloween.
I went back to the front yard, and there were some kids there, and a teenager.  From what I had gathered, the previous people who had lived here were always the life of the party:  friendly, outgoing, knew everyone in the neighborhood, and always had people over, always involved in people’s lives.  They looked wistfully at me, hoping for some confirmation that even now that I was living there, their life would not change, the party would go on, or whatever.  That’s when I woke up, which is the equivalent of leaving.  I am not going to be dragged into their little–

Baked Potato Soup

September 11, 2007 at 4:32 PM | Posted in Food and drink | 1 Comment
Tags: ,
Ah, look, you know–The other entry…..I do mean it, but take it in the vein in which it is offered.  Of course, it’s up to you to figure out what that is.  I’m not here to baby sit your ass.  On to other matters:
Baked Potato Soup

I was never a big fan of soup before.. .until I tried baked potato soup at a restaurant a few years ago.  Since then, I’ve wanted to make it on my own, make it good.  Make the best.
Many of the women I work with here in the office are great cooks, so I talked to them, and I also looked at recipes online.  I took what I liked from about 9 different recipes, then worked it, tweaked it, messed it up, kept trying–
And this is what I got.  I think this is the version I’m going to stick with.
A note about the portions:  Yeah, this does make a lot of soup.  It’s supposed to.  You’re supposed to make enough soup to have a meal one night, left overs for a couple of nights, and bring some in to work to have people try, so you can gloat and lord it over them.  Otherwise, where’s the fun?  Geez?  After about 5 days, you probably want to throw out whatever is left.  If it’s good, there won’t be any left.  That’s how you tell.
Alot of these creamy soup recipes start with boiling milk, but after scorching the bottom of the pot a couple of times, I said piss on it.
Remembering some of the noodle packages I like, they say boil milk AND water.  That’ll keep it from scorching.  Now I’m cooking with gas.  Really.

Of course, this didn’t keep me from scorching the butter in the bottom of the pan.  I just walked away to go to bathroom, I swear!  I come back, and the kitchen is full of smoke!  Luckily, I had taken the battery out of the smoke detector.  I turned the fan on, started getting the smoke sucked out.  Detroit came in, coughed and gagged, and opened a window.  She is smart.
So, I cleaned the pot out, started over.  I brought baked potatoes home the night before from the restaurant–we save alot of them to make potato skins with, but for the most part, we just throw them out.
So, while I had the butter melting on LOW heat, I pulled out the other stuff and got started.  I cut the potatoes in half, and then used an ice cream scoop to gut them.
The potato flakes thicken the sauce better than adding the cheeese and sour cream of previous incarnations, with fewer calories.  So go ahead and add them as a topping.
1 stick of real butter
6 cups of water
1 pint of half and half
1 can of chicken stock
12 large baked potatoes  
1 cup of instant potatoes
2 teaspoon garlic salt
2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon basil
2 teaspoon dill weed
I’m a gonna do some modding here on the recipe.  Add either two more cups of water, or another can of chicken stock, and cut the potato flakes down to 1/2 a cup.  And cut the black pepper down to 1 teaspoon, or 1 1/2 at the most.  What happens is, it gets too thick, and it’s no longer soup.  Also, after the first day, the pepper really comes out, like enough to make your forehead sweat. 
Note:  Make sure you use baked potatoes.  You can bake them the day before, even, and refrigerate them.  Easier to scoop than a hot baked potato–I’m not big on the pain.
When I bake them, it is usually wrapped in foil at 425 for 45 minutes to an hour.  When they soften up–when you can squeeze them and they give a little–they are done.  Don’t overthink it.  These are just potatoes.

In a stock pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over high heat. Then, after you scorch the pan and burn the butter, clean it out and start over, and melt the butter on low heat.  Add water, chicken stock, and half and half.  Bring to boil.  While waiting for it to boil, cut potatoes in half, scoop out in chunks, place in a bowl. 
NOTE:  Attack the bowl with a knife, cutting the potatoes into small pieces.
When water, stock, and dairy begin to boil, add potatoes and spices.  I generally let it come to a boil on low heat, so I have time to gut the bakers.  Stir occasionally until it boils again, then add potato flakes, mix.  Make sure you pour way more than a cup of potato flakes into the measuring cup, so it overflows and goes all over the counter.  Just leave it there, so your girlfriend can clean it up later.  You’ve been doing the cooking, and she feels left out, so leave some cleaning for her.  She’ll appreciate it.  Trust me.  Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat.  Top with choice of cheese, sour cream, bacon bits, and chives, and serve.
I had originally used sour cream and cheese to thicken the sauce, without much success.  I read a few other recipes, and one of them mentioned the potato flakes, and a light just went off.  This thickens up nicely, without adding calories or fat–so go ahead and add as much as you want as a topping.  
By the way, I think the dill really makes it.

Rant And Reflection

September 11, 2007 at 4:28 PM | Posted in Notes on Society | Leave a comment
  On this day, this anniversary of September 11th–I was wondering how I felt about it all.  What does it mean?  What does it mean to me?  What am I going to do about it?

  It has awakened me politically, for one thing.  Maybe this has had a polarizing affect, but that’s not my fault.  I see some stupid things happen on both sides of the aisle, but God Almighty, the Left, the Liberals in the country are completely insane.  You see all the evidence before you, but you have already drawn your conclusions, so therefore you twist the evidence to support your beliefs.  Furthermore, the most credible with whom you disagree, you just call them an out-and-out liar.
  [You are so quick to label Bush "evil" and "stupid"–so if you can admit there is evil in the world, how can you not look upon the terrorist, extremist, hateful thugs, and call them what they are?  Misunderstand the world much?  Fucking idiots.]
  I want to say "How stupid do you think I am?" but sadly, most people are stupid, most people believe what they read and hear on the news, take it at face value, without considering the source.  This is how the communists took over Russia.  "Repeat a lie often enough, and it becomes the truth–"
  Like Rosie O’Donnell, and Charlie Sheen, repeating the lies, bullshit, and misinformation about 9-11.  Like they are experts.  Puh-lease.  I mean, honestly.  They are a credible source?  Are you fucking high?
  Well, you might be.  Most people who latch onto conspiracy theories–despite overwhelming evidence–have paranoid delusions right on par with your average hide-in-the-basement, living-with-mom, can’t-exactly-get-a-good-job stoner.  Please, don’t even bother to comment with your 9-11 conspiracy "truth."  It’s all bullshit.  Where you have opinion and theory and "feeling," I have hard facts that handily dismiss all your crap.  What you have is called "true believer syndrome," usually found in members of cults.  Come to think of it, that’s what it is.  Get deprogrammed already.  Jim Jones is dead.
  Look, I know we aren’t a perfect country.  But we’re a damn sight better than most of the others, and it would be better planet without 90% of the Middle-fucking-East–my opinion.  The end of the world, the apocalypse–Armageddon–is coming fast, and it will come from that part of the world.  And Armegeddon sick of it.
  Speaking of which–

  It has given some purpose to my spirituality.
  I believe in God.  And in Jesus.  And I have come around to the idea that, if so, then some of this other stuff is true as well.  Religious or not, there is going to be some kind of end-of-the-world thing.  Even if we don’t all die, but society is merely blasted back to the iron age (probably a step up for Afghanistan, big chunks of Pakistan, rural India, the Mongol area of Russia, most of Africa, large sections of Persia and the Middle East. . . not to mention some US urban areas like East St Louis, or parts of Detroit or Harlem.  Can you say "Blight"?) it will still be the end of civilization as we know it.  It might be for the best. .  ..
  But millions will die.  It won’t be pretty, not at all.  It scares me pissless.  When?  Next year?  Two years?  Ten?  Fifty?  The only thing left is faith–
  I’m not a good example of a good follower, a keeper of the faith.  I say this to my own shame, and so that I don’t have some self-righteous ass-clown come up and say it for me.  I know who I am, what I am, and where I stand. . . you know, more or less.  Or I’m deluding myself.  Either way–
  This is a religious war.  They have made it so.  *They have made it.*  For you to NOT get that means that you can look right at the chalkboard, see the problem laid out, line by line, and not be able to finish the bottom part, where it says "2+2=  "

  It has made me wonder at the stupidity and complete irrationality of the human mind..
  Socialism and secularism is destroying this country.  It’s not sheik to be patriotic, wave a flag, or believe that this is a good country.  We are a bad country, and we must change.  We must be like the former Soviet Union.  Some of the tenants of socialism are to oppress all religious expression, expand "humanism," and use the media to propagandize.  Google "1963 Communist goals."  Read it.  Then put a checkmark next to how many of them have already happened in this country.  Frightening.  There are people and organizations–the liberal media, hard-left wingers, who want this to be a Socialist country.  It’s never worked, anywhere it;s been tried, without completely oppressing everyone.  And yet they still try.
  FDR fucked up when he used it as a model for rebuilding Europe after WWII.  Europe, sadly, is crumbling from within.  Some there see it–
  Read my story:  "Whatever happened to Mesopotamia?"  It’s here on my blog somewhere.

  It has given me a clarity of which side I am on, and what I believe.
  You think it’s over?  You think if we just pull out, they’ll back off?  You think they want the same things we want, and if we appease them, things will be okay?  Remember Chamberlain?
  I want you to be scared, because I want you to be ready.  Look up Glenn Beck, and "A Perfect Day."  If it doesn’t make you pissed or scared or both. . .
  Then you are already dead.

Oh, By The Way

September 9, 2007 at 6:47 PM | Posted in Notes on Society | 2 Comments
I’m thinkin it’s time for a new look to the blog.  I’m not sayin I don’t like what I have–
Detroit did this one for me, and I like it, but it’s time for a change.  Plus, I can actually get on the PC now and perhaps do something.

But most importantly, don’t forget:  September 19th is the "Official" Talk Like A Pirate Day.  That’s right, maties.  Go look it up.  Google it, or whatever the hell it is you people out there do.

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