Tuesday, July 17, 2007
1) Order a bag of partially baked baguettes from your favorite local bakery.
2) Take them home and put them in the freezer.
3) Every morning, finish baking a baguette in your oven.
What could possibly be better than warm, amazing bread in the morning?
In the world of things less important than baguettes, apparently we now have a reason* to fight global climate change.
*assuming my reaction to poison ivy is similar to my reaction to poison oak...which ain't pretty.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
List what you and your significant other did before a certain time in the morning on your own blog.
I begrudgingly woke up at 8, very confused due to furniture rearrangement the night before, and being in my own bed for the first time for 5 days! By some miracle, I managed to get my robe on, feed the obnoxious cat (Leo's cute, but not so much when all I want is sleep), and hop in the shower. By an even greater miracle, I was able to turn on the water and apply shampoo, conditioner, and soap, hopefully to the correct parts of the body in the correct order, but one must never expect too much out of a person before 9 am. I seem to smell allright and my hair is still in, so I couldn't have screwed up too badly. I got out, dried off, and dressed. Then came the part of my morning that I always hope to fix, but never get to...wanting coffee and food but being too late. So instead, in my dangerous non-caffeinated state, I hopped on my bike for my ten minute commute, got to work, clocked in, put on an apron, and dashed to the espresso machine. And so the ungodly hour of nine came, and I was somehow expected to be a productive member of the workforce.
As for the SO, he's accross the world right now, so I can't say for certain, but he claims to actually be getting up at 7 am. I don't believe it, so I'm waiting for confirmation. But normally his routine is comprised of rolling over, mumbling when woken up, and going back to sleep. I sure do pick 'em well.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Apparently the former senator shares my disgust for his party:
Most reasonable people will disagree with our current homophobic policies regarding gays serving in the military. Gravel goes a bit further...
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Anyway, the point is, we've all got our "big stuff" to think about. It seems to come out at times of great stress, and it happens on many levels...the pesonal, the community, the political, etc. And at times like these, when it seems that half of the news is about Iran, and there are murmurs of the threat of a new war around the corner, it's time to start asking ourselves the big questions about Iran. Luckily, we've got the New York Post to do it for us.
ps...No, I'm not clever enough to think of the word "ahmadinejacket." Apparently it's really in use.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
Now I've got a break, the weathers beautiful so I'm back to cycling a ton, and I admit I'm a little bit bummed because I missed out on a great camping chance (I swear, the one night in about a year that I was asleep at 8:30pm, and I get an email invite...just my luck), but I figure I'll take it real easy this weekend...it's certainly quiet enough around here. And, I had a birthday recently, and despite it being in the middle of a big testing period here, I got together a bunch of my best friends and had a nice meal out. So my mood is generally good.
This is enough to let down any sort of good mood:
WILLITS -- It's the first stoplight north of San Francisco on 101. Willits is a quaint valley town of about 5,000 that some people say has a secret poisoned heart. Residents here have a wide range of health complaints:
"I've been nothing but sick," says 43-year-old Deanna Deaton. "I have bronchial problems all the time. I have neurological problems. I have tremors which I can't control."
"It's unbelievable. I've had 13 surgeries on my female organs and then a total hysterectomy when I was 28 years old," explains Melissa Anasatasiou, 32. "My daughter had her first surgery on her female organs when she was fifteen."
33-year-old resident David French developed a rare, often fatal blood disease: "Being exposed to the chromium and the burning of chemicals and the dumping in the creeks around there … I feel without a doubt that's what caused me to get sick."
Many people blame their illnesses on chemical toxins from the now-closed Remco chrome-plating plant in the middle of town. But despite lawsuits, angry meetings and expert panel recommendations, what's making the people in Willits sick remains unknown and, some say, intentionally hidden.
"We don't know for sure, because they haven't been studied," says Dr. Robert Harrison, an expert panel chairman in Willits. "They haven't had examinations or been provided with the kinds of medical services we recommended."
Court documents in a new lawsuit reveal decades of pollution dating from the sixties contaminating the air, the soil and the groundwater in Willits. The creeks flowing near what once was the busiest plating plant west of the Mississippi took the brunt of the toxic waste.
"When we were children, we'd play in the creeks all around Remco and around the schools," remembers resident Julie Johnson.
Baechtel Grove School, the town's middle school with 400 students, sits 40 feet from plant property. Court records show more then 30 years of pollution may have contaminated generations of children. One boy abruptly died several years ago, his parents say, after he drank creek water.
"I'm disgusted now, that they knew this was going on for so many years, and nobody was ever told," says 57-year-old resident Margaret Dryden.
Scientists have known for 50 years that hexavalent chromium used in plating causes cancer. But federal regulators resisted stringent workplace standards until just last year. Remco did massive defense work on missiles and submarine and cannon parts.
In court records, the company's own insurance carrier claimed the contamination was widespread and criminal. The contamination included not just chromium, but also solvents and toxins created by burning chemicals.
"My husband worked there for 18 years and he died a terrible death," says Gwendolyn Underhill, a 76-year-old resident who still lives in Willits. "He bled through the pores of his skin. Just bled, bled, bled."
Judy Cartwright-Gully says respiratory failure almost killed her two decades ago. She grew up a block from the plant in an area where state experts estimate high levels of toxics drifted through the air daily.
She says her mother died of cancer, as did her husband. Her son is now sick: "He just turned 40 years old and his father died when he was 43. It really bothers me he's going in the same path."
Deanna cleland says she had cancer and a hysterectomy at age 30. She lived for years right next door to the plant and says both her children have been sick almost from birth.
"I brough them home to the house on Franklin Street believing it was safe," says Cleland. "Your home is supposed to be safe. It wasn't."
Consider one idyllic street about a hundred yards from the Remco plant, on West Oak Avenue. It's what residents call "cancer alley." There have been 21 cases of cancer just on this block. It's where Patricia and Marvin Brannon have lived for the last 29 years.
"Why should you have to be sorry about that?" ask 78-year-old cancer patient and grandmother Brannon. "Why should you feel guilty that you let your grandchildren play in that creek where the water turned orange and the fish died?"
The Brannons say their three generations of cancer, reproductive problems and other abnormalities baffle their doctors.
"The best answer they ever told me was it was an 'environmental anomaly,'" says Marvin Brannon. "[That] was the word they used. I don't know what that means; it means they don't know."
Court records indicate toxins spilled and spewed from the plant for decades. Other court documents allege some workers intentionally dumped them in a nearby local pond and at many other spots around the county. The plant had the best jobs in town. Most workers kept quiet.
"There's people sick and dying in this town, and it's going to continue for a long time to come," says former plant employee Brad McCartney, whose body is riddled with tumors.
At a town meeting last June, Willits' leading doctor downplayed health risks, quoting a state report.
"It estimates that chrome exposure might cause at the most 13 additional lung cancers among the residents living near Remco," hospital Chief of Staff Dr. Mills Matheson explained at the meeting.
Matheson declined to speak to KTVU, but said smoking is a greater lung cancer risk than Remco chromium and that medical monitoring for lung cancer would do more harm than good: "In the largest screening program that's ever been done, the people who were screened died sooner than the people who weren't screened."
Plus, Willits' city manager Ross Walker says city officials struck a deal with the plant. The agreement recently made front page news in Willits because it gives up any claim for future medical monitoring.
"The city's been in the thick of this since we sued the company in 1996," says Walker.
UCSF occupational health specialist Dr. Robert Harrison chaired a panel of experts looking at the Willits case. It concluded that ongoing medical help for residents is crucial.
"Those health effects may not be noticed for 20 or 30 years, even after the plant has closed," says Harrison
But many in Willits say most people here are not sick, and talk of illness and pollution is bad for business, turns off tourists and prospective home-buyers. The city says it is currently focusing only on plant clean-up.
"People want it to get cleaned up, put back in productive use, and move on," explains city manager Walker.
After millions of dollars in remediation, the head clean-up official says there is no significant risk today at the plant. The town dump is closed and being cleaned up. But townspeople say other contaminated sites around the Willits area are being ignored.
In order to clean someplace up, you have to face the reality that there's something wrong" argues 51-year-old local resident Julie Johnson
In return for the city giving up medical monitoring, plant owner Pepsi-Americas gave $4 million to a private foundation to build a new hospital. The daughter of Remco's founder heads that foundation; hospital Chief of Staff Matheson proposed the deal along with other doctors
Some residents say the hospital got the cash and they got the shaft. "I think we should get that money," says an angry Deanna Cleland. "It should help us get healthier if that's possible. We're all too young to be sick like this."
Several hundred residents sued Pepsi-Americas. The company has admitted no wrongdoing, but six months ago settled with about 300 people. The plaintiffs said a link between disease and the plant was difficult to prove. Most received $1,500.
"I just seen it as a sell out," says former Remco worker McCartney. "I took the money they offered and it was a cop out probably. I should a stood and fought, but I'm tired of fighting."
Bay Area civil rights attorney Bill Simpich has filed a new lawsuit based on new science on behalf of about 140 people including 57 children.
"We've got evidence that these individuals were literally poisoned by one particular chemical from one particular plant," says Simpich. He claims that chemical is dioxin from Remco and that its unique chemical fingerprint left in resident's bodies may finally prove their case.
Pepsi-Americas declined to speak to KTVU for this report and it's clear a lot of people in this town would just as soon this all would go away. But this new lawsuit appears headed for trial next year.
A grassroots group is trying to start its own health study and doctors say the cancers and other diseases will likely take years yet to develop. Activists say they don't want people to forget that what happened in Willits should serve as a warning to other communities.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Friday, January 26, 2007
Of course while we accept that we are computers, we live within the reality in our brains...otherwise we'd be considered sociopaths. We experience our emotions and get passionate about our "values." So of course I feel strongly about my "individualized brand of super-liberalism." And I read this article: The Ideological Animal
The second paragraph was good enough material to make me feel more self-righteous: after all, I was better than that silly typical San Francisco liberal: I didn't view just Republicans as ignorant, intolerant yahoos, why, I knew that both Republicans AND Democrats could be viewed as such.
The third paragraph was a reminder of how my brand of liberalism was individualized...oh no, I'm no sheep. I agree with her on small government and gun control, as well as personal responsibility!
I went on to the meat of the article. I laughed at the thought that my politics could have been easily predicted. Most peoples, sure; not mine. Then I read the list of characteristics associated with liberals
Messiness: dear lord, if one were to look at my room with that in mind and predict my politics, they'd think I go to every ANSWER function. Maps, travel documents, and flags: I haven't done as much travelling as I want, but check, check, and check. I love books, music, I'm an optimist (with the exception of my newly acquired "jaded" college student thing...all the cool kids are doing it), I love art...allright, just put me in my box!
Monday, January 22, 2007
Actually, I'm not a vegetarian. I eat fish (but only the kosher kind). This apparently makes me a pescetarian, whatever that's supposed to mean. I was raised a meat eater. It never made sense to me. I always felt ridiculously guilty eating meat. After all, if I wouldn't want to kill an animal myself, it was probably for a good reason. However, I accepted the way I was raised and assumed that meat was necessary.
In the summer before tenth grade I worked for the conservation corps. It was there that I first remember being exposed to vegetarianism...I was in the fake hot dog line for kashrut reasons. Talking to vegetarians made me realize that it was possible...for a few months I filed the information away, then I went veg. Full out, no fish. And a couple years later, due partly to the urging of my mother, partly to research on fish-exclusive omega fatty acids, and probably partly to the deliciousness of lox, I went back to eating fish.
They say you are what you eat. I'm largely chocolate. But it is true that when I eat well (healthfully), I feel much better. I've been using a cookbook that I absolutely love, Jump Up and Kiss Me: Spicy Vegetarian Cooking, by Jennifer Trainer Thompson.
Anyway, it's a lifestyle decision that I feel strongly about. I don't go around preaching (though I'll be honest if asked), but I will say this: Do you really want to be directly responsible for the death of an animal you've been around? Having worked a good deal with goats, I'll bet they're smarter (and cooler) than your household pets...ok, that was low...but they're awesome. Same goes for many other animals. So why is it any better to pay for a bunch?
All of this is ignoring another huge reason
Of course, that makes me feel guilty for not being a vegan. I try to be careful about where I get my eggs and milk, but beyond that, it's hard. I could never be a vegan without seriously putting my health in danger. I don't have the time or money...and truthfully probably not the willpower. It's all about the extent of which you can do something...it's impossible to be perfect. But, I ought to push myself. I think I may stop eating fish, and maybe a vegan day a week? Hard to say. Such things take much thought (and support always helps, too) to stick to.
If you're feeling guilty, maybe it's time to do some reflection, find internal inconsistencies, and do what's possible to remedy them. If you're not, good for you.
And no, I am not procrastinating on studying...
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Here’s how you can help:
1. Request a copy of your school’s curriculum. Whether you are a parent, student, or a community member, as a tax-paying citizen you have a right to know what your public schools are teaching.
a. Call your school’s superintendent’s office. Request that they mail you a copy of the sex-education curriculum. Here’s a sample script to use:
“Hello, my name is _____ and I’m a parent/student/community member in [your town]. I’m researching sex-education programs in our area and I’d like to request a copy of our school district’s sex-education curriculum.”
b. If you don’t reach your superintendent, you can contact principals, health teachers, school board members, or any other school administrator and pose the same question.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
A- Available or single? Nope
B- Best Friend? I've had my best friend from elementary school, best friends from high school, best friends from college...I guess the best term is "close"...not even closest...because if we're going there, I might have to reference reasons for my answer to the previous question.
C- Cake or Pie? Cake all the way. But it's gotta be good cake, more like great cake...if it's bad cake, forget it, I'll take a bad pie. But a great cake....mmmm.
D- Drink of Choice? Coffee. Of what sort? Depends on my mood. Also, milkshakes.
E- Essential Item? My motobecane.
F- Favorite Color? Teal or turquoise...depends.
G- Gummi Bears or Worms? Sour worms...when they're not sour, then the little bears.
H- Hometown? Born in San Francisco.
I- Indulgence? Chocolate...bars, mousse, decadence, ice cream...ok, chocolate.
J- January or February? I prefer February, I guess, for the very slightly more tolerable weather.
K- Kids and names? 1, Leo. Oh, humans? No, none.
L- Above referenced reason for answer to question A stole the computer and wrote: Life is incomplete without? My cat, Leo. That and posting pictures of Leo on my blog. And talking about Leo.
M- Marriage Date? No.
N- Number of Siblings? None.
O- Oranges or apples? Oranges...I kinda like really good apples, but even then I prefer oranges.
P- Phobias/Fears? Falling, also open water is kinda scary.
Q- Favorite Quote? Albert Camus...what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?
R- Reason to Smile? Glass Danse, The Faint
S- Season? Spring. I'm cliche.
T- Tag three people! You see it, you do it!
U- Unknown Fact About Me? There's a reason it's unknown.
V- Vegetable you hate? Beets...yuck.
W- Biting fingernails. Blogging!
X- None. But I've had an MRI. Oh yeah, teeth...if those count.
Y- Your favorite food? We've been through this...chocolate! Savory? Garlic bread, or a good thai green curry.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
I came accross an interesting article:
A twist on the oldest profession
It seems to make quite a bit of sense. My biggest question is: why wasn't this around before? If a woman is in Vegas and would normally go to the nearest bar/meat market with one goal in mind, why not pay a little extra for her pick of an STD-tested, good looking man who's likely ging to be a bit better between the sheets than most (though with our fairly repressed culture, it probably doesn't take much)?
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Friday, January 05, 2007
Friday, December 29, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
I tend to think it should be legal for a few reasons:
1) Consent issues aside, the government does not belong in the bedroom. In fact, nobody really ought to be judging the sexual habits of others. They are personal choices on the level of scale...with lifestyle choices such as no sexual contact before marriage, no sexual intercourse before marriage, monogamy, promiscuity...and who cares? Truthfully, I worry more about a choice to abstain sex before marriage than promiscuity, seeing as it may stupidly push a young couple into marriage. Sure, prostitution is something different in that in many cases it involves sex not necessarily for pleasure (though there are "female empowerment" advocates who believe that stripping and prostitution can be empowering), and for other reasons that nobody seems to be able to put into words for me (a clear sign of blind beliefs without logic), but who are we to judge, much less the government?
2) Would I rather have my law enforcement agency spending time and tax dollars on preventing violent crimes or prostitution?
3) The main motivation, in my opinion, is for the well being of the prostitutes and clients. Let's face it, prostitution is going to happen no matter what. Some say that it's the oldest profession. I'm sure we've all read some Bible stories, it wss definitely around . Why not have unions to protect the rights of prostitutes? Why not regulate the trade for things like STD's? And perhaps most importantly, why should a prostitute be afraid to call the police when s/he is in danger?
So, agree or disagree/why or why not? I'd be curious to hear opionions from everybody...so, if you're a quiet lurker, or have stumbled upon this, please comment. I'm hoping to slightly recover from my shock after arguing about this with a kid at work today, and after talking about safety, hearing him say "who cares if they're killed? They're prostitutes." But, if that's a common opinion, I'd be interested to find out.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Sunday, December 17, 2006
1. Do you sleep with the door to your room open or closed?
I like it closed, but I often keep it cracked open for Leo to wander in and out.
2. What was the weather like on your graduation day?
moderate, if I remember correctly
3. What kind of winter coat do you own?
Wow this is random. Well, seeing as I'm in California, I don't need a dedicated parka. So, fleece, sweaters, etc.
4. When was the last time you spoke in front of a large group of people?
California Greens plenary, a few months or so ago
5. Where do you keep your change?
6. Describe your keychains?
A very grabbable college lanyyard with bike lock, barn, condo, house back home, and pool keys
7. What is your favorite flavor of jelly?
boysenberry or peach
8. Some things you are excited about?
Friends are home during winter break, I can hopefully go home at some point, and a friend's wedding.
9. Do you re-use towels after you shower?
For about a week.
10. Have you ever been in a planetarium?
Yeah, they're fun.
11. Have you ever received one of those big tins with three kinds of popcorn?
Yes, they're awesome, but the caramel goes so much quicker than the others.
12. Do you like what the ocean does to your hair?
Nice cold Northern California pacific...yeah. Not an ocean, but the Mediterranean, at least in Israel, SUCKS for hair. And skin/smell.
13. Any plans for Friday night?
Not really. I'm lame. Shabbas candles? Last Friday night was occupied by Scrabble. I'm lame.
14. What is out your back door?
Small backyard, then small street, then greenbelt. I love where I live.
15. What's the most painful dental procedure you've ever had?
My wisdom teeth being removed, I was knocked out, but I was bleeding for over 24 hours and in bed for a few days.
16. Do you draw your name in the sand when you go to the beach?
That or other things
17. Who did you lose your concert virginity to?
Honestly, I don't know, I went with my mom to little things since I was a kid, and then in high school I of course saw my friends' bands, and I'd see free stuff in parks and at Amoeba. And of course the SF symphony. I think my first REAL concert was Tea Leaf Green.
18. Do you ever leave messages on people's answering machine?
What kind of a question is that? There must be more to it, like "just randomly," or "so you can hear it later." But the answer to the question is yes, of course, that whole contact thing is sort of the point.
19. How many different beverages have you had today?
Coffee, cherry cider, water, and a Pyramid Apricot Heffeweizen (not as bad as I expected, the fruitiness wasn't sickening...it almost added as a contrast to the lightly roasted flavor...try it)
20. Last thing you recieved in the mail?
I might have gotten a bill or something boring since, but I'm counting Mark's awesome Phil Lesh and Friends Live at the Warfield CD's (thank you!)
21. Have you had to take out a loan for school?
Of course (unfortunately)
22. Do you have any famous ancestors?
Not that I know of
23. Your prom night?
It ended an hour or two after prom. I'd say prom was fun (beautiful place with a nice view and friends, and dressing up and getting your boyfriend in a tux is kinda fun), but the afterparty was fairly lame. Supposedly we left before all the fun happened. I still think after-prom time is overrated. High schoolers party all the time (no matter how lame it is) , and who wants to lose their virginity in such a cliche way?
24. Do you know all the words to the song on your MySpace profile?
Oh, I get it, this thing is for high schoolers. I don't have a myspace.
24. Are you any good at math?
Yeah, I'm pretty good, but it generally bores me.
25. What were you doing 15 minutes ago?
Lying in bed, checking email and cuddling with Leo.
26. What were you doing this morning at 8 AM?
Sleeping. Got a problem?
27. When was the last time you shaved?
About a month ago. I usually don't wear anything other than pants in the winter.
28. Explain what ended your last relationship.
I think I mentioned earlier that I was boring. It didn't end. I've been working on my first one for about four years now.
Tagged meme #2
I guess I'm like you, Mark
Which Historical Lunatic Are You?
From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.
Now, since I had to suffer, I'm making everyone else suffer. Do them or bad things may or may not happen to somebody.
Friday, December 08, 2006
But I figured I'd make sure everyone knew I was still alive. So here's my time to complain...about my favorite customer of the day.
A woman in line steps up to the counter, while I'm helping somebody else. I can tell by the snotty look and upturned nose that she thinks she owns everything. Likely not helped by clearly expensive designer coat, indicative of wealth. She is clearly impatient, and in order to get her out of the store as quickly as I can, I ask her what she would like while the customer in front of her is gathering his things. "One levain," she says, much like one would expect a patrician to order a plebian in ancient Rome...yet I had to gleefully note to myself that she had mispronounced "levain." I ring her up and put the bread on the counter. It was quite easily in her reach, certainly a tad closer to me, but right where one would expect a cashier to put down something when they are helping two customers with a line out of the door. I say, "have a nice day," and in an even snootier, more condescending way than before she says "MY BREAD?" I almost slipped. I was very close to asking "do you have arms?" Luckily the brain-mouth filter picked it up just in time.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
The issue to me is not necessarily just that of these people who have been convicted of seemingly minor crimes suffering from this ridiculous punishment, but rather that for some reason, people can't seem to accept that convicts who have done their time should be able to move on with their lives.
It looks like I'm not the only one who's upset: http://www.latimes.com/news/la-me-offenders9nov09,1,7118169.story?ctrack=1&cset=true