I just spent the afternoon making pumpkin soup: roasting pumpkin, pureeing it with some chicken broth, simmering the puree with ginger and nutmeg and a little maple syrup... and threw it out because it was disgusting. I'm not sure what went wrong -- the recipe seems like the sort of thing that should be foolproof. But there was no pumpkin flavor, and the chicken broth, a brand I've used plenty of times before, tasted rank -- not spoiled, but like the cheapest, nastiest canned soup you've ever had.
I hate when that happens. I should have figured out something was wrong when the roasted pumpkin never got soft -- it browned, but stayed hard enough that it was hard to scrape it off the skin. Anyone make anything better for dinner?
This is terribly I-don't-even-have-a-TV of me to say, but I don't get front lawns at all. I just find it perfectly attractive to have dollarweed in your grass and barren patches and regular old ground-looking front yards. It's like a person not wearing make-up.
I don't like so much wilderness that it gets unpleasant to walk through. But that's just common sense.
This sure is a surprise.
Pdf23ds drew my attention to a real estate practice that appears to be common in Texas, and that is, to use a technical legal term, complete bullshit. Apparently landlords in Texas (maybe other places as well) will draft a lease including a 'market rent', but agreeing to rent an apartment for some 'discount' off that amount -- such a lease might identify the 'market rent' as $1700/month, but rent the apartment at $1500. The catch is that the 'discount' is contingent on not breaching the lease, so that if you move out early, you're not only liable for the rent until the landlord can re-rent the apartment, you're liable for the 'discount' back to the beginning of the lease. (E.g., if you signed a two-year lease on the terms set forth above, and moved out one year into the lease, and the landlord re-rented the apartment for $1700/month after one month empty, you would owe the landlord not only $1700 for the month's rent he missed, but also $2400, consisting of the $200 discount for each month you'd paid rent.)
As set forth quite accurately in this article pdf found (did I mention that he did all the work on this post?), such a contract is contrary to public policy. You're generally not allowed to impose a penalty for breach of contract -- contract damages are limited to putting you in the position you would have been if the contract hadn't been breached (oversimplified, but that's good enough for a sentence). And 'discount' nonsense or not, a clause like this is a penalty clause -- if a tenant breaches in the last month of the lease described above, the landlord isn't in the position he would have been in absent the breach, he's making a serious profit on the breach.
This isn't legal advice to anyone who's signed a lease of this nature -- saying that a 'discount' that has to be paid back in the event of breach is really an unenforceable penalty clause doesn't mean that a landlord couldn't make your life miserable by trying to collect on it. But if clauses like that are common in your area, you should know they almost certainly wouldn't stand up if they were litigated.
This is supes* up the alley of the Mineshaft.
*"Supes" is short for "super". I made it up earlier tonight. You love it, right? Okay. Just checking.
I'm admittedly late to the blogging party on any event this week, but this one irked me right the fuck off:
Army officers gathered at a convention in Washington this week said senior White House officials should not have rebuked Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, for saying publicly that a scaled-back war effort would not succeed.
It's a citizen-controlled military. Back off. (With apologies to anyone who's blogged this better and invitations to link to her or him or them; I'm with limited access to the interwebs this week but miffed nonetheless.)
Do you consider youself to be a creative person? In what capacity?
I went to summer camp (every summer), and when I was probably 11, I returned from camp wearing gold clip-on earrings which were little crosses. I believe I was inspired by George Michael. When my parents met me at the airport, my dad exclaimed, "Why are you wearing crosses?" I explained to him about how I am a fashion maverick and he's old, etc. He tentatively asked if I realized that the cross was a symbol of Christianity. I told him witheringly, "It doesn't have to be. Sometimes crosses are Christian, Dad, but sometimes they're just what you wear to be cool." He said, "No....they're always Christian. Even if they're also fashionable." I didn't believe him, but stopped wearing the earrings anyway.
The kids are totally burnt out on the racism topic. We've got this big semester-long Race Is A Construct! discussion, and I'm so glad that I teach my happy little math classes instead of engaging in that tractor pull.
I had some Orthodox Jewish friends who got burnt out on the Holocaust long before the Internet made invoking Nazis the pitiful maneuver it is today. They were burnt out by age ten, because all the adults would invoke the Holocaust to try to impress upon them what a giant awful tragedy it was.
Adults just can't dictate what kids ought to be outraged by. So we turn up the volume on the message, and it totally backfires.
This is a simply wonderful example of symbolism in artwork.
(I didn't make that up, but I am the one who laughed when Dan Savage said it and have been using it since.)
My carpoolmate just cancelled today, because he's got it. My other carpoolmate hasn't had it, but it swept her family. Umpteen students in every class have been absent. (For some reason, some of them are really determined that it's not swine flu. Them: "The doctors told me to stay home for five days. It's flu-like but they don't know what it is." Me: "I bet it's swine flu." Them: "We really don't know." Me: "Rest up and drink fluids!")
It's not the end of the world if I get it, but it would suck to be knee deep in the flu on our wedding day. I mean, if it happens, it happens. But still. Plus I'd spread it to everyone.
This from my most recent wedding-band experience:
Wedding caterer: I can't believe you managed to play a whole wedding without any Journey.
Me: Yeah, well, uh, yeah. I don't think it works without a keyboard player.
Wedding caterer: At least you didn't play "Shout".
Me: We get that one a lot. We don't know it.
Wedding caterer: Good.
Actually, I enjoy that song. Apparently, lots of people hate it. At weddings, specifically.
A tie is just the place to carry prophylactics:
In its lining this dedicated tie has a hidden pocket designed to slip a condom and promote its essential message: "Protect ourselves!"
Note the improper use of the reflexive, something especially poignant in this context.
It seems like everyone I've talked to this year is totally stumped on Halloween ideas. Anyone have any suggestions or ideas they're not planning on using?
I've been watching TV at the gym on my iPod instead of listening to music. It motivates me to stay longer and makes me feel like it's a more efficient use of my time. Only problem? I'm out of shows. Any old TV shows available on iTunes/DVD/elsewhere that you'd like to evangelize for?