Wacky Friday Foto

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Friday Fives

1. How often do you cook at home?
Usually, with my chaotic work schedule, I only cook on Sundays.

2. How did you learn how to cook?
Both of my parents are amazing cooks. Dad was an Army cook and made the best breakfasts. Mom is a little Betty Crocker with mad spatula skills. I learned from them in house where everything happened in the kitchen.

3. What is a meal that has special meaning to you?
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and my favorite meal. It is the holiday in my past where more family is gathered together than with any other holiday, and that makes is special.

4. What is the last meal you cooked?
I made a big old pot of green chili a few weeks ago. Oh, yeah I also cooked an amazing pork roast in a new pan I bought. The roast was good but the pan drippings gravy was divine.

5. What is your least favorite thing to cook?
I am not a big dessert cooker. Cakes and cookies are not my thing. Pie, maybe, if I don’t have to make the crust.

What’s The Matter With Kansas?

I am about 100 pages into Thomas Franks’ What’s The Matter With Kansas? How Conservatives Won The Heart Of America. For a political/philosophical bit of non-fiction, this is a delightful read. Frank is the editor of The Baffler, a Chicago based current events magazine.
Frank grew up in Kansas and uses his Woodland Hills suburbia roots as the back drop to describe how right wing, ultra conservative evangelical Christians took over the Republican party and eventually stood their ground, capturing the White House, both houses of Congress and most state legislatures and governorships.
I don’t have time or the distance yet to summarize all of Frank’s points but it boils down to the malaise of Progressives (once a dominant voice in Midwestern politics) and the moderate Republicans (once the back bone of Kansas politics i.e.: Eisenhower and Dole). Combine that fiercely efficient organization of the one or two issue fervor of right wing Christians (“They are aborting fetus’! The gays are coming, the gays or coming.) And Frank contends that no one stood a chance.
Its a good read and puts a lot little things that I noticed in my years of following local politics into some sort of focused national debate. Frank details how evangelical conservatives began a focused effort in the early 1990s to take over the Republican Party by establishing themselves as a powerhouseat the precinct level. By forcing themselves into precinct chairmanships, county by county, in the course of four to six short years (short in political terms) they captured their party and soon began filling city councils, school boardsand local legislatures with a new kind of politician, short on ideas, impatient with progress but strong in their love of Jesus and hatred of taxes.

Friday Fives

1. Do you prefer to be the driver or passenger?
I don’t know if I have a hard fast rule on this. driving is great and for longer trips, I certainly enjoy some time behind the wheel. But it is kind of nice to just surrender all responsibility and hand the keys over to someone else and let them haul your ass around.

2. When you drive somewhere, do you prefer to take the long way or quickest route?
Work and errands, quickest route. Longer trips, I often prefer the longer scenic route.

3. Do you have road rage?
I used to but lately, I would say over the past couple ofyears, I no longer get in a hurry on the road. And as a result, the road rage passes. Take you time getting there eases up most of the competitive anger that driving the roads can bring out.

4. What is the longest road trip you have taken?
From Stuttgart, Germany to London, England.

5. What would your reaction be if you were driving and saw an animal run into the road?
Squeeze them brakes! Having had my customary Western Colorado run in with a deer, I am not keen on a reenactment.

Friday Fives

1. If you owned a restaurant, what kind of food would you serve?
I have this cookbook, called th Well-Filled Tortilla. It is based on these two ladies who have a restaurant in Berkely or someplace real California-ish. In this cookbook they offer tons and tons and tons of things to wrap up and smother inside a tortilla. Not your mama’s Mexican joint, this place offers Greek food, Indian food, All American stews. From ground beef to pate. I always thought it would be cool to open up a joint like that near some college town. If not that, a new trend is the cereal buffet parlors creeping up in college towns as well. How hard could an all you can eat breakfast buffet be as a business model?
2. If you owned a small store, what kind of merchandise would you sell?
A used book store. Man, I would be in hog heavan.
3. If you wrote a book, what genre would it be?
A mystery crime novel. I am tryng, rather painfully to write a non-cliche ridden crime novel as we speak. It shoudl be done when I am about 84-years old.
4. If you ran a school, what would you teach?
English. English grammar, writing and maybe some literature on the side.
5. If you recorded an album, what kind of music would be on it?
Acoustic-steel guitar blues renditions of 1970s and 1980s punk and new-wave hits.

Friday Fives

1. What was your high school stereotype, what group did you hang with?
I guess, if I had to define a group, in a high school of about 800 people, it would be band geek. Either that or speech and debate geek. I was not running with the wolves

2. If you could be one Disney character, what character would you be?
I have always identified with the so very dapper Jiminy Cricket.

3. Ever think about your own death? How do you suppose you will go? (This sounds like I am particularly fragile and depressed today! I am not, put the suicide hotline phone down.)
Hmmm. I think I want to go quickly, certainly and barring some bizarre unforeseen accident, I want to live into my 90s and beyond. I can’t wait to see what this centruy brings us. I don’t want to die with a warm beer and the remote control in my hand, this much I know.

4. Are you a Democrat? A Republican? A Libertarian? Green? Why?
I am registered as a Democrat. I think mainly because I am genuinely concerned about the other guy. My ‘defect’ of empathy and a sense of fair play feels more at home in the Democratic party’s philosophy rather than the ‘I got mine” mindest that I feel when confronting Republicans or Libertarians.

5. Do you feel like you look your age, or do you feel older or younger?
I feel I look younger than my age. Gray hair, yes. And a pot belly. But few wrinkles. I can still pull of ’35’ in a pinch. .

Thanks in part this week to an email by Thom that spurred this week’s questions.

Living Will

I am not married, got no kids. Just me swinging free in the world. So why have I decided to sit down and file a living will? Well, the Terry Schiavo fair, the Johnny Cochrane death, even the death of Pope John Paul II, as well as the death of my father has taught me the importance of dying with dignity.
Terry Schiavo was 43 years old when she died earlier this month. She had no living will. When she went into her coma, 15 years ago, she was 28 years old. Twenty-eight years old. So I said to myself, I guess 40 years old is not too young to have a living will because at the end of the day, you have no idea what might happen to me, despite whatever condition some unforeseen event leaves me in, I would like to be in control of some of the decisions regarding care.
Heavens knows at 28 years old, I was not paying attention to any of these details, and the Schiavo affair has taught me that it is never too early.
So, join me and go to Five Wishes and takes some steps to control your later points of your life. It can never be too soon.