Books, History, Food, Politics, and Life

Books, History, Food, Politics, and Life
Things through a different light...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Add Molly and Poppy to this... (often camera shy) and you have our family... they may be annoying sometimes, but we love them  :D

Saturday, September 17, 2011


I am in awe of the amount of people lately who protect the rich and completely dump on the poor.  Are we in bizzaro land?  Did the world turn upside down and I just not realize it?  Time and time again I see people rail on the poor, just steam roll over them, describing them as the lowest of the low because they just so happen to not have monetary wealth.  Did you know... some people...choose to be poor?  According to half of the blow hards around my area, its totally true.  People choose to just sit and be poor and unhappy because all they had to do if they REALLY wanted to was to get up and pull up their bootstraps and get better jobs.
Yea... ok...NO
I think especially, after the last few years with Wall Street and the corruption therein, we may want to be a bit mad at the rich in this country?  While poor people don't have food, homes, electricity, and savings... while they cannot go to the doctor, get medication, and die... rich men are getting government bail outs and making more money.

Something is wrong here and I for one... am confused.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lilly | Vote for the Next Pet Star - Photo Contest | Show Us Your Pet's Healthy Smile

Lilly | Vote for the Next Pet Star - Photo Contest | Show Us Your Pet's Healthy Smile

Further Thoughts on Religion

Now that I have all the negative out of the way... let me just say this...
I know good Christians, Muslims, Pagans, Agnostics, and Atheists.  I know people who would give half of their last dollar to help someone else and that may be because they are following Jesus, Allah, the Goddess, or their own moral compass.... and I applaud these people.  It is uplifting to see people of all faiths do it right.  Love, care, uplift, do whatever they can do for their fellow man just because they know deep down it is the right thing to do.  
I have seen the amazing works of a small church who give almost everything they have to those who suffer regardless of what those who suffer believe...  I have seen a Muslim not only reach out, but try to help people who don't, understand their faith and I have seen non-combative agnostics and atheists (because I despise the combative ones who think just because someone has a faith, they are ignorant).  Perhaps I am lucky, because I know so many diverse people who do it right as opposed to the world around me who gets it wrong...  For someone like me, who really wants to understand faith and religion, the concept of a higher power... it can be discouraging.  
I know that a good percentage of the GOP proclaims to be Christian.  But, I have a huge issue with cheering because a Texas governor executed over 200 people and I have an even bigger problem when people cheer because these same candidates say let those without insurance die.    I don't understand that, I don't comprehend how you can be so cruel and cold and yet stand under the bastion of Christian faith.  I have seen true Christians, they love so much it hurts.  They sacrifice their own stability in the hopes of helping more people.  And yet, I can turn on television and see people use faith as a tool to recruit people to their cause and at the same time behave so unlike any Christian that its appalling.  Now, I said last time that not everyone has it in them I think to be  truly selfless....I know I don't.  I try, but I have my moments where that cute new outfit online is WAY more important than anything at the time... I' human and so is everyone else.  
I just wish anyone would take a second before condemning someone else... for their faith, for their sexual orientation, for their beliefs....
Now, that being said....  the things I was mad about in my last post stand.  I try to see cutting small animals to do a pagan ritual you have no connection to because a black metal band is cool.... but thats stupid.  I know I keep going back to that but... man that infuriated me.  
I respect a person's choice to wear a hijab if they wish... I may not get it, but I respect it.  I respect someone's choice to be whatever faith they wish to be... and I may not always understand that.  Someone needs to really sit down with me and explain how Pastafarianism is a good thing... lol.  
I just struggle with this because I am heartbroken when I see people who are sick and have to choose between eating and getting medication... especially when they are older or infirm or so cripplingly poor that they cannot help themselves.  I am also terrified for people who are innocent of crimes but have spent years on death row and don't get the chance to make it to an appeal.  I read John Grisham's An Innocent Man a few years ago, and that is heartbreaking... because this guy did nothing and went to prison for it.  
So... right now, people are applauding because men are dying in prison and sick people without insurance don't get care.... what does that say about our society?
I think that even though Trent Reznor has not been a fan of organized religion and often has criticized it harshly in his music, he says it best when in one of his songs he says....
"I'm on my hands and knees I want so much to believe."
I want to believe that there is an innate good in people, but that is becoming so hard.  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Faith, Religion, and the 99% of Posers in the World

I have been pondering religion a great deal lately, not faith, but religion.  When I say that, I mean in a more cultural sense.  This really started when Dr. Misguided (I dare not say his real name, I wouldnt do that) and I got into a conversation at work while I was helping him purchase some books that are historically inaccurate, but reinforce his misconceptions about this country and its history.  He made a statement about adapting to a culture.  It was in reference to immigrants who move to America and adapt American culture and those who don't and then he referenced Muslims and referenced their religion, their faith...a culture and not a religion, not a faith.  I do not think that is fair, he said everyone else adapted to American culture...why won't they and thats not entirely fair or true.  
I do not think it is right to diminish anyone's faith just because you think you are the one's on the right side of the fence of religion.  So... you are a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu.... you all think you are right and everyone else is wrong... I am just going to say now... there isn't much logic to that.
Tolerance and understanding is an amazing thing, but at the same time...its very very hard.  I am going to reference my own intolerance of Islam as an example, my own flaw, my own display of judgement.  I have read a great deal of the Koran. unlike many who criticize it, I have not cherry picked a few passages out of the book to illustrate how violent or unrelenting it is because in all truth, I have read the bible too...and it say some pretty harsh, judgmental and violent things itself so I am going to go back to he who is without sin cast the first stone and say both books can be pretty brutal and unfriendly at times.  The main difference is the bible has a new testament and the koran doesn't.  But, with all my understanding and my neutrality... i abhor the way women are treated in Islam.  I see the hijab as an affront to women, an oppression and no matter how many Islamic women I see taking up for it, I despise it...I despise that in Islam a woman has to hide herself as to not tempt the weakness of a man... grow a pair and learn how to control yourself and let women be the equal creatures they are...  MAN that is hard to tolerate.  
I also have my problems with Christianity, especially the modern takeover of Christianity by Evangelicals who rarely have a true christian bone in their bodies.  They dont cater to the poor, they don't love anything unconditionally, and they sure dont act anything like Jesus...the one person they are set to emulate.  It offends me.... all these laissez-faire Christians who are pious on Sunday but are horrible the other six days disgust me in all honesty because they are as fake as the handbags I once purchased at a straw market in the Bahamas, but they have the gumption to tell me I am not a good person because I don't fake it.
Then there are the fake pagans...yea I have it out for them too.  Listen just because you hate black people, you had a hankering for some Scandinavian black metal and you dream about being Nordic doesn't mean it is your heritage to worship the all father.  And just a clue... Scandinavian people... don't do that crap either, most of them converted to Christianity before America was even a glimmer in the eye of the world and before any shred of your ancestry came into existence in the gene pool.  So, just because you go on Facebook and make a picture of Odin your icon and then talk about blood letting some innocent animal so you can make some foolish sacrifice to a god who belongs to a long gone culture that you are not related to doesn't make you anything but a racist, animal abusing fool.   Before you listen to some deep Bathory and Gorgoroth... realize that one, you are an American with no Norwegian ties and secondly.... using this as a way to cover up your deep flowing racial hatred doesn't hide that you are an overweight poser douche who lives with his mom and dreams about a heritage that isn't yours.    I will admit, this one really gets my goat as of late... after someone posted on their facebook about ritually harming domesticated animals to do some sort of nordic pagan ritual that isnt even authentic to tie into their false nordic heritage as an excuse to hate anyone who isn't white and southern... jesus...just join the KKK and be honest about it...

In truth, faith should be something you feel inside, it should bring positive things, it should make you want to sacrifice to do good for others and it should actually adhere to the tenants it set out, not a half way thing.  There is a concrete reason that not everyone has faith...not everyone has religion, because most people aren't up to the true task of sacrificing so much for the good of others in the name of something intangible

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Joy of Cooking?

I posted a previous blog a few months back about cooking and how Adam and I cook for enjoyment.  There is an episode of Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" this season where he and a few other people in the food business are sitting around and talking about cooking/food/eating ect.  They talked about going to exotic places, eating fantastic meals, getting into restaurants and such.  I love to cook, I love eating and just the experience with my husband and others who are cooking / eating with me, but I think about it and I realize the sheer amount of people who just cannot afford such luxuries.
First world problems....
There are weeks when our budget is tight, but we have food on the table... we cook together, we can maintain and lately I have realized...there are people who do not have that luxury, but they also live in the First
I recently watched a documentary on children who live in hotels, who are basically homeless.  Their families, made up of the working poor.

The fact that these kids get scary...scary food provided for the by the school they go to and then that may or may not be the only meal they have the rest of the day, upsets me beyond anything.  If each person who had the funds gave a couple dollars a week to the hungry, would these kids be fed?  Instead of a war on drugs and a war on terror...shouldn't we have a war on poverty?

How do you fight that war?  I understand that our current welfare system is really messed up, but how do we help the working poor, those who cannot make it?  I know people who work one and two jobs at minimum wage and they cannot even ponder getting above ground....  I know people who because of disabilities have to get supplemental help and they cannot even afford to live on their own, they have to rely on others to help and that is hard...that is so hard for them...

I want to help, I know a lot of people who do...I know a lot of people who fight the war on poverty, but for them at this point it is like sitting in a trench on the Somme in 1916.  There are people living in such desperate poverty in America that the rest of the country would rather paint the poor as worthless lazy scum than acknowledge that this sort of suffering sits on all of our doorsteps.

Have we dehumanized poverty to accept it?  How many of us will sleep tonight with a roof over our heads and food in our belly?  How many wont?

Click here to feed the hungry

Sunday, September 4, 2011

In Contradiction

For a little while, I had a difficult time watching historically based films because I knew what really happened and noticed when something was wrong.  I even railed about a small change in Shakespeare In Love for a bit.  But in truth, I do have moments where the beauty of the film can override the inaccuracy and I can still get lost in it.  Two of my favorite historical films are Elizabeth  and Young Victoria.  Now both are on English queens and I know my obsession, let it go lol....  Anyway, both films while very good, have some overwhelming discrepancies.  
In Elizabeth, the relationship Queen Elizabeth had throughout her life with Robert Dudley was improperly portrayed and ended abruptly when he was under the employ of Spain. In reality, though Elizabeth and Dudley had their outs, they were close throughout their entire lives.  Perhaps that didn't make for good film.   In Young Victoria, there is a scene where an assassin attempts to kill Victoria early on during her reign.  This event did happen, but the film is much different than the real events.  In reality, Albert, Victoria's husband did not get hurt during the attack, but in the film, he is shot.  A bit more dramatic and a climax of the film to seal their closeness as a married couple.  Victoria and Albert was a devoted couple until Albert's death.

There are things though, about the films that are truly perfect which perhaps relay something important about the characters that dialog and story cannot.  In Elizabeth, its all about color.  The subtle use of pastels and lighter hues when she is young, just a Princess and in contrast, the rich and beautifully intricate designs of things around her once she is queen amplifies the grandeur of her reign.  In Young Victoria, there are moments of simplicity that convey how practical Victoria was... both, while atmospheric... do a lot to tell the story and emphasize things that are important.  

so see... I can like historical inaccuracy when its done right   :D

Saturday, September 3, 2011

In Addition....

For some good news... I think I am going to try to bake a new pie Adam found for me today.

Bad Food

On a search to find dinner last night, which I ended up not eating because of my medication... we realized that another restaurant in our area has closed thanks to a down economy and our area's insistence on eating crap food.  We liked the local chinese place on Russel Parkway in Warner Robins because the food was always cooked well with care and the staff remembered you.  We pulled in the driveway and found it was closed.  Yet, across the street the Ruby Tuesday (which is one of the most disgusting places to eat on earth) was packed.  I just don't get it, that is one of multiple local eateries that has closed over the past year while crap food prospers... 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Live Action Cowboy and the curse of a remake

I worked in the music department at work tonight and while sometimes that specific task can be tedious, it does give me a chance to get familiar with what is out and popular.  I found myself, right before close...when all my tasks were done wandering the isles aimlessly.   Being the art snob that I am (lol not really), I ended up staring at the foreign film section that we have...while small, it does have some cool stuff in it and I happened upon a copy of the Cowboy Bebop movie.  Now, if you don't know what Cowboy Bebop is, its an anime and if you don't know what anime I have a lot to explain.
Now, I like some anime... I am not one of those pretentious people who ignores an entire genre of an art just because I think I am above it.  I watched my first anime around 1996 and while I wasn't immediately in love with the genre... years later, after a few failed attempts... I found Cowboy Bebop.  It is a classic sci-fi /action adventure anime series that has an amazingly beautiful dark ending and I don't care how pretentious you are, if you sat down and watched it all... you too would adore it.  Anime can be good, it can be serious and this one....while at times dramatic, has everything a classic epic should have.
The story, a former mafia man gone good basically daring himself to get killed every chance he gets because he cheated death and lost his journey creates his own rag tag group of outcasts but in the gooders and nothing ever ends up quite right and Spike, your tragic hero is on the course to end the way he should...tragically but amazingly....
I don't give it enough credit.... and thanks to Cowboy Bebop being one of the first series I watched in full.... there is a reason I don't like much anime, because nothing is like Cowboy Bebop....
So, as I stared at the cover of the feature length film they did in 2000, I thought about a magazine article I read back in 2009 that talked about a Cowboy Bebop live action film in the works (staring Keanu Reeves) and I remembered how upset it made me.  The series Cowboy Bebop as perfect and it doesn't need a remake...and that got me to thinking about how we do so many remakes, so many covers and how I usually 9 times out of 10 hate covers.... and thats why.
When I hear a band do a cover of a song I love... I just want to be like, leave it alone... it was amazing the way it was.  Perhaps I am a purist, perhaps I am a bit unwilling to let go of the way something like that made me feel... but man after you have heard the 90000th electronic version of How Soon is Now when you really believe the Smiths did it best all those years ago.... something clicks inside of you and that is what clicks when I hear they are going to do a live action Cowboy Bebop.
So first off... please, if you haven't watched Cowboy Bebop, get over your inhibitions about anime, stop being a snob and sit down and watch a classic story unfold.  I dare you.  Secondly, please excuse the ramblings of someone who has been chewing on this topic all the way home and had to get it out.  Finally, root for originals.... hey maybe they do have better special effects now and mucho  money to pour into a project.... but sometimes the original is still the best, like playing the original zelda after all these years and still loving it even though link is like 20 really badly put together pixels and the most amazing graphic is something shooting some bad looking fire across a scroll screen.... 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Where did Fiction go?

Recently, due to the fact that I could not find anything overwhelmingly compelling to read on my nook, I began re-reading some of my favorite classic novels.  Now, I don't expect everyone on earth to enjoy 19th century novels the way I do....with their anachronistic looks at society and their (to others) dreary depictions of daily life, but I think that in reading books like Agnes Grey and Howard's End, I am beginning to notice a loss of true fiction in modern literature.
To make it today, it seems your novel has to have some genre or kooky twist.... just to get noticed.  Amongst the most famous of today's authors.... James Patterson, John Grisham, Nora Roberts.... even these guys have to sometimes go out there to get some readership (and I think they suck)...hell Patterson is writing teen novels and supernatural novels (I say writing, most of his books are written by someone else).  What happened to fiction without a twist?
Agnes Grey which was written in 1847 by Anne Bronte, is about the life of a young girl who is trying to help her financially struggling family.  There are no grizzly murders, there are no vampires, werewolves, or even overly strange occurrenAces, the story is about a person's life and how a struggling family makes it in 19th century England.  It is a well written and compelling novel and to me, well....since I do have a history degree.... its an interesting glimpse as to how people in the 19th century saw their own world.

I miss that type of fiction.  There are writers to boast that they write real life fiction, like Jodi Picout, but even her novels are contrived....there is always a twist or a shocking ending to make you... think.  It reminds me of watching the film A.I. and realizing that Speilburg just wanted to make me cry at some point, because if you make someone cry in a has to be good, no matter how contrived the scene is that gets you there.

There needs to more more Agnes Grey and less Duh duh DUHHHHHHH in fiction.