Saturday, March 7, 2015

Extreme Measures

Okay, so without further ado, we re-institute the long-abandoned (because Facebook, doncha know) Contrarienne, because some projects take a lot of space.
Feel free to comment either here or on the Facebook post regarding the entries, and also feel free to suggest new entries. 
Thank you

From: The Editor
To: Anyone who writes or says anything in English

Banned Until Further Notice or We Recover Our Senses, Whichever Comes First,  And You Can Guess How That Will Go

agency (human choice, will)
bucket list
epic (adj.)
empower, empowered
bitch (pronounced beee-ah-tch or variations thereof)
blessed, blessing
magic, magical
miracle, miraculous
brand, branding
passion, passionate
powerful, powerful energy
girlfriend as a term of address as in "You go, girlfriend." Sometimes accompanied by palm slapping. If so, grounds for immediate — and indefinite — detention at the high school nearest you, where you will be forced to do your algebra homework.
tribe, tribal, tribalism
leverage, leveraging--for anything except financial transactions involving millions of dollars
cellular, at a cellular level--meaning deeply
louche (repeated for emphasis, nah, I just forgot it was on here)
baked in (is the new black, ed.)
Acceptable So Far, But Check All Future Updates

Big Placebo
positional good (good as in item or product, i.e. manufactured goods)
category error
dudebro (Sprinkle frequently whenever, er, appropriate. It will soon graduate to the Banned list and be lost to us forever and I, for one, will miss it.)
conscience of the uninformed
wetware --biological thought mechanism (brain) as contrasted with hardware and software, both technological thought mechanisms (see meatspace)
adaptative mating
Big Data
singularity (likely the first to graduate to Banned list. Maybe it already has but the memo is lost.)
CPM (cost-per-mile, advertising term, really cost per thousand advertising impressions) (Special-case exemption due to professional interest on the general ban of all abbreviations, including acronyms. All right, all right, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae still okay.)
click bait (Careful now.)
hipnecks, headnecks 
 (hippie-like pot farmers in Humboldt County, CA) An up-and-comer, sure to spread to Colorado and Washington state.
anecdata--personal anecdote employed as confirming information for a scientific or political or sociological assertion
male gaze, female gaze
meatspace -- physical reality, as contrasted with online, virtual reality (see wetware)
ammosexuals--pejorative term for gun rights advocates who like to parade their arms in public, frightening patrons at Target and Taco Bell (coined by Bill Maher or his writers)
transgressive, transgression--needed, but let's be miserly in its use
spoiler alert (wait, isn't that on the banned list, what's up with that?)
trigger warning (under review)
affinity fraud--(Krugman)people are most easily conned when they’re getting their disinformation from someone who seems to be part of their tribe (see Bernie Madoff or any Republican politician or Fox news talking blonde)

I Know I Should Let Go, But I'm In Love

delusional--anyone who disagrees with me and tries to offer a "reason"
"scare quotes"
special snowflake (emphasis on flake)

Warning: We embrace the following sentence and will employ it as a nuclear weapon, meaning your puny ego will melt into glass.

"Anecdote is not data." 

(As in, "my cousin's boyfriend's sister tried it and it cured her breast cancer." No. Uh-uh. Or, better, "I tried it and it made me feel better." I'm glad you're feeling better, but no one should ever try a) coffee enemas b) any purge c) any cleanse d) any raw food that tastes nasty even when cooked, sweetened and slathered in butter, cream and/or wine. I'm sorry you're paranoid schizophrenic/borderline/dual diagnosis/bipolar/adult child and I respect you and your suffering, not the delusions that accompany it. See placebo effect.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sweet Potato Souffle from Great Dinners From Life, 1969

Sweet Potato Souffle
from Great Dinners From Life

(and I quote)
Don't expect this dish to be light as a dessert souffle. It won't blow up that much, so you needn't worry that you've done something wrong. The flavor is not as sweet as you might expect it to be either. In fact, it's on the spicy side.

3 one lb. 2 oz. cans of sweet potatoes or four pounds, cooked
1/2 C butter, melted
6 eggs
3/4 C sugar
1/2 C milk
1 T fresly grated lemon rind (n.b. I always use dried, it lasts for years)
1 t ground ginger
1/2 t salt

Preheat oven to 325. Drain sweet potatoes or peel fresh ones. Mash potatoes, then beat, using low speed of electric mixer to make them as lump-free as possible. Beat in melted butter. Separate eggs and add yolks to mixture. Beat until well blended. The longer you beat, the smoother the result. Add sugar, milk, lemon rind, ginger and salt. Beat egg whites separately until stiff but not dry. Fold into potato mixture. Turn into buttered two-quart souffle dish (I've never owned one, use what you have) or casserole. Bake for one hour. Serve immediately.

Note: I have this ready to go when the turkey comes out of the oven. By the time it rests and is carved, the souffle should be done. I test with the blade of a thin-bladed knife. You don't want runny souffle. Sometimes it bakes a little longer as we begin with the other stuff. Men love this dish, btw.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Answers to Downton Quiz


The Dowager Countess, Lord Grantham's Mother
Miss O'Brien, Lady Grantham's maid
Cora, Lady Grantham
Mrs. Levinson, Cora's mother
Miss Reed, Mrs. Levinson's maid
Edith, Grantham daughter
Mary, Grantham daugher
Anna (Bates, Mary's maid)
Mrs. Hughes, housekeeper
Mrs. Pattmore, cook
Daisy, kitchen maid
Unnamed female dinner guest

Lord Grantham
Mr. Carson, butler
Sir Anthony
Tom Branson, Sybil's husband
Larry Gray, Sybil's former flame
Mr. Bates, Grantham's former valet
Murray, Grantham solicitor

Matthew Crowley, heir
Sybil, Grantham daughter
Thomas, Lord Grantham's valet
Mrs. Crowley, Mattew's mothe
Mr. Moseley, Matthew's valet

1. Tell me all of your wedding plans and I'll see what I can do to improve them.
2. It's the stuff of my dreams, the panic that a dish isn't ready, a frock not allowed or a gun not cleaned.
3. Smithers did it, like all ladies maids she lives for intrigue.
dowager countess
4. They're not like horses, there won't be another in 10 minutes time.
5. Because when two people love each other, it's the most terrific fun.
6. Love and position in one package, who could ask for more.
7. It's not really what we do.
lord G

8. I feel like one of those bright young people you read about in the newspapers.
dinner guest

9. If you ask me, we are staring into the chaos of Gomorrah.

10. Listen to yourself, you sound like Tom Mix in one of those Wild West picture shows.
miss o'brien

11. I shall make sure he behaves normally or I will hold his hand on the radiator until he does.
dowager countess

12. I have no time to train young hobbledehoys.

13. Just remember what my mother used to say, never make an enemy by accident.

14. I'm expressing myself badly if you think it's not serious
Grantham's solictor

15. Are you really that tall, I thought you might have been walking on stilts.

16. An aristocrat with no servants is as much use to the county as a glass hammer.

17. We're all essential until we get sacked.

18. If he wants to play their game, he'd better learn their rules.

19. You still kept me here with a dishonest representation.

20. Don't worry about me, I'm an American, have gun, will travel.

21. We're brothers-in-law with high-minded wive, we'd better stick together
tom branson

22. For every escoffier Monsier LeCaren, there's a thousand dogsbodies being watched over by some crabby, red-faced old woman.
Miss O'b

22. They look to exciting for so early in the evening.

23. I don't know why you're getting so hot under the collar, he's only a grubby little chauffeur chap.

24. If I could control him, he wouldn't be here.
Lord G

25. She'll go into state mourning and cast a pall over the whole proceedings.

26. Are you going up to the house to welcome the Queen of Sheba?

27. You aren't the first drunk in that dining room, I can assure you.

28. It seems so strange to think of the English embracing change.

29. She drinks only boiled water, in England that is, no fat, no crab and nothing in the marrow family.
miss reed

30. Revolutions erupt, monarchies crash and the groom still cannot see the bride the night before the wedding.

31. She's like a homing pigeon, she finds our underbelly every time.

32. If only we had some coal, or gravel or tin.

33. If you must pay money, better to have a doctor than an undertaker.
mrs pattmore

34. His idée fixe is yachts, bigger yachts, faster yachts, something with yachts.

35. Now stop talking and kiss me before I get cross.

36. Would you please leave the hysteria to me.
Mrs. Hughes

37. Do you think I might have a drink? I'm so sorry, I thought you were a waiter.
countess (to her son)

38. I'm an American and this is 1920. Time to live a little.
Miss Reed

39. My income might be generous, but I can't touch the capital.

40. Sometimes I feel like a creature of the wilds whose natural habitat is gradually being destroyed.
Lord G

41. Everybody sprawled on the floor and eating like beaters on a break in the shooting, that's not a party…where's the style, where's the show?

42. Don't ever threaten me.

43. Are there still forbidden subjects in 1920, I can't believe it.

44. What's happened to you, have you switched places with your evil twin?

45. I'm so looking forward to seeing your mother. When I'm with her I'm reminded of the virtues of the English.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Gangnam Style

It is important that you know about this, because it holds the all-time record for YouTube views and I've been seeing the term for weeks without knowing what it was about.
Also, I kinda get a self-parody here that's endearing.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Kinda Like A Leper Colony

Dina Martina, not Sarah Silverman, would be the funniest woman in America if only...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Leaves: Pure Poetry

A leaf is filled with chambers illuminated by gathered light. In these glowing rooms photons bump around, and the leaf captures their energy, turning it into the sugar from which plants, animals, and civilizations are built.
Chloroplasts, fed by sun, water, carbon dioxide, and nutrients, do the leaf’s work. They evolved about 1.6 billion years ago when one cell, incapable of using the sun’s energy, engulfed another cell—a cyanobacterium—that could. That cyanobacterium became the ancestor of every living chloroplast. Without their chloroplasts plants would be left like the rest of us, to eat what they find. Instead they hold out their green palms and catch light. If there is magic in the world, surely this is it: the descendants of tiny creatures in leaves, capable of ingesting the sun.
And we are stardust. (Well, I suppose, technically, so are they.) Anyhoo, from this.


From Sarah Silverman, the funniest woman in America.
(Virtually the only reason to watch The Aristocrats, except for, uh, it's important to know the reference.)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Ted Hughes To His Son

Live like a mighty river.
I am glad to get the reminder today from Andrew Sullivan because I've been meaning to read about Hughes and Sylvia Plath, starting with Janet Malcolm's book, and maybe even approach his poetry. If it's anything like this letter, it's damned good.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I'm Back, I Think

I blame my absence on the slow news month — August after all — but it could just as easily have been just general alienation of the can't-give-a-shit variety. I was actually thinking of getting off Facebook and dropping my internet service.
Can you imagine? Apparently neither can I.
Romney's deep pile of doo-doo today gives me hope. I was actually considering various headlines such as "Romney Suspends Campaign, Blames Obama For Being Too Likeable." Subhead: GOP Nominates Fill-In-The-Blank.
I just heard a good one today, too. Apparently The Daily Show from Tampa was titled something like Road To The White House, Jeb Bush 2016!
Anyway I wanted to post a whole bunch of stuff on Facebook yesterday and had to also restrain myself from alienating all my remaining friends again today, so I figured it was time to come back here, where only five people know my name (I'm looking at you, Adele, R.P., Mardie, and ... who's that over in the corner? Looking for who? Oh, she's the next blog over.) Three then. So be it.
Here's the thing I never should have put on Facebook. It was when I knew I was going off the deep end. From now on, I pledge to post Ze Frank stuff for contrariennes only. Who is Ze Frank, you ask. And well you might. I'm really not sure. Google him.
Oh hell, that's right. That's what I'm here for. Without further ado, Ze Frank.
Okay, I don't know how to do audio embeds anymore, so here's the link, it's the  track toward the bottom of the page he says is his favorite, but not the finished track at the very bottom. Sorry. I'll do better.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

For The Record

I feel like to day is worth noting, a harbinger of what's to come, a turning point, a tipping point.

Romney, Reid And...McCain

Talking Points Memo has been running informed commentary by a reader who has extensive knowledge and expertise in how Romney, thanks to Bain, may have paid little or no income tax for several years, just as Harry says.
Not directly linked to that commentary is the regularly surfacing fact that John McCain's campaign saw 23 years' worth of Romney tax returns when Mitt was under consideration for vice president.
So-o-o, why doesn't John or someone from his campaign speak up for Mitt and say, yeah, he paid income tax. Because he didn't, that's why.