Because I watch the silly post-Edwardian soap opera known as Downton Abbey, in which all the opulent grand estates and posh London residences have names, it occurred to me the other day that my family’s home should have a name. It’s an unremarkable concrete block 3/2 that was built in 1977, but why shouldn’t it have a name?
I shared this thought with the mister, and without hesitation, he said, “Cork Haven,” which is perfect. So henceforth, I will refer to my home by its proper appellation. Just so you know.
I am back at Cork Haven after living out of a suitcase for a month while attending to my mom during her final illness. I just wanted to say how incredibly touched I was and continue to be by your kind condolences and the wisdom you shared here and here the other day. It comforted me when I sorely needed comforting, and I am more grateful than I can express.
With that said, please share the name of your abode, or create one now to share. The 1% may have all the money and grand estates, but names are free, so there’s no reason they should get to bogart that too.
You know what? I’ll even spot Rep. Trey Radel (FL-R) his weak, borrowed from Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, excuse that he only did cocaine because he was such a drunk, because sure. It’s not like the sting that busted him was perpetrated because he already had a history of purchasing coke (it was), and in any event, I can’t talk about what drunk people might get up to. I am only an indifferent drunk myself. I do know I can’t afford $250 bucks worth of blow if I had that much to spend on bourbon. That is some fucking stupid drunkonomics. But maybe being wasted on microbrews made him wonder if he shouldn’t maybe be doing lines, just like I interrupt a wine binge with espressos (I do no such thing). Sure. That’s logical. (By which I mean “NOT”.)
What isn’t logical is being well aware that people acquire substances to help them through the bitter pain of their day to day existence and get dependent on them, and then thinking that it would be A-OK to penalize the poor for their propensity to self-medicate against the horror of a crappy reality by piss-testing people to qualify for their benefits.
Do I think Rep. Radel was maybe in the midst of getting high his ownself when he thought this would be a nifty exercise to spring on the poor? Yeah. I think so. Do I think he thought he was fundamentally different from some wasted SOB who couldn’t catch a job because he himself had a good one in Congress, and therefore, he was morally better than that other kind of substance-user? Yes, indeed. I think he believes he is morally and substantively different from some person who might use drugs, but does not have money.
In other words, he is a real prick. Now, there is drug and alcohol rehab, but I do not know that there is any successful “being a real prick” rehab. But he could use that kind. He surely could.
Don’t forget that as of this weekend, it’s perfectly comme il faut to wear white shoes—or in these people’s case, white snow shoes.
Everybody out to make snow-wingnuts! We at Chez Polly are welcoming Mama-San, her baggies of discouraged tomatoes and bananas, and her relentless pursuit of bad grammar, for the holiday, by making almost hourly wine runs. Our boy Strange is resting up from his first week going to Adaptive Living School at last, at last, about which more later, depending on how he feels, but suffice it to say it has been the first really good week for him in a very long time.
May Robert Gibbs find solace someday, after the savaging he received at the wit of Bill Clinton’s ex-wife Maureen Dowd.
“I don’t normally read Maureen,” Gibbs, now an MSNBC contributor, said during an appearance on the network. “I don’t largely because it’s sort of largely the same column for the last, like, eight years.”
Most wingnuts go straight for the “uppity” angle when criticizing President Obama for asking two Marines to hold umbrellas over himself and the Turkish Prime Minister at an outdoor press conference during a downpour.
Noted boxed wine enthusiast Ann Althouse digs a bit deeper in a post entitled, “The word ‘umbrella’ appears exactly once in Obama’s ‘Dreams from My Father.’” Do think I’m kidding? No, I am not.
I’m astounded to see that the umbrella figures importantly in the book — and it is even an umbrella held over him by another man (his younger brother Bernard). This happens at the end of what is the most dramatic scene in the book, on the last page of the final chapter.
So — as he dramatizes it —it is at the moment when he finds out who he really is that another man suddenly appears and is sheltering him with an umbrella. He’s been crying, but now it all makes sense, and — with the prompting of the younger man — he sees that he is okay.
Flash forward, and he’s President. He is in the Rose Garden. It starts to rain. No man suddenly appears with an umbrella. He is getting wet and he is President — with plenty of airplanes and rifles and all of the world’s greatest military at hand — but he is still getting wet. He has to order the Marine to shelter him. It isn’t Bernard squatting with a bent-up old umbrella. It’s a Marine in full-dress uniform, with a fine unbent umbrella, which is nevertheless not correct under the official — male, rigid — Marine Corps regulations… And here he is, the center of the whole world’s attention, and he had to call for the umbrella. He is not okay.
Wingnuts have demonstrated amazing super powers in the past, including the ability to conduct a comprehensive neurological assessment via a snippet of grainy videotape and audit a family’s finances by peering through the kitchen window at their countertops.
In her analysis of the meaning of UmbrellaGate, Althouse has taken it a step further, investing that “famously Freudian symbol” with powers that far surpass Mary Poppins’ foul weather gear, including the ability to emasculate US Marines and transform the POTUS into an insecure child. It’s both insane and fascinating.
Two items in the news about Cuba (optional soundtrack below):
As Balloon Juice commenter Lamh35 pointed out in the bitchfest thread, it’s probably unwise for Marco Rubio to try to turn Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s trip to Cuba into Benghazi II: The Castro-ation. It’s dumb for several reasons:
1) Castro is a doddering, toothless old fart whose utility as a wingnut bogeyman is receding faster than his gum line.
2) Beyoncé may be more widely worshipped than Jesus at this point, so Rubio will piss off her millions of fans, and for what? The Cuban exile vote can’t even swing an election in Florida anymore, much less the US.
3) The only reason our absurd Cuba policy continues is because, a) most Americans don’t know / don’t give a shit about it, and b) numbers 1 and 2 above haven’t quite sunk in yet with the political-media industrial complex.
Rubio released a statement on Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s trip, saying, “U.S. law clearly bans tourism to Cuba by American citizens because it provides money to a cruel, repressive and murderous regime.”
Well, yeah, but Saudi Arabia is a medieval dictatorship that openly enslaves half of its population and beheads people for fucking sorcery, and yet I’m allowed to travel there as an American citizen. If I had to be parachuted into either Cuba or Saudi Arabia, I’d damn well go where the cigars and mojitos are.
Second news item out of Cuba:
The parents who kidnapped their own children from the kids’ grandmother and sailed out of Tampa Bay earlier this week have turned up in Cuba. Several things about this story smell fishier than Hemingway’s tackle box:
1) The parents, whom the media characterize as “anti-government protesters,” were busted last June in Louisiana for pot and firearms after a disturbance at a hotel. The cops allege they made bizarre references to Armageddon, prompting the court to put the kids in foster care. The father later confronted the foster parents, waving a gun around and demanding his children before running off before the cops arrived.
2) This supposedly prompted the authorities to terminate parental rights and pass custody of the kids to the grandmother in Florida. Practically everyone in Louisiana and Florida is “anti-government” and skulks around with pot and guns mumbling about Armageddon. And from what friends in CPS tell me, terminating parental rights is REALLY, REALLY hard, even for people who have a documented history of thrashing their kids half to death. And yet these people’s parental rights were terminated in less than a year for guns, pot and Armageddon talk?
But now the government of Cuba says it’s going to hand them over to the US, apparently without even pausing to wring any anti-US propaganda mileage out of them. Even if the parents are bona fide, bug-eyed loons and / or the most annoying Paultroons in the universe, that’s unusual. There’s more here than meets the eye.
This really happened. One year, right after Christmas, my mom decided to drive herself, my little sister and me up to North Carolina to see snow. As native Floridians, my sister and I had never seen snow before. We complained bitterly about this fact, especially during the holidays when all the TV specials featured snowmen, sleigh rides, etc.
This was a very long time ago, back when people drove ugly green station wagons with fake wood paneling. Anyhoo, we had a little dog—a poodle mix of some sort. He was a kind of goldish color, so we named him Butterscotch. But we all called him Scotch.
We couldn’t take Scotch with us since we were staying with dog-phobic relatives in North Carolina. So my mom asked her younger sister to housesit and watch after Scotch. Auntie agreed to do this for us and promised to take good care of our beloved pet:
Poor Auntie had to spend New Year’s Eve all by herself. However, my mom had generously given Auntie permission to raid the liquor cabinet. She polished off a few cocktails and then rang in the New Year watching Dick Clark on TV as she lounged in our recliner and finished an entire bottle of champagne:
Poll, if I may interrupt for a second, I am really irritated at the way they allow Newt Gingrich to continue living on.
—my mother, at noon, and not a drop taken (so far).
Mama-San arrived yesterday, with her traditional complement of leftovers in baggies, family-size bottles of vino in case Chez Polly does not provide, and the non-crushable Shirt Which Must Be Carried Separately, which must not be housed in any kind of luggage, but travel with its own hanger, not to be confused with any other hanger which could not possibly be as good. I had been introducing her to Charles Pierce with this piece, which is how we got to Newt, though with Mama-San, we could just as easily have gotten from there to her hatred of English toast racks or “EC cetera.”
My nonagenarian mother will be here taking care of me while I do a four-day internship taking care of youngsters in their eighties, starting Christmas Eve. So if I don’t get another chance to say it, Roasters, how rare and wonderful it is to spend another year with you! And Merry Whatever You Wish.
The Truth is both sad and inescapable: our sagacious forebears left us only two devices by which to reliably divine our future as a collective species—(1) a wonky paleolithic calendar so wobbly and complex it runs out of dates before the end of time, and (2) a Stone Age alarm clock that scares Anglo Saxons and only goes off on weekends.
As we feared, both the Mayan calendar and Stonehenge concur that this year’s Christmas is going to be indefinitely postponed. This year, don’t bother watching It’s A Wonderful Life, just drink buckets of plum wine and go caroling nude.
Thanks to my highly productive Reds and Australorps, I will have no egg shortage to contend with during this year’s eggnog season. Maybe it’s too soon to talk about eggnog—we haven’t even had Thanksgiving in the US. Oh well.
I have what I consider a very fine eggnog recipe, which I post at Rumproast each year and am sharing below. It not only tastes good, it’s deceptively strong and is highly effective for silencing tiresome wingnut relatives, dispatching the Sandman to whisk them to Dreamland in front of the television. That way the bakers don’t have to hear the self-described makers bitching about the goddamned takers:
6 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Southern Comfort*
1/2 cup rum**
1/2 cup bourbon***
2 cups whipping cream
2 cups whole milk
Freshly grated nutmeg
Separate eggs and reserve whites in fridge in a separate container. In a large bowl, beat yolks until lemony, gradually adding sugar. Add the booze. Refrigerate mixture overnight.****
Next day, add milk to booze mixture. Beat egg whites until stiff peak stage. Separately beat whipping cream to the consistency of that nasty Cool Whip crap. Fold egg whites into booze mixture, then fold in whipped cream. Don’t over-mix—leave it a little lumpy. Grate nutmeg over top and enjoy!
* As vile and hideous as Southern Comfort is (and no one despises it more than I do, having once yerked up great quantities of it all over a golf course during a teenage drinking binge), it is for some reason an essential ingredient in this recipe. I tried doubling the GOOD bourbon once and eliminating the SoCo, and it wasn’t as good. Really.
** I generally use Appleton’s, but last year I tried it with Kraken rum, which is just insanely good. In my opinion.
*** I usually use Maker’s Mark or Knob Creek. Because I care.
**** We’ve omitted the refrigerate overnight step a time or two. If you’ve already had several cups of it made the proper way, you won’t notice the difference. If you haven’t you will. Funny how that works.
I haven’t found a recipe to rival this one, but I am open-minded. Please feel free to share your all-time favorite eggnog recipe. Or talk about whatever.
I realize it’s early (at least on the Eastern coast of the US) to talk about cocktails, but I formulated a new recipe last night that I’m eager to share. And since there is a highly consequential debate tonight, you may want to get liquored up early so you’ll be prepared to slur your encouragement to President Obama on the teevee, urging him to take the fight to whichever Rombot shows up.
I’ve loved the flavor profile of piña coladas ever since I tried my first several at age 12 via room service at a fancy beach hotel. My mother had foolishly left my sister and me to our own devices in our hotel room while she met friends for cocktails at the bar downstairs. After she was gone, I called room service and ordered two piña coladas (even at 12 I had a whisky voice and could thus pull this off). Why piña coladas? Maybe that dumb 70s song? Maybe because that’s what people drank on “The Love Boat”? I don’t know.
Anyhoo, my little sister and I executed our plan: When the room service dude came to the door with the drinks, I pretended to be Mom in the shower. I was sitting in the bathroom with the shower on, and I turned the water off when my sister knocked, opened the door a crack and took and signed the receipt my sister passed to me while the room service dude deposited our drinks on the table. It worked like a charm! It worked so well that we did it again, ordering DOUBLES in the next round and fortunately getting a different room service guy so our ruse continued to work.
We didn’t get busted until we checked out and Mom wondered why there were charges for room service piña coladas (and a handsome tip) on our bill. But when we confessed, she was so impressed with our ingenuity that she just paid up and didn’t punish us.
However, the characteristics that made the drink perfect for a pair of prepubescent rebels – the sugary taste, gloppy consistency and over-adorned presentation – made the piña colada distinctly less appealing to me as an adult. But I still like pineapple, coconut and rum.
Which is why yesterday evening, as hubby and I were wrapping up our kitchen renovation labors for the day and accepting the fact that we would have to face at least 24 more hours without plumbing, I started thinking about piña coladas with a more grown-up twist, and thus the Kraken Kolada was born. It’s more of a martini-style cocktail than the alcoholic sundae that is the classic piña colada, but it delivers on the pineapple and coconut themes:
1 or 2 parts Kraken Black Spiced Rum
2 parts pineapple juice
2 parts coconut water (not coconut milk or, FSM forbid, coconut cream but coconut water)
I shook mine up with ice in the above-pictured cocktail shaker, and it was cool, refreshing heaven in a plastic cup (since we have no working kitchen sink or dishwasher to deal with dirty martini glasses). If you like rum but haven’t tried Kraken, by all means do so. Even if you’re normally not that keen on spiced rum. It’s really good.
Anyone else have tasty cocktail recipes to share? Beer finds? Good wines? No? Then feel free to discuss whatever.
Live coverage will begin around 8:30 ET. For those feeling a leetle skittish about Mittbot’s seeeming surge of late, let the Big Dawg explain the flawed math behind Romney’s great tax plan and soothe your nerves a little:
Still have questions? John Cole has found a valuable source of information regarding the specifics of Romney’s plan right here. Heh.
Drink if you must (and I’m not sure who mustn’t), grab some popcorn and a cushy seat and tune in later this evening for some Roastie comaraderie.
Okay, I thought the debate sucked: President Obama looked like he wanted to get the hell out of there and go celebrate his anniversary with the First Lady, and Romney managed to be both assertive and mendacious without totally coming across as a smarmy prick and a shameless liar, which is something of a small miracle since he is both. Will it matter? Who the fuck knows?
But I was disappointed since I was hoping for a total Romney faceplant, and during one commercial break, after it became clear that wasn’t going to happen, I went to my laundry room/pantry to retrieve a jar of Cherry Bounce I had put up awhile back, hoping to improve my mood. This is what I saw on the bottom shelf:
Yes, my shelves need a good dusting, but forget that please and share my horror and consternation because—sweet Jesus! That’s a big fucking snakeskin! Which can only mean that at least one large snake has been slithering amongst my jars of homemade cordials! In my laundry room/pantry!
This type of event has a way of completely refocusing the mind, let me tell you. Instead of watching Tweety flip the fuck out in the post-debate analysis or reading Andrew Sullivan’s blow-by-blow account of covering himself in beagle shit and running through the streets bellowing doom and woe, I shook my husband awake and demanded that he find an all-night Home Depot and immediately create an airtight seal on every door, window, awning and roofline in this drafty fucking house.
He didn’t, of course, and that fucking snake—or maybe its thousands of babies!—are probably lurking in my unmentionables drawer at this very moment! So yeah, I’m not happy about how the debate went, but I now realize there are more important things happening. Like motherfucking snakes in my motherfucking laundry room/pantry. The end.
Speaking of butts: it turns out they can improve art! As some of you may have heard, I am a leading WineFoilSculptress, which is sort of like being Ann Althouse, only with better wine and less douchebaggery.
Anyway, the other evening, I constructed an armadillo. I used a ballpoint pen (Papermate, medium point) to define the ridges:
Meh. Something wasn’t quite right. Maybe the snout was too long? Or too high up? Tail too short? Anyhoo, I walked away for awhile, leaving it on the surface of my tiki bar.
When I returned a short time later and sat down on a bar stool, I felt something under my posterior and immediately leapt up, thinking I had accidentally squished a frog or giant cockroach. But Mr. C had moved the armadillo sculpture to the seat while I was gone so he could wipe up the cabernet I’d slopped on the surface of the bar during my drunken gesticulations as I was ranting about whatever topic we were ranting about previously, and I’d sat on the armadillo.
And you know what? NOW it looked EXACTLY like the roadkill armadillos that litter our highways down here: