Friday, February 20, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Obama Restaurant Watch

Dear Mr. Obama,

Maybe this weekend, you can take Michelle and your two lovely daughters to Kramer's Books & Afterwords. It's a DC institution. You can buy some books and, then, have Obama Family Chili for just $12. At Kramer's, they make it from Café ground beef shoulder, onion, pepper & red beans, cumin, oregano, turmeric, basil, chili powder, and tomato; topped w/cheddar, red onion, scallion, sweet peppers & sour cream. Kramer's serves it with seasonal green salad w/apple, onion & walnuts.

I was there today for lunch and had the Narragansett Baked ½ Lobster w/ crabmeat, brushed w/sweet butter & fired under the broiler, w/Café mac & cheese, corn & lima bean succotash; grilled fresh asparagus. You can walk next door to Marvelous Market for v good brownies for dessert.

Come on. You live here. Take the girls out to eat and buy books here.

More on the Obamas' trips to various restaurants in DC here.

Picture found here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dear Liberals, This Is How It's Done

Hat tip to Eckcentrik at Eschaton.

Obama Restaurant Watch

Dear President Obama:

You've been spending some time this week out West, which is really smart politically and, heck, at a time when America needs to change and flow and experience some optimism for a change, it makes sense magically, as well. And it only makes sense to go to an old-home favorite restaurant for a holiday like Valentine's Day. Course, Denver decided to push back it's Restaurant Week rather than compete with your appearance there to sign the economic stimulus package (May Ganesh and Green Tara make it work!) But, by all accounts, the city was delighted to have you.

Here in DC, we're used to presidents and we're not pushing back our Restaurant Week, which started on February 16th and runs through February 22nd.

Hopefully, you and the First Lady will be able to have dinner (or even lunch) out a few times during DC's Restaurant Week. You can try some great food at some economic prices and boost the economy of DC all at once. A three-course lunch will set the WH budget back a mere $20.09 and a three-course dinner comes in at an economically stimulating $30.09

I'm a big fan of Acadiana Restaurant, 901 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001, (202) 408-8848,

Bistro Francais, 3124-28 M Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007, (202) 338-3830,

Napoleon Bistro1847 Columbia Road, NW, Washington, DC 20009 , (202) 299-9630 (have the frittes),

and La Chaumiere, 2813 M Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007, (202) 338-1784 (which is perfect for a cold, February night),

but there are tons of choices on the list.

Come on, you're here for 8 years (Goddess grant), may as well settle in.

PIcture found here.

Deep Thought (W/ Apologies To Atrios)

I should be adding mushrooms to the Susun Weed Cabbage that I make each week.

Picture found here.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Resilient This

There's a fascinating article in the WaPo "proving" that girls are more "resilient" than boys. And, of course, my first response is a knowing smile. Damn straight, we're more resilient. We have to be. Plus, we're not missing that important bit of genetic material that gets cut off of an X chromosome to make it a Y.

But when you think about the article for a moment, it's interesting to consider the underlying sexism.

The article describes a study that looked at boys and girls raised in stressful situations: Besides having a drug-addicted parent, many of the children also had a parent who was jailed or mentally ill. Overall, 62 percent of the children had three or more childhood adversities. So those situations would seem to happen equally to both boys and girls. But, here's the interesting part:

[R]esiliency was defined as either working or being in school, not being a substance abuser and having no criminal record. It's interesting that resiliency was defined as doing what we expect men to do and as not doing those things that men with problems often do. Resiliency, for example, wasn't defined as not being involved with an abusive lover, as not having had early and unplanned pregnancies, as not engaging in anorexic behaviors or bulimia. Stay in school, don't use drugs, and don't get arrested and you're able to deal resiliently with a difficult childhood, I guess. That's what girls do.

I used to teach special education for kids labeled "emotionally disturbed." Not surprisingly, teachers refer to such programs those kids who act out in the classroom and make it impossible for the teachers to teach. Not surprisingly, far more boys than girls got referred and "identified." I kept pointing out that there were girls with emotional problems, but they displayed those problems in ways -- retreating into silence and depression, cutting themselves, starving themselves, giving themselves away sexually in return for an illusion of love, etc. -- that didn't generally disrupt the classroom. And so they went untreated, while the boys, who tended to act out, disrupt, be aggressive, engage in "dangerous" behaviors, got help.

I think it's dangerous to pretend that girls can "take it" better than boys can. It's dangerous for the boys, but it's especially bad for the girls.

Picture found here.

Too Soft To Stand Up To Our Enemies, But Too Contrary To Our Stereotypes For Voting For The War

Once Obama was the Democratic candidate, I supported him wholeheartedly. I campaigned for him, blogged for him, showed up at the farmers' market and handed out literature for him, opened my home to Obama volunteers, did magic to ensure his election, made fetch birds to protect him, drove voters to the polls -- I worked to get him elected. And I cried like a big baby when he was inaugurated, delighted that my G/Son will grow up simply accepting that, well, yeah, of course African Americans can be president.

Throughout the primary campaign, lots of Democratic voters were simply indignant: I could NEVER vote for Hillary Clinton! She voted for the war!

Fair enough. The war was immoral and everyone knew that Bush was going to fuck it up. Voting for it was immoral.

Hil had the bad luck to be a woman w the first real shot at the WH just as Rove was punking the Dems. If she'd voted v the war, she'd have had to campaign against assertions that, as a woman, she was too "soft" to be willing to use our military "against terrorists." And, as a woman, if she voted for the war, she was going to, as she did, pay a price for being pro-war. We don't like our women being too warlike.

It's MUCH WORSE for a woman to be pro-war in this society than it is for a man.

Want proof? It was OK for Kerry and Edwards to be pro-war (But, but, but, they apologized BETTER than she did! Right. Sure. Whatever.) It was OK for Biden to have been "for the war." Crickets. And, today, Obama announced that he's ramping up the war in Afghanistan. I'm sure Move On will get right on this. No, I'm not. Crickets.

Look. I'm anti-war. I don't think it's OK for ANYONE to be for any war.

But it's v, v, v, v interesting to me to see the different reactions to men who are "for war" as compared to Clinton. As usual, women are damned if the do and damned if they don't. In patriarchy, it's a feature, not a bug.

Picture found here.

Obama Restaurant Watch

How Can We Tell The Gardener From The Garden

Is there anything quite as depthless as the flower beds that deck the entrances of corporate high-rise buildings in our cities? In these raised, granite-bordered ovals and rectangles, the flowers are always in their prime. Neither strife nor decay is visible, nor the mark of Cura, as a full bed of pansies is replaced overnight by one of full-blown petunias. Here the sublime artifice of Versailles has become the paltry ornamentalization of decorative "landscaping." Here the "perpetual spring" of Eden indeed seems to reign, but it is as arid and worldless as the forced air and artificially regulated environments inside the offices and hotel towers. As we "cute up" the habitat, the gardens become more perfect, yet the gardener recedes further from the scene, to the point of disappearing altogether. These formulaic gardens that are cropping up in our midst are not sustained by personal dedication, but are mechanically maintained by anonymous agents. In short, the specious garden world of Aeon Flux is already upon us.

Picture found here.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Why We All Adore Twisty

Hear me, O afflicted dudes: If you truly do “get” feminism, you know that, like all oppressed classes, women, as a matter of survival, are intimate to the point of exhaustion with the drives, appetites, illnesses, angsts, yearnings, hopes, dreams, great works, and bodily functions of the oppressor. We grasp these things utterly and without omission because we do not live in a cave; they are the default subjects of all art, literature, music, science, film, blogs, dinner conversation, science fiction, advertising, journalism, legislation, TV, the Internet, religion, technology, sport, and miscellaneous culture both low and high. The minute some dude tells me something I don’t already know about dudeliness, I’ll eat a bonobo.

Go read the whole thing.

Cartoon found here.

Gee, How On Earth Could That Have Happened? Must Be The Way Folks Are Always Persecuting Those Pauvre, Pauvre Xianists.

Butcha Are, Gary! Butcha Are!

Gary Bauer said this week, “There is an ongoing battle for the vocabulary of our debate. It amazes me how often in public discourse really pejorative phrases are used, like the ‘American Taliban,’ ‘fundamentalists,’ ‘Christian fascists,’ and ‘extreme Religious Right.’”

Hat tip to the divine Athenae.

Picture found here. (Site not safe for young children).

Endlessly Disposable

If at present we are seeking to render the totality of the [E]arth's resources endlessly available, endlessly usable, endlessly disposable, it is because endless consumption is the proximate goal of a production without end. Or, better, consumption is what justifies the frenzy of production, which, in turn justifies consumption, the entire cycle serving more to keep us busy than to satisfy our real needs.

~From Gardens, An Essay on the Human Condition by Robert Pogue Harrison/

Picture found here

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Obama Restaurant Watch

So instead of eating in DC, the Obamas went out to Table 52. for Valentine's dinner.

No word on what the First Couple ate, but I think I'd have gone for the Kansas City Lamb Strip Loin with Parsley-Mint Sauce, Braised Tiny Red Potatoes & Green Lentils. The desserts look tooth-achingly sweet and I don't see a cheese tray, so I'd hope the lamb was enough.

I hope that next year they'll try one of DC's lovely restaurants. Dear Mr. President: You may want to write this on a shirt cuff: DC in the winter, Chicago in the Summer. No one goes to Chicago in February!

What Ericka Said

No women? WTF? How can we be 52% of the population and be unfuckingvisible?!!??!??!

Picture found here.

Sunday Trakl Blogging

In Hellbrun

Once more following the blue grief of the evening
Down the hill, to the springtime fishpond—
As if the shadows of those dead for a long time were
hovering above,
The shadows of church dignitaries, of noble ladies—
Their flowers bloom so soon, the earnest violets
In the earth at evening, and the clear water washes
From the blue spring. The oaks turn green
In such a ghostly way over the forgotten footsteps
of the dead
The golden clouds over the fishpond.

Picture found here.