Tuesday, November 21, 2006


if you're reading this rather than working on your essay, I think that means you should be updating your own blog. its been a month.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Kristen's helpful dish-washing tips

Because most college graduates don't know.


1. All dishes must be washed in hot water. Not cold, not warm, not even tolerable on the hands. The water should scald. You ain't a princess--get used to it.

2. It's the new millennium. All dishes should be washed one by one in RUNNING WATER. DO NOT plug the sink and allow the water to stagnate. Sitting water collects gunk from other plates and swills around bacteria and grossness (read: i wash my hands in the kitchen sink after work. Do you really want sawdust and tool oil on your spoon?).

3. All dishes should be washed with a degreasing detergent.

4. Stuck-on food bits must not make it into the dish drainer. If its stuck, guess what. Its your job to scrape it off. For metal, the best tool for this is steel wool. For plastic and wood you're best off with the scrubby side of a sponge. For Teflon, congratulations: you've succeeded in doing exactly what it tried to prevent. Rub hard with the soft side of a sponge. Do not scrape at Teflon. For glass i use a razor blade or matte knife.

5. Your hands are grosser than your mouth. Be sure to always scrub handles.

6. Wash the backs of frying pans every time you use them, even if they don't look dirty. There are few things grosser in the cabinet than sticky frying pans. If ick collects on them anyway, take an afternoon and scrub them with comet or a shiny-pan powder.

7. Do not put dirty dishes in the cabinets. That's just rude.

8. If you share your kitchen facilities with others, wash your dishes within 24 hours of using them. You ain't a princess.

9. Do not wash other people's dishes unless you are compensated for it. If you grudgingly wash your lazy flatmates' dishes you are a PATSY.

10. Always RINSE all soap from dishes before draining.


1. Home dishwashers do not scrub dishes, contrary to what the ads say. Do not put food with stuck-on chunks or dried smears of sauce in personal dishwashers. The only time this will actually work is if you have one of those massive industrial dish-smashers.

2. Never put wood, Teflon, or cut crystal in the dishwasher. wood will warp, teflon will wear away, and cut crystal will grow cloudy. (glass gradually grows cloudy too but its cheaper to replace.)

3. Lightweight, small dishes go in the top rack with at least 1cm of space between all dishes. Try to start at the back and fill forward to make the best use of space.

4. All dishes should have their reservoir end facing down. I.e. turn your bowl over so it don't get full of pondwater.

5. Be sure all dishes are securely placed between pegs so they don't fly around and damage other dishes.

6. Be sure no dish is likely to fall to the bottom of the washer. This especially goes for plastics, which will melt to the heating element (ruining the dish and stinking up the house.)

7. Never put stainless steel and silver in the same load. It will cause the silver to tarnish. I don't know why.

8. Liquid dish detergent usually works better than powder. Unless you want to spend a Saturday cleaning chunks of congealed powder out of your drain.

9. Spoons like to spoon. be sure to have them separated and, as much as possible, alternating up and down in the cutlery section. Dirty little spoons.

10. If the dishwasher has been run but not emptied, either wash your dirty dish by hand or put the clean dishes away. Don't leave it in the fucking sink.

Friday, November 10, 2006

voting rights

I divorce you, South Carolina. I stuck through for the good times and plenty of the bad, but you've publicly embarrassed me three times in one week and honestly i think you're doing it on purpose.

First it was the frat boys in Borat, saying nasty things about women and minorities. Then, though, they actually sued the movie studios for displaying just how prejudiced and idiotic they are. Way to go. Way to put my alma mater on the map. Way to reinforce the rest of the world's already-pathetic opinion of us.

But you went too far on Tuesday by voting--6 to 1, no less--to amend the SC constitution to include the most blatant prejudice on record since the civil rights movement.

I know that marriage is already defined by SC law as one woman and one man, but this doesn't just say that. It is worded to indicate that gay couples and any other pairings considered civil unions have no rights at all--as parents, homeowners, will executors, or anything else that people sign for together. It will force homosexual couples to pretend to be single, roommates, or merely "good friends" if they want to live together, raise children, and entrust one another with their health and safety. It also encourages employers to not offer insurance coverage for their employees' non-traditional spouses, prevents family hospital visitation rights, and, in essence, forces overtly gay people back into their quiet little closets, thank-you-very-much.

While I doubt this legislation will be used to take people's children away, it will wrap parenthood up in a lot of red tape and may change the names around on adoption documents and mortgages. What a big stinking waste of people's time and energy, just so the godbotherers can feel good about themselves for ridding themselves of the pesky eyesore that is anyone who isn't them.

Naturally, the ACLU filed the discrimination lawsuit the second the votes were tallied. Hopefully the courts will overturn this in the next few years, though it will take a lot of unnecessary work and money to do so. Seems its always more costly for the government to dig itself out of its actions than for it to just leave things alone.

The unfortunate thing about this is, though, for once its not the government just speaking on the part of the people without consulting them. Hundreds of thousands of SC residents voted yes for this. For many people this was the one reason they came out to vote at all. To vote yes for prejudice and have their own tax dollars wasted on preventing it from becoming law. Way to go.

This has gotten me thinking, grumpily as usual, and I believe its time the right to vote was reevaluated. No more of this "anyone can do it so long as they're 18" rubbish. Since when did age indicate a capacity for rational thought? Moreover, since when did the government actually trust the common man to make decisions? The Electoral College was established for a reason. Fact of the matter is, if you allow idiots to vote for what they want, you land society back in the dark ages of civil liberty.

Morons vote for religion, arrogance, and hatred.
Smart people vote for what they believe will benefit everyone, regardless of who they are or how they live.

What this country needs is not an AGE limit to vote, but an EDUCATION limit. Nobody who hasn't at least gotten accepted to an accredited 4-year university should be allowed to punch a ballot card. I don't care if you graduate or even if you go, but your base intellect needs to be evaluated by a legitimate college admissions board before the state accepts you as a qualified voter. Some religious fanatics and assholes will manage to get through this screen, but I think this would tip the scales significantly toward reason when it comes to public referendum. And, as an added bonus, it may encourage your more vehemently ignorant jerks to go to college and become enlightened. What a way to benefit the commonwealth! Force them to do something good for themselves in order to get what they want! Get South Carolina out of the sty and into the parlor with the civilized folk.

Monday, November 06, 2006


I have four different copies of Cab Calloway's career-defining "Minnie The Moocher"--three of which were recorded by Calloway himself. Odd.

I saw Borat tonight. wow am I embarrassed. Any longtime reader may know I graduated from the University of South Carolina. As if my theatre degree wasn't useless enough...now my school has been publicly shamed in huge blockbuster film that makes SC students out to be racist, misogynist, pro-slavery, ignorant...

Oh wait. We already knew that.

I applaud your efforts, Mr. Cohen, but unfortunately as a born-n-bred southerner i have to say...brilliant film. Hilarious film. Acutely accurate and revealing film. But you've done nothing to enlighten the greater mass of Americans. The people who resemble the caricatures you've drawn aren't going to get that you're pointing out how ridiculous they are. I know hundreds of people who will laugh at the body humor, agree with Borat's views on human rights, and nod self-righteously at the church politicians. Those who take offense to it are just going to become even more xenophobic and isolationist and support the terror war and W even more.

I can just hear the ladies in my neighborhood commenting around the bus stop next week about it..."well its good to hear that dirty-mouthed man found the way of the lord, at the very least."

Its sad to acknowledge, but the only people who are going to find the intelligent humor in this film are the people who can't stand the genre of folk in it anyway. The people who most need to understand the message of this film have no idea what you're saying.

Thursday, November 02, 2006