Wednesday, June 2

The New Third Door

I love Jane Lynch. Her role in Best in Show as a lesbian dog trainer is on my all time favorites list. My love for her has moved me to try and watch Glee a few times. I made it through one full episode, and even though I was on the computer for most of the show, I found it difficult to watch. This is a show about high school and it feels like a show about high school. Enough said.
So I had a mild, "not for me" reaction to the show.

But then, one evening I happened to stumble across this Highway To Hell bit. Please, do not show-choir-sanitize the songs of the band that gave us Big Balls and You Shook Me All Night Long. I made it approximately thirty-seconds and retreated in horror. ACDC belongs cranked up in the back seat of a Camaro in the high school parking lot or at the Planetarium laser show in all of its fierce, Bon Scott & Angus Young glory.

Then the unthinkable happened. They messed with the funk. Bad. They really, really messed with it. Don't believe me? just listen. I get it that the show is fun and that the kids are super-talented and it it has some well-written dialogue. But this is a funk-travesty and those Glee producers got no respect for the funkology. We need to send them to Funk University, so they can learn proper respect and how to give up the funk (hint, it's not with show choirs and auto-tune). I hear that they also butchered Chaka Khan and James Brown on this episode, but I can't bear to look or listen any further.

When George Clinton asked us "Would you trade your funk for what's behind the third door?", he was already asking us about our white bread, strip mall, fast-food, auto-tuner mentality. Congrats Glee, you're the new third door. Thanks, but I'll keep my funk uncut. Now I am going to have to go deep into"If You Don't Like the Effects, Don't Produce the Cause", in order to recover.

Friday, May 21

Your Tax Dollars At Work

Finding ovarian cancer early means a survival rate of 60-90%, except that we don't know how to find it early…yet.

My mom participated in some early research that didn't contribute to her survival, but hopefully moved us closer to an effective screening tool and more survivors. The news in this article is just a blip on today’s newsfeed, but this is huge, my friends, huge.

Survival rates at the current late-stage detection are less than 30%. And for everyone that loved my mom, that percent equals a whole person. Every year, it equals 15,000 whole people; 10,000 of those people could still be here if their cancer had been detected earlier.

The bulk of this research, and its continuation, is being federally funded. If you wonder what our federal government is doing for us... well, they are doing stuff like this. Making sure we have more mommies, grandmas and crazy aunts.

Tuesday, May 11

Love your Neighbor

In case you haven't heard, we had a flood.

If you weren't here it's a challenge to explain what it was like. Friends and family from all over have asked me to describe it and it's hard to explain.

I have one snapshot: Sitting in my dry, relatively unaffected house, on the sunshiny day after the rains, I am watching continuous flood coverage on the the news. While providing an aerial view of Bellevue homes affected, the helicopter finds two horses standing in what used to be a field, now a lake. They are up to their neck in water and surrounded for as far as you can see by water. They keep returning to this shot and the newscasters are silent. What do you say?
Thirty minutes later. Finally, boats come. You can't talk to horses. encourage them to follow you, or hang on. Boats scare them. This doesn't look good. I have to leave the room, I can't take it. When I come back, they have somehow gotten the horses to cooperate and they are on higher ground. I breathe a sigh of relief.
And then I realize, so many helpless animals were trapped and didn't get saved. So many people, who sat huddled Saturday night, not knowing if anyone would come.

I am overwhelmed, helpless, and heartbroken. It's how a lot of us who didn't lose anything felt. It's why you see so many acts of kindness. The only thing you can do with that knot in your gut and that lump in your throat is to offer your help. We are trying to save ourselves. Let us help.

A lot of folks have said it better than I could, with words and pictures alike.


the rain, and more rain
then, after the flood I love the guy in his "Jesus, that's my final answer" t-shirt.
The Opryland Hotel, now.

Channel 4's photo albums on the flood

my friend Kidd
the widely distributed We Are Nashville from Section 303

If you live somewhere else and you want to help. Here's a few ways you can do that:

Give to the Red Cross, I have had my doubts about them in the past, but they have been amazing.

Hands On Nashville, has single-handedly organized almost all the volunteers in Nashville, in coordination with the Mayor's Office of Emergency Management. Giving them money means that they can invest in the infrastructure and systems to coordinate and organize. That has made a huge difference in our response efforts.

For a comprehensive list, go here.

Sunday, January 24

City House, Country House

I met up with Rebekah at City House, where she is the pastry chef extraordinaire. City House is an amazing restaurant in historic Germantown (which always makes me want to call it City Haus). The interior is a beautifully renovated house and former art studio of Alan LeQuire. The exposed brick walls, wooden beams and two rustic wood fired-ovens warm the modern clean lines and stainless-steel kitchen.

If you haven't had a meal there yet, you must do so immediately. Here's what's on the menu tomorrow (warning: it's a whole-lotta pig, they just got a whole one):


January 24, 2010

Pork Snacks

Pork Rib Salad, Pickles, Onions, Celery, Buttermilk Dressing
Head Cheese, Cabbage, Horseradish
Crispy Pig Ears Milanese, Caper Lemon Butter
Bologna & Pimento Cheese Sandwich
Country Fried Pork Biscuits, White Gravy

Other Snacks:

Boiled Peanuts
Brussels Sprout Salad, Miracle Whip, Red Onion, Peanuts & Raisins
Aaron’s Wings
Smoked Sunburst Trout, Corn Cakes, Sour Cream
Rock Shrimp Cocktail, Saltines


Kitchen Pie
Margherita Pizza, House Made Mozzarella
Sausage & Potato Mozzarella
Cannellini Bean, Ricotta, Grana, Garlic, Oregano
Chick Pea, Pecorino, Chilies, Back Fat
San Marzano Tomato, Anchovy, Radicchio, Parsley, Celery, Garum
Prosciutto Cotto, Ricotta, Lemon


Pork Meatballs, Tomato Ragu, Grana Padano, Garlic Toast
Porchetta, Fennel, Red Onion, Parsley, Lemon
Delta Catfish, Cornmeal Crust, Cauliflower, Pesto, Green Olives

Hungry yet?

Oh, yeah, and dessert. That's a secret. You'll just have to go and see. Let's just say that there will be homemade gelato and there will be chocolate.

And then Rebekah and I had a crafty day at her country house in Springfield. We made things with ribbon and vintage fabrics. I got to look at many of her fiancee, Harry's paintings (I was a fan long before I knew him). Harry even braved the estrogen levels of a crafty meeting to hang with us and be our DJ. It was a lovely day.

Monday, January 18

crafty chicks gone wild

A few girls came over Saturday to make fascinators. Nobody was convinced that it would be easy, yet everyone left with a finished product. It was so fun, my only complaint is that we didn't have enough time. We also got scoop on Rebekah's wedding plans and Maggie's pregnancy (well, we know how that happened).
crafty chicks gone wild

Thursday, January 14

Give to Haiti, Not the Red Cross

The kind of poverty that Haitians live in is difficult for me to imagine. Struggling under the weight of so much suffering already, I feel helpless when looking at the damage and suffering of the recent earthquake.

Americans respond to these tragedies by giving, because we can give. It's a good thing. When these disasters occur, we are encouraged to give to the Red Cross, and many do. Sadly, the Red Cross is not the best choice to deliver more of your dollars to directly help individuals. Their administrative costs are disproportionately high and they don't commit the funds you send to direct aid of that disaster. Thinking about donating through Wyclef Jean's Charity, Yele? Think again. Last year they spent only 73% on programs and the rest on administrative costs.

The best choice for helping the people of Haiti are the groups who offer direct aid and have a demonstrated good stewardship of donated funds in the past, groups like Direct Relief International, that use 98% of their funds for direct aid programs. Or consider a local group like Haitian Health Foundation, which is already providing services in Haiti. There's a list of top-rated charities on Charity Navigator, which provides information about how charities are handling their finances and the kind of services they provide.

Give, but make an informed gift.