Posted in Food & Drink

Chicken Thighs

I’ve got a big work week this week, dear Reader, but my thoughts this morning turn to you. In these tough times, even the simplest meal presents itself as a sumptuous feast. The Scout and I previously feasted on lamb and steak from Costco; we now turn our anxious eyes to chicken thighs.

I am pleased to bring you a WCGB first—a recipe. Adapted from Joy of Cooking, I present:

Chicken Thighs with Onions, Garlic & Tarragon

Joy of Cooking says, “This simple but delicious dish is Greek in inspiration, so you might serve it in the Greek style with oven-roasted potatoes cooked with olive oil, garlic and herbs.” (NB: I did. Put the potatoes in 10-15 minutes before the chicken. I like Nigella’s recipe, though it is not particularly Greek.)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Rinse and pat dry 3 pounds of chicken thighs (bone-in or boneless—your choice). Season with salt and pepper.

Toss together the following:

3 medium onions cut into rings

6-12 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (you can also use Trader Joe’s crushed garlic in the little jar, or a combo of both)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2-3 tablespoons fresh tarragon (I cut it up with scissors)

1-2 teaspoons ground fennel seed

Juice of 1 small lemon (I used a Meyer lemon from Susan’s tree)

Spread half of the onion mixture in a shallow baking dish large enough to hold the chicken in a single layer. Put the chicken on top of the onions, then put the rest of the onions on top of the chicken. Drizzle a little olive oil on top of everything, then put it in the oven for 45-55 minutes. The chicken is done when the juice from the chicken runs clear (not pink).

I made this last night but I didn’t take a picture. Sorry. The Scout recommends the 2006 La Crema Chardonnay to go with it (not the 2007—and if you find the 2006 somewhere, let me know). Notice how the expensive meat gets axed before the expensive wine around here.

Let me know if you make this, or if you have another chicken thigh recipe. I’m on a chicken thigh high.

Posted in Current Events

Blogger Pajama Party

You are invited to join the Feb. 13 Blogger Pajama Party as proposed by Sister Wolf over at

“…In a tribute to Mrs. Palin, we should all set aside one day to blog in our pj’s, and to post photos…”

I’m really not one to rush into getting dressed on a normal day , but what with my recent cold/flu thing, I’ve been in my pj’s for the last 56 hours (with one laundry respite).

Just when you thought I’d never blog about Sarah Palin again, just when you were sure I’d ‘gotten over it’—I’ve been delving a bit into the Myers-Briggs personality types. My ENFP-ness grows large (“P-ness” — God, I love that joke). To wit: “ENFPs often have strong, if unconventional, convictions on various issues related to their Cosmic View.” My Cosmic View apparently includes needing large doses of the truth from politicians, as wacky as that might be.

Check out this article by James Rainey (appeared in the 14 Jan 2009 print edition of the LA Times) discussing Sarah Palin’s ongoing lack of media savvy. Actually, you don’t have to check it out, because I am about to summarize it for you. For while you may be tired of me talking about Sarah Palin, I am not tired of other people talking about Sarah Palin.

Rainey points out that Sarah can’t seem to discriminate between her legitimate gripes against the press and her illegitimate ones (ha ha).

He says Sarah is right to complain about the “…newspaper report that suggested that political considerations led state authorities to delay their investigation of Sherry Johnston.” (NB: Sherry is Levi “Baby Daddy” Johnston’s mom.)

The union of public officials who supposedly supported this claim “quickly backed down,” and the Anchorage Daily News reported this correction. Other major newspapers did not, says Rainey.

Rainey continues:

“But in her other claims, Palin overplayed her hand. She accused the mainstream media, for example, of relying on those “anonymous bloggers” to write their stories, when most actually run in the other direction…Yes, some Internet scribes and the Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan continue to raise questions about Trig’s birth. But the nation’s most influential and biggest news organizations have paid little or no attention to the story…”

Rainey continues with a couple of key points:

  • The Anchorage Daily News did try to pursue the Trig story but “the governor’s office would not cooperate” and ADN’s Pat Dougherty summed it up…”We decide what to print on the basis of the answers we get, not the questions we ask.”
  • “Palin is something worse than naive to think she can prevent the questions from even being asked.”

Rainey’s article concludes with Sarah’s rambling on about how she was mistreated in Katie Couric interview: “…they spliced it together…” “…did whatever they did…” “…never saw how it came across…” “…so many other topics that were brought up certainly weren’t, uh, portrayed as accurately perhaps as they could have, should have been after that interview.”


I’m now going to do one of those wrap-up things in which I tell you all the stuff that I’m not going to say in conclusion, but I actually do say it all and thereby do exactly what I said I wasn’t going to do.


Oh heck, I’m out of steam.

Last gasp: To me, it is worth asking the questions about Trig because the truth is important. Is Sarah telling us the truth? Why has she not released her medical records?

Once again, I refer you to a real journalist for a pretty decent wrap up of the whole deal.

I drank the Kool-Aid, and I still have a red stain around my mouth.


Sarah Palin & Trig – My open letter to the MSM (or, Where the Insanity/Inanity Began)

Fake Baby Birthin’ Church Lady

Palin: ‘I Don’t Know’ If Abortion Clinic Bombers are Terrorists

Sarah Palin Reads ‘Em All

In Other Sarah News

Sarah Palin Links

No, I’m Not Done Questioning Palin

Mudflats on Sarah Palin & The Donnie Darko Connection – includes a link to Sarah’s 2006 vetting docs

Posted in Let's Get Visual


Maybe it’s because I had two sons that I can handle the yukky. That stage of laughing at bodily functions and fluids and noises lasts years. Or is it ever really over?

I have a bad cold and horrible sinus head face ache. Wikipedia says:

The word “catarrh” comes from the Greek “katarrhein”: kata- meaning “down” and rhein meaning “to flow.”

Uoind qxk ncbywf fs wpoie soij zcoghlw.

Clearly I’m in no shape to write. A photo then:



No, tea for me, thanks.

Photo of Nicks Cafe, Los Angeles, CA, by Tim Down.

Posted in Around Town, Current Events

Doo Dah Parade 2009


Welcome to Doo Dah 2009.


I marched with Thorny Rose Ann Lau and the Great Firewall of China Marching Brigade.


Photo by KchristieH.


I was a computer with a monitor head and keyboard hands, unfettered by Yahoo, Google and Microsoft.


I marched because Shi Tao can’t march. Shi Tao is in prison.



Photo by Jon Delorey.

Was it silly to protest the pro-Olympics float in the 2008 Rose Parade? Well, did you see the NY Times article about Ji Sizun, now in prison for “forging official seals and documents”? Or did he just try to apply for a permit to protest?

Call me Debbie Downer, but this gets my dander up. I’m getting old, folks, so prepare for a life-time of built-up dander to come snowing down in ’09.


Photo by Jon Delorey

More here. Clearly, I’m going for “Doo Dah 2009: Most Issue-Laden Blog Post.”

Let’s not forget Mutts for Marrow!


Photo of Mutt-in-Chief Susan Carrier by KchristieH, who took many wonderful photos of the parade.

It may be true that like Eli Cross in The Stunt Man, a blogger-poet-painter-filmmaker will go to great lengths to ‘get that shot.’



Or is Miss Havisham doing what she does best—pursuing the past with a vengeance? Ah, we must do what we must do.

I must take photos of men and babies and beer…


…at Lucky Baldwin’s after the parade.

Say bye-bye!


PS – A lovely sign of hope ( <— Oh, do watch it!) at the parade, again courtesy of KchristieH:


Posted in Life

Emotional Fortitude 2

Time to ‘fess up, time to come clean as Altadena Hiker suggests. Do I need to apologize for my previous cryptic post? It really wasn’t fair (it felt a bit cheesy) to put out a rather existential post without providing actual content. But it all felt so raw a couple of days ago. I’m a bit better now. Now, can tell you.

One of my fears: If I post this, everyone will think I want them to feel sorry for me. Perhaps irrational, perhaps codependent…I guess the real truth is (1) This is my personal blog, so I’ma gonna blog about personal stuff; (2) I hate fake people, so I don’t want to be one; (3) I’m trying hard and want/need to be appreciated.

In a nutshell, then. I’m a stepmother. As in “Complete this list: Robespierre, Stalin, Chaney, Rumsfeld, and _________.”

Let’s start with literature: Stepmothers occupy a less than stellar role in literary history. Insert complicated psychological (including Oedipal?) stuff here. It’s thesis time: The evil Queen in Cymbaline is the progenitor of a series of bad events. She is also nameless. She is simply “Queen.” Continue reading “Emotional Fortitude 2”

Posted in Life

Emotional Fortitude

I have some, but I need more.

I’m looking to She-Ra, Princess of Power for inspiration.


Like She-Ra, it is my destiny to join the Great Rebellion and fight against the Horde.

Like She-Ra, I need my sword to do my work. The one with the jewel in the hilt.

Unlike She-Ra, I don’t have superhuman strength or speed. I am not “highly resistant to damage” nor can I “speak with animals telepathically.”

What is the role of the individual in history?  Am I more than the sum of the roles I play in life?  Can I be the hero of my own story?

Posted in Around Town

Scofflaws of the Rose Parade

You may have heard that this was the first year that you couldn’t smoke along the Rose Parade route.



Let’s face it…How is the ordinary nicotine-consuming mortal to endure a 2-hour parade without regular infusion of that calming influence? Especially if you’ve brought your squirmy youngsters out for some Quality Family Time.

There are a host of other Rose Parade rules, like no tents, sofas or ladders and no bonfires. There’s always a sofa or two left behind after the parade (though it seems not as many as there used to be). Of course people bring ladders and watch the parade from them. I gathered some pretty decent, gently used firewood after the parade (I’m now in the market for kindling to go with it).

Forget smoking—the real scofflaws of the Rose Parade are the kids (some even adult-aged) with the Silly String.


The photo below is cropped to protect the identity of the parent who was aiding and abetting this Silly String abomination:


Note disgusting Silly String all over the street. Each can is 75% propellant.

I don’t like when the emPHAsis gets put on the wrong syLAble. I say let the smokers smoke, but crack down on the Silly String. Better yet, take it away from the kiddies and tell them that it is needed for the war effort.

– * ^ _ * * _ ^ * –

I’ve got an out-of-town house guest fast approaching, so I need to work on the house. (Read: I’d rather blog, but even the Baby Jesus’ manger was more orderly than my abode.)

But I couldn’t leave you hanging without a laugh. No Luck for Levi Johnston will make you smile, no matter what your political persuasion. If I’ve learned anything in the ’08 election season, it’s that political humor is funnier if you’re on the ‘winning’ side.

No wonder so many of us haven’t smiled in 8 years.