So It Turns Out...

Greg Laden? Awesome on race. Awesome on science education. Kind of a sexist asshat.

It's really a shame. Come on people, there are so many good reasons why this woman shouldn't be VP. Having been a beauty queen isn't one of them.

I'm actually quite disappointed, because I'm usually a fan of Laden's. But I know that he was called out on the beauty queen thing in his first post on Palin, and he hasn't either stopped doing it, or explained why he thinks it's okay.



So, I'm in the middle of packing to move apartments and yesterday I was going through the cabinet in the bathroom, packing stuff up or throwing it out, and I encountered a lipstick that I bought, probably in 2003. Now, most of my makeup has disappeared over the years, since every time I move it's been that much longer since I've worn any of it, so I throw more of it out, but I remembered really liking the colour of this lipstick, so I decided to put it on to see if I still liked it enough to hang on to it. And you know what? I totally suck at putting on lipstick.

I have no idea when that happened. I mean, I've never worn makeup regularly, but it used to be that the once or twice a year that I'd wear it for ballet performances, halloween, or Meow Mix was enough to keep me competent at applying it, and I actually kind of prided myself on staying decent at this skill I almost never used. Unfortunately, over the last few years I've stopped doing all those things and I think 2004 may have been the last time I put on any makeup at all. And now I totally suck at it. And it wasn't just that the final result was lopsided and funny-looking (although it was). I felt super awkward trying to put it on, like I just couldn't find the right angle for my wrist and forearm. I remember I used to feel that way when I first was learning to apply makeup, when I was 10 or 11. It was weird.

Despite the hatchet job I did on my lips, I decided the colour was nice enough that the lipstick was worth keeping. Maybe there will be a party in the next year or two worth wearing it for. And maybe I'll even relearn how to put it on.

I did, however, throw out a nail polish that had separated and a blush that was at least seven years old, which brings the makeup I own down to, um... one lipstick. I feel like this is an occasion that should be marked somehow. The official passing of the era of me pretending I'm someone who might wear makeup. If I didn't think my labmates would die of shock (and if I knew how to put it on) I'd wear the lipstick to work tomorrow.



Food Meme

Food meme, from Mark Chu-Carroll. Because it's really the most interesting thing I have time to say right now. Too tired, bored, cranky, and half-packed to actually think.

1. Venison: No, haven't had any game meats
2. Nettle tea: No. Nettles hurt. For all that I understand the tea doesn't sting you, I'm prejudiced against nettles
3. Huevos rancheros: Don't think so
4. Steak tartare: Nope
5. Crocodile: Nope
6. Black pudding: No
7. Cheese fondue: Yes
8. Carp: Don't know. Probably not. I didn't really keep track of which fish I ate as a kid, it was sort of all the same to me.
9. Borscht: For all that I, like MarkCC, am an Ashkenazi Jew, I don't think I've ever had borscht
10. Baba ghanoush: Yep. I like it best when it's really just hummus with eggplant.
11. Calamari: Yeah, couple times. Not as good as Chinese barbequed squid, but edible.
12. Pho: Nope.
13. PB&J sandwich: Yes, of course, and repeatedly. But I'm not a big fan.
14. Aloo gobi: Potatoes and cauliflower. What's not to love?
15. Hot dog from a street cart: I think I've only ever had the vegetarian kind. I don't think I ever ate streetmeat before I became vegetarian.
16. Epoisses: Nope, never even heard of it. I gather it's cheese.
17. Black truffle: No, for all that truffles come highly recommended, I'm always suspicious of non-button mushrooms because I tend not to like them. Their texture icks me out.
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes: Nope
19. Steamed pork buns: Nope
20. Pistachio ice cream: Yeah. It's okay I guess, I've never been a big ice cream fan.
21. Heirloom tomatoes: Don't think so, but I'd love to.
22. Fresh wild berries: Yup.
23. Foie gras: No, ew.
24. Rice and beans: Of course
25. Brawn, or head cheese: No
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper: Not yet!
27. Dulce de leche: Yeah
28. Oysters: again, ew.
29. Baklava: Uh huh.
30. Bagna cauda: I don't know it by name, but looking at Wiki's description of the dish, I think I've had it or something very like it. It's certainly familiar.
31. Wasabi peas: Yes, unimpressed.
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl: Well, I've had clam chowder and I've certainly had sourdough, but not in that combination.
33. Salted lassi: Yes. Seriously overrated, at least by my dad.
34. Sauerkraut: Yum!
35. Root beer float: Yeah. Waaaayyy too much sugar.
36. Cognac with a fat cigar: No. Cigars are gross. And I don't think I've actually had cognac
37. Clotted cream tea: Once, in England, with the Bear. It was very rich, but also nummy.
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O: Once, I think. I avoid jello shots. I prefer my booze in liquid form.
39. Gumbo: As in the vegetable, okra, unfortunately yes. As in the specific kind of stew made from okra, no.
40. Oxtail: No
41. Curried goat: No. My meat-eating days and my curry-eating days didn't really overlap.
42. Whole insects: Ugh, no. Arthropods are gross and not meant to be eaten.
43. Phaal: Not under that name. Probably not.
44. Goat's milk: I don't think so. I've certainly had goat's cheese and possibly yogurt, but I don't think I've ever just drunk the milk.
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$130 or more: No.
46. Fugu: No. Like with curry, my willingness to be adventurous with food didn't develop until long after I stopped eating meat.
47. Chicken tikka masala: No. See above re: goat curry
48. Eel: No. See above re: fugu.
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut: Meh. Very mushy, sugary donut. Seriously don't see what the big deal is.
50. Sea urchin: No. See above re: fugu, eel.
51. Prickly pear: If this is the same as a cactus pear then yes. And yum!
52. Umeboshi: No, I'd never heard of them
53. Abalone: No. I haven't eaten a lot of shellfish.
54. Paneer: Yeah. It's bland.
55. McDonald's Big Mac Meal: Ugh, no. McDonald's hamburgers are so disgusting.
56. Spaetzle: I'm not 100% sure but, again, the Wiki description looks very familiar, so probably.
57. Dirty gin martini: No, but I'd be willing to try.
58. Beer above 8% ABV: Yeah. These are popular in Montreal. One of the Unibroue ones like Maudite or Fin du Monde. Tasted like olives. Blech.
59. Poutine: If it's 3 am and you've got the drunken munchies it's awesome. Otherwise, ugh.
60. Carob chips: bleh. also meh. Something that's meant to take the place of chocolate shouldn't invoke those responses.
61. S'mores: Surprisingly, only the microwave kind. I haven't done a lot of campfires in my life.
62. Sweetbreads: No.
63. Kaolin:The only meaning I know for this is a kind of clay so, um, no.
64. Currywurst: Huh. Pork sausage with curry sauce. Nope.
65. Durian: Not yet, but I will...
66. Frogs' legs: Um... I think I may have tasted them off someone else's plate at some point. But maybe not.
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake: aka queue de castor? Yes. I spent two weeks making them, which was enough time for the oil on the floor to cause my rubber soles to dissolve. I still get nauseous at the smell of frying batter.
68. Haggis: I've been in the same room as it....
69. Fried plantain: Yum!
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette: That's fucking gross.
71. Gazpacho: Yeah, a few times. Kind of meh.
72. Caviar and blini: Um.. I've had each element, but not together.
73. Louche absinthe: No, but I probably wouldn't turn it down.
74. Gjetost, or brunost: No. Apparently it's a variety of cheese
75. Roadkill: No, but Dave has.
76. Baijiu: No.
77. Hostess Fruit Pie: Never heard of it. This must be an American thing.
78. Snail: Once, when I was little. I remember loving it.
79. Lapsang souchong: Some kind of tea, right? I don't think so.
80. Bellini: No, but again, wouldn't turn it down.
81. Tom yum: This can be hard to find vegetarian. I don't think so.
82. Eggs Benedict: Once, maybe. Or something like it. Eggs with a heavy, creamy sauce. No meat.
83. Pocky: Yeah. I'm a fan of chocolate-covered pretzel objects, so I liked it.
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant: No.
85. Kobe beef: Don't think so.
86. Hare: Nope.
87. Goulash: Since the person who did all the cooking when I was growing up was Hungarian, I'm inclined to say probably, but I don't remember it.
88. Flowers: A few times.
89. Horse: No.
90. Criollo chocolate: Don't know. I don't really pay attention to if/how fancy my chocolate is. I'm not as excited about chocolate as some people.
91. Spam: Ew, no. Fuckin gross, man.
92. Soft shell crab: No. See above re: insects.
93. Rose harissa: don't think so.
94. Catfish: Nope.
95. Mole poblano: Surprisingly, no. But I will.
96. Bagel and lox: I grew up half Jewish in Toronto. I don't think it would have been avoidable.
97. Lobster Thermidor: See above re: insects.
98. Polenta: Yes, repeatedly, but only willingly once.
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee: No. I stopped drinking coffee in my teens, when it started making me sick.
100. Snake: Nope.

The Rev also added a few extras.

1. Elk: No.
2. Ostrich: No.
3. Moose: No.
4. Whole hog BBQ: I've been at one, but I was already vegetarian, so I didn't partake.
5. Wine @ >$400/bottle.: God no. I have better things to do with 400$
6. Home made bacon/sausage: I'm assuming that buying strips of bacon at the grocery store and then cooking them at home doesn't count. I'll say no. Update: I've been reminded that the woman who took care of me when I was between 1 and 2 years old used to make home made sausage, and that I loved it. So I revise my answer to yes.
7. Chocolate and chilis: No, but I plan to try it soon,
8. Chittlins: Didn't we already do this one? No and ew.
9. Moonshine: No.
10. Quail eggs: Once. It was raw. I slurped and swallowed without really tasting, and was very proud of myself that I managed even that much.

And Mark added some more:

1. Monkfish liver: No
2. Live scallop: No.
3. Fried chicken giblets: No.
4. Duck cracklings: No.
5. Grappa: Um... I've spent enough time drinking booze on the Italy/Austria border that I'm inclined to think so, but I don't remember specifically.

And in the spirit of adding things, I've had:

  1. kolrabi
  2. cream off the top of non-homogenized milk
  3. dosa


Codes are Cool

Mark Chu-Carroll of Good Math, Bad Math is doing an interesting and accessible (so far) series of posts about encryption. He started out explaining why encryption is relevant even to little folks like you and me, then he went on to explain how simple encryption like substitution ciphers work, and his latest is an explanation of rotating ciphers. It's fun stuff, go read it.


Latest Breakfast: Homemade Musli

I have a few requirements for breakfast. Breakfast must be reasonably low in sugar. If I have a high sugar breakfast I crash by 10 am. Breakfast must also contain at least some protein, for the same reason. Breakfast must not require any brain power, time, or effort to prepare.

For a while I was very into eggs for breakfast, often just having the whites to avoid excessive cholesterol, but cooking before I've had my tea is never a good idea, I wasn't too into having fried stuff every morning, and I wanted a change. So then we had smoothies for a while, but the ingredients were pretty pricey and it was keeping our weekly grocery cost just a little too high. So now we're trying something new. I'm making musli. It goes like this:

1 big bag (~1.5kg) quick oats
1 big bag raisins
1 container dried apricots, cut in eighths
1 medium bag currants
1 smallish bag slivered almonds
1 smallish bag chopped pecans
1 large amount shelled, unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup oat bran
a medium amount of flax meal

Mix in a big bowl and store in a closeable hard plastic or glass container. Serve with vanilla soy milk or, you know, whatever makes you happy. The above recipe made enough to keep the two of us in breakfasts for two weeks.


Cuz He's Just That Kind of Guy

Focus on the Patriarchy asks their daddy to pee on Obama's birthday cake.

Not that they're petty or anything.