I came across a social media thread this week that became really ugly when one person took offense at the implication in a news article that preparing one’s own meals was healthier than eating ultra-processed foods. The offended party went on the attack and claimed that home cooking was just a dick-measuring contest, and then other people chimed in to say that home cooking embraced an uneven division of labor between the sexes, and it was also ableist against neurodivergent people, it went against historical norms and so on and so forth.

Then some home cooks came in and said, “No, no, no, it’s really easy to make a (insert meal requiring a recipe)… you just take your microplaner with the garlic and you blanch the green beans and sear the chicken and and and…” and basically proved the dick-measuring argument from the other side. It was pretty tiresome all around, and the whole thing revolved around the conflation of self meal prep with home cooking.

I know that people who are working long hours at low-paying jobs can get stuck in a fast food rut, but the anti-cooking people in the thread weren’t saying anything about that. I am making an assumption here, but I think the arguers were white-collar workers who had not spent much time either working at or eating at fast foot establishments. They wanted mess halls where you could make a choice from trays of food and sit down at a table. They were waxing nostalgic about school cafeteria food. The binary of “home cooked meals” and “home cooked meals cooked by someone else” was all that was being argued.

Who said these were the only choices? Food does not have to be difficult. You can eat a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast. You can eat a can of beans and a raw carrot for dinner. You can put some cheese in a tortilla and call it a raw quesadilla. Go ahead – you deserve a break today.

Rhymes with seven and heaven

Here we are on Pi Day and Fancy Notions’ 11th anniversary, and I’m home sick trying to write a post. On anniversary days I usually try to write something incorporating the number of the anniversary, but looking at lists about rhymes for eleven has melted my brain. It seems there’s seven, heaven, and Kevin. Some places are trying desperately to sell me on McNevin (?), Stevan (not quite) and Estefan (get outta here), but I’m not buying that.

And then once I do delve into some famous “eleven” rhymes, that heaven/seven stuff just starts sounding stupid after a while. The best one I found was from Buck Owens:

I had six kids and you had eleven
And we had a boy, and they grew like flowers
I wish you’d come back, without you ain’t heaven
‘Cause your kids and my kids are beatin’ up ours

I don’t know how that applies here, but it’s amusing. Anyway, I’ll keep plugging on and even though my initial goal was to make it to ten years, I promise I’m going to keep doing this for a bit longer and will keep trying to look forward rather than

froward, which means difficult and contrariwise. Have a good rest of your day and think about flaky crusts and circumference/diameter ratios for me, will you?



And the rest, 2017 edition

From my last two posts whooping and hollering about the amazingness of some different lands that we visited, you might get the impression that I don’t appreciate the USA. That would be wrong. I love a place that has this merry-go-round sign for a Chinese restaurant

and this giant polar bear casino

and this crazy pastime

and this sign

and this fish ladder

and so much more that there’s no way I can include even just the best stuff from a four-state road trip in one post. I love you, USA. This isn’t a popularity contest. Chill out.

Fraud and country

Benny and I have been a little out of contact with the rest of the world this week, as we were traveling to a remote country on our way to the eclipse. We were very excited to visit the micronation Republic of Molossia

and were charmed by the benevolent dictatorship greeting us at our arrival,

but there were a few hairy moments when we realized that the catfish ban in the country had been enacted because of a feud with some noodling folks where Benny hails from. We hoped they would not Okie-profile us.

They didn’t. We got in.

One of the first things we toured was their energy infrastructure, which seemed rock solid.

We were also taken to their war monument, which made us wonder a little bit about the volatility of the place, but we were assured that we were safe.

Alas, their transportation system suffered a major disaster during our visit. I personally think the kid in the baseball hat performed some sort of sabotage, but the chief constable (pictured) seemed less concerned with placing blame than with getting everything back in service.

All in all, it seemed like a very nice place to live. The president even delivered a more eloquent speech last week than our own denouncing intolerance in various guises, and I guess I would be pretty happy living here, but unfortunately their immigration policy is extremely tight and merit-based. This guy got to become a citizen

but apparently we don’t have what it takes. Oh well. I guess we’ll stay in the USA.

A stitch in time

What do these things have in common?

They are all nine. Turn me on, dead man.

Better eight than late

Dang it. I did it again. I forgot my bloggiversary. Fancy Notions is now eight and some days old. Feel free to send gifts of bronze and pottery and linens and appliances.

The author suggests

If you happen to find yourself needing something nice to read that is not too long and not too short, allow me to suggest Gargozo Manuscript. Right now it’s only on the internet, but maybe someday it will be in print form because that’s how I imagine reading it. You could take it into the bedroom and read a story before going to bed, you could take it into the bathroom and read a story while things are working out there, you could take it to work and read a story while hiding under your desk when things get to be too much. But for now, it’s on the internet. You should read it.

The guy writes about horse racing and superstitions. He writes about northeast Los Angeles and the SF bay area from times that seem better than now. He spells mannequin in the proper American way (seriously, when did we stop using “manikin” except for when we were talking about that wooden artist model thing? And why?). His agent is a labradoodle named Ginger.

Read some of this stuff. Enjoy it. Feel a sense of calm washing over you with each new tale of boiled skulls and dishwashing and things on fire.

Published in: on January 21, 2015 at 5:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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I introduced some very beloved loved ones to boysenberry pie yesterday. The questions were numerous.

“What’s a boysenberry?”
“Is this like an olallieberry?”
“What’s an olallieberry?”
“Why can’t we order olallieberry now?”
“Is there a girlsenberry?”
“Are there seeds?”

I couldn’t believe they had never eaten a boysenberry pie before. By the way, a boysenberry pie is the only proper berry pie; my father taught me that. Raspberries are too delicate and watery for pies, and blackberries are not sweet, very seedy and… geez, what is that taste? Thickety? Bramble-y? Blueberries? Blueberry pie is not berry pie; it’s blueberry pie.

When I was a kid I went through dutch apple, cherry (ooh, but I do love a sour cherry), blueberry, Marie Callender’s crazy-sweet strawberry, sour cream-apple, peach, pecan, STAY AWAY FROM MINCEMEAT ALWAYS DEAR GOD PLEASE TRUST ME ON THIS, black bottom, banana, lemon meringue. And yes, berry pie is the best. The look on my dad’s face when he ordered berry pie confirmed it, and the look on his face when he got that first bite was … I don’t know. I can’t believe strangers didn’t walk up to him and hug him for good luck when they saw that face. It was the most expressive face of peace and joy on the face of a very high-level computer engineer.

When I was introducing Benny and his kids to berry pie yesterday, I suddenly realized that my father’s last meal was berry pie. He and my mom had taken an elderly neighbor to Marie Callender’s for Sunday evening pie, and on the way home, they got in a car accident. The elderly neighbor and my mom were injured, and my dad died.

Sometimes I’m very upset that Benny never got to meet my father, but at least now that Benny has had berry pie, I think he might know him a little better.

Twee for five

It seems I forgot about something this week – Fancy Notions’ fifth birthday. This blog is now old enough to do all of the adorable things David Bowie sings and pantomimes about in this video. I certainly hope it doesn’t.

Published in: on March 17, 2013 at 7:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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That ice is slowly melting

I started this blog nearly five years ago as a way to keep from going insane at work, and for a while it worked. Once I started posting, my life consisted of more than my job, and I felt like little portions of my brain were reawakening from a long nap. And then, things started changing at work. My job has taken over again. People ask unfathomable questions, and I keep trying to answer them. Bosses are asking for 110% while paying me 75%, and I go along with it. It’s dark when I get home. My brain is too tired to post here, even on the weekends. I can’t maintain my blog while my job is like this, and it seems that my job is going to be like this from here on out.

So, I’m quitting. My job, not Fancy Notions. A person has to realign her priorities from time to time. Expect more posting here soon, and thank you for your patience.

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