Just One Stomach Flu from my Goal Weight!

Holy crap!

Thanks to everyone who came to KIM’S Motor sale at Manitoba’s. It was really fun to see friends, she made a little green and it was a good excuse to get her into town and get some HOT JEANS at a discount on my hot friends (and one good top on ALISON that showcases the girls quite nicely!). I think she’ll probably do it again so if you weren’t able to make it this time you’ll have another chance in a few months. Anyone who has worn a pair of her jeans knows that once you get the right pair on you, you want to wear them every day.

Afterwards we went out to dinner and I did something really dumb and ordered a steak. Kim and I love to pig out and I guess I felt a little retro and figured one time wouldn’t destroy the world. Ha! I was also drunk on red wine, so that probably didn’t help me to remember that my system can’t handle a whole meal of meat now. I can have a bite here or there, but once you stop eating it regularly your body shifts.

Fast forward to an hour later and I’m feeling a little queasy, especially after a shot of tequila with MORGAN (red wine, dead flesh, tequila—yippee!). Kim wanted to go visit JESSE at NIAGARA and see the new pizza joint they’re putting together next door (cute!), and since she rarely gets to NYC I agreed, stomach roiling. As soon as we got there I knew I had to leave. It sucked: two of my closest people who I rarely get to see in one room with a whole Friday night stretched out before us, and all I could think about was getting home.

I threw up the entire meal as soon as I walked into my apt. And so it began—20 minutes of rolling around on the bed in agony then a trip to the bathroom for some more retching, 20 minutes of suffering, 5 minutes of painful dry heaving, over and over and over again. Kim arrived home, looking beautiful and carrying roses, and promptly passed out from the copious amounts of vodka Jesse had been handing her.

And thank God for that because the procedure repeated until 6 am, by which time I was weeping into the toilet with exhaustion and pain. I wanted to call Drew (who was working) to sob about my suffering, but didn’t have the energy to dial. I don’t know how it’s happened but I’ve come to depend upon him to be there to say things like, “Don’t order meat, Mary. It’s gonna make you sick.” and then be there to pick up the pieces when I ignore his advice.

Then…other stuff started happening. Awful stuff. My body just wanted everything out, so now it was 10 minutes in the bed in stomach-twisting agony interspersed with running to the bathroom. This went on until 1 pm, by which time I was so exhausted I couldn’t get out of bed. Luckily Kim had a nice hangover so she was happy to stay horizontal too, and we laid there cackling like hens over her latest dating adventures. Even though I was physically ruined, it was nice to have her around.

We spent the rest of the afternoon in bed and then watched a movie (THE AWFUL TRUTH) and I helped her get all her stuff to her car. We took a cab to the parking lot and I stood on the street with tangled hair, in pajamas and giant furry slippers. I just didn’t give a shit, it was nice enough to be able to stand.

So I know this isn’t a terribly interesting or funny blog but I posted that I had food poisoning in my status update and a few people sent me really nice get well notes, so I thought I’d let you know that I’m recovering from a little detour on the roller coaster ride to hell. January’s been brutal so far, but my mood is good and hopefully I’m done with the suffering for the year.

——————————————————————————————————–

While typing out the details of my poisoned journey I had the TV on a documentary on MSNBC about child trafficking in Cambodia. Most of us know this goes on pretty regularly in many Asian countries, but to see actual film of the children is heartbreaking. Crowds of beautiful babies—5, 8, 10, 12 years old, looking shy and talking about “yum-yum” and “boom-boom”, and the smiling women and men who look so normal and friendly as they lead American and European tourists into dark rooms where these children live and “work”. It’s so tragic and horrible that it doesn’t seem real.

I don’t have too much to tell you about it because I don’t know enough to spout like an expert, but I did look into the aid organization documented on this particular show. They’re called the INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE MISSION and if anyone is interested in more information or in donating, they can start there. I usually stick to animal rights causes but after watching the documentary I feel like I’d like to put some money here as well. As bad as our political and financial climate is at the moment, we are still so fortunate to live where we do.

All right, gonna put on my awesome new jeans and shuffle to the grocery store for more soup. Life is grand when you’re not crying into a toilet!

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Jamie Oliver is a Fucking Rock Star

Maybe it seems strange that I would be a fan of someone who kills a chicken on live television? Maybe not. I am absolutely thrilled that someone has the balls to get up and show people that what we eat does not miraculously appear from the ether wrapped in cellophane, and that if we are going to eat it, we must be accountable for how it is raised and killed.

Chefs’ New Goal: Looking Dinner in the Eye

Angie Norwood Browne, right

ETHICS OF MEAT Chefs like Jamie Oliver and Tamara Murphy are more concerned with the way animals are raised.

Published: January 16, 2008

LAST Friday, in front of 4 million television viewers and a studio audience, the chef Jamie Oliver killed a chicken. Having recently obtained a United Kingdom slaughterman’s license, Mr. Oliver staged a “gala dinner,” in fact a kind of avian snuff film, to awaken British consumers to the high costs of cheap chicken.

“A chicken is a living thing, an animal with a life cycle, and we shouldn’t expect it will cost less than a pint of beer in a pub,” he said Monday in an interview.

“It only costs a bit more to give a chicken a natural life and a reasonably pleasant death,” he told the champagne-sipping audience before he stunned the chicken, cut an artery inside its throat, and let it bleed to death, all in accordance with British standards for humane slaughter.

Mr. Oliver said that he wanted people to confront the reality that eating any kind of meat involves killing an animal, even if it is done with a minimum of pain.

How far will chefs go to display their empathy and respect for the animals they cook? All the way, it seems, to the barnyard and the slaughterhouse.

Leading chefs like Mr. Oliver, Dan Barber and David Burke seem to be wallowing in — and advertising — a new intimacy with the animals they cook. Not long ago, chefs got credit simply for knowing the breed of the pigs or chickens they served. Pork from Berkshire pigs was the must-have meat status symbol, and chefs engaged in nose-to-tail competition to use the most parts of the animal. Now, it seems, intimacy with the animals during their life — and preferably, their death — is required.

Many chefs believe absolutely that meat from happy, healthy animals tastes better. But it’s not all about what’s on the plate: they also believe that if they’re going to turn a pig into a plate of pork chops, they should be able to look it in the eye, taking responsibility for both the treatment it receives in life and the manner of its death. “The question is, how and why should we care about an animal when we are going to bloody eat it?” Mr. Oliver asked his audience.

Some agricultural ethicists believe that if animals could lead comfortable lives and die completely free of fear and pain, raising and killing them would not pose an ethical problem; a few believe in an unwritten “domestic contract” between humans and our domesticated species that includes killing. Others maintain that killing animals is inherently unethical because it cuts off their opportunities for “future good experiences,” according to Dr. Richard Haynes, the editor of the Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics.

Chefs feel they are in a prime spot to grapple with the issues. “It’s our responsibility and our privilege to educate our customers,” said Charlie McManus, the chef-owner of Primo Grill in Tacoma, Wash., who has visited his meat supplier, Cheryl the Pig Lady, in the nearby Puyallup River valley. “A lot of them don’t want to hear it, but that’s just sticking your head in the sand.”

Following the broadcast, Mr. Oliver was both praised and attacked by animal rights groups for the killing that took place on stage. “It’s nothing that doesn’t happen millions of a times a day” he said. “There was no need to make it any more dramatic than it is.”

Mr. Oliver and his compatriot Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, a chef, farmer and butcher known for his intimacy with food sources, made last week’s broadcast the culmination of a media campaign called Chicken Out. In a similar stunt, also televised last week, Mr. Fearnley-Whittingstall set up his own miniature factory farm for chickens. He raised free-range chickens next door, making comparisons as the chickens grew, were killed and eaten. Like Hillary Clinton, his eyes welled up on television last week — in his case, while killing unwanted birds in the factory unit.

In Mr. Oliver’s show, “Jamie’s Fowl Dinners,” he served up many shocking moments: he suffocated a clutch of male chicks according to standard egg industry procedure, in a chamber of carbon dioxide; stuffed birds into the crowded, filthy “battery” cages that house 95 percent of the country’s chickens, and showed a computer-altered baby picture of himself, grossly engorged to represent the rapid growth of a baby chick on a factory farm.

But the most shocking of all may be his revelation that price wars have squeezed the profit margin of the modern poultry farmer to about 6 cents a bird. Mr. Oliver’s message to supermarket shoppers is clear: the only reason for the miserable lives lived by most chickens is your insistence on cheap food. After the broadcast, as reported in the British press, supermarkets across the United Kingdom quickly sold out of free-range eggs and chickens.

“People in the U.K. really do care about animals, but we are also used to an incredibly low food cost,” said Fuchsia Dunlop, a British writer who has lived in China and written extensively about that country’s food culture. “This program will have an effect because there is new momentum toward the idea that we should at least see how the food gets to us, and then we can make up our own minds.”

Ms. Dunlop said that intimacy with live animals and killing is taken for granted in Chinese kitchens and food markets. “There isn’t a sense there that you’re killing an animal, it’s simply that you are preparing an ingredient for the table” she said. “No one thinks anything of skinning frogs and rabbits while they’re still alive.”

A very few American chefs, including John Besh of August in New Orleans and Dan Barber of Blue Hill in New York, have managed to raise animals for their own tables and oversee their slaughter. For most chefs, this level of intimacy with animals is unimaginable.

“For years, all I saw in kitchens was Cryovac steaks, chops, never anything to remind you that this was once an animal,” said Mr. McManus.

But more chefs are trying to bridge that gap. Tamara Murphy, the chef at Brasa in Seattle, took delivery of 11 freshly killed piglets last Friday, destined for dishes of pork belly with braised greens and paprika-rubbed roasted chops. “I don’t name them,” said Ms. Murphy, who wrote a weekly blog in 2006, chronicling the short lives of some of the piglets earmarked for her restaurant from Whistling Train Farm. “They are being raised for food, and there is a respectful distance I need to keep” she said. Ms. Murphy visited the piglets weekly, starting the day after their birth, and accompanied them to the slaughterhouse before serving them in a dinner that was called a Celebration of the Life of a Pig.

“The hardest part of the slaughter was the betrayal,” she said. “The pigs get in the trailer because they trust you, they get out of the trailer because they trust you, they go into the pen because they trust you.”

The chef David Burke, already the proud owner of Prime 207L, a bull who lives and breeds at Creekstone Farms in Kentucky, “bought” three piglets last spring via a new subscription program at La Quercia, a producer of cured meats in Norwalk, Iowa. He received a snapshot of one of the pigs and gave them all names, Applesauce, BlackJack and Big Al. They were slaughtered in early December, and they are being gradually transformed into guanciale, pancetta, lardo and finally prosciutto, to be sold at Mr. Burke’s three restaurants as “our own” pork. (Other subscribers to the program include Mario Batali, Michael Symon and Laurent Tourondel, but ultimately, La Quercia’s owner, Herb Eckhouse, said, it was not practical for each chef to receive the actual parts from “his” pig. This year the meat is simply being evenly divided.)

“The chefs trust me and I trust the farmer, and those piglets had as good a life as any I’ve seen,” Mr. Eckhouse said. “For the most part, we in the meat industry live in a world of half-truths, like ‘natural,’ ‘family farmed,’ and ‘humanely raised,’ and the only thing we can really trust is what we see.”

Must we all now come face to face with the animals we cook? “I think it’s a pathetic fallacy,” said Marc Meyer, the chef and an owner of Five Points, Cookshop and Provence in New York, who posts the names of farmers on the menus and walls of his restaurants. “It doesn’t do anything for the animal, and you can tell everything you need to know by the meat, once you know what to look for.”

Some Things I’m Living For Today

From the Skynyrd cruise. There but for the grace of God go I…

And this one just kills me. God, I wish I had the time and money to be this pointlessly fancy! I want to be them! Although, is it my imagination or is Dita starting to look like a cranky bird? Girlfriend needs to stop spending all her time pretending she’s the classiest divorcee in the universe and go out and have a few cocktails and get a little some. I’m not fooled, bitch is from Michigan.

And this from Radar Magazine…

SCIENTOLOGY QUIZ
Hubbard

From RADAR Magazine, Summer 2005, we learn this interesting data about a massive 343-question interrogation that Scientology victims are asked while clutching the terminals of the famous e-meter – more fully, the “Hubbard electro-psychometer.” This was invented by a chiropractor named Volney Mathison, but was adopted by Scientology. It is simply a Wheatstone Bridge, a circuit that measures changes in electrical resistance between the two hands of the subject holding the terminals. It is, in effect a very crude lie detector which measures “galvanic skin response.” Scientology “auditors” use it to purportedly examine a person’s mental state. The reading given on the meter varies according to the pressure of the hands on the terminals, the moisture on the skin, the ambient temperature, and the area of skin contact. When asked sensitive questions, those being “audited” tend to react by tightening up on the terminals, by sweating, or by shifting their grip – all of which cause the meter reading to fluctuate, thus creating the illusion that something important is happening.
Now, since Scientology teaches that billions of years ago octopus-like aliens dumped masses of major intergalactic criminals here on Earth, and that we’ve inherited the souls that were released when the blue squid vaporized these miscreants, it’s obviously wise for the “auditors” to investigate the hidden secrets of their victims to see if they’re inhabited by the bad guys. Here, taken from the internal Church of Scientology document labeled “HCO WW Sec Form 4”, are a few of those 343 questions, designed to cause squeezing and sweating and thus give away those secrets. Honestly, dear reader, can you say that you can answer “no” to all of these penetrating inquiries?

1. Have you ever enslaved a population?
2. Have you ever debased a nation’s currency?
3. Have you ever killed the wrong person?
4. Have you ever torn out someone’s tongue?
5. Have you ever been a professional critic?
6. Have you ever wiped out a family?
7. Have you ever tried to give sanity a bad name?
8. Have you consistently practiced sex in some unnatural fashion?
9. Have you ever made a planet, or nation, radioactive?
10. Have you ever made love to a dead body?
11. Have you ever engaged in piracy?
12. Have you ever been a pimp?
13. Have you ever eaten a human body?
14. Have you ever given grits to a juvenile to eat?
15. Have you ever disfigured a beautiful thing?
16. Have you ever exterminated a species?
17. Have you ever been a professional executioner?
18. Have you given robots a bad name?
19. Have you ever set a booby trap?
20. Have you ever failed to rescue your leader?
It’s obvious, even to me, that any bug-eyed villain would be unable to pass such a rigorous test…


Thanks, ROCKET, for two of these.

Pink Lady & Percocets

Yesterday I took an hour and wrote a blog featuring all kinds of deep thoughts and hilarious insights. Then I hit post and myspace ate the damn thing. I choose to trust that there’s a larger plan and perhaps that blog was not meant to see the light of day.

I’ve had a terrible week, starting with last Friday when I had an impacted wisdom tooth cut out of my head as part of an ongoing torture series designed to correct some rather severe periodontal disease that is threatening to take over my mouth and my life savings. I have about 3-5 more operations to go, this one was just to get ready for said operations, and it left me in a lot of pain, high on oxycodene (percocet), bleeding and with a face puffed out to unnatural proportions. I looked like Marlon Brando in the Godfather and sounded like Johnny Thunders in high nod.

So of course rather than making the choice to be rational about the whole thing I overworked and took too many pills and subsequently plunged into a deep depression. I finished up yesterday by shuffling around the apartment in my bathrobe, whining in a junkie haze at Drew, until he finally sat me down on the couch and talked me down, reassuring me that he still loves me and it was just oral surgery and not some diabolical plot by the Universe to rob me of my sanity and whatever looks I have left at this later stage in life. I sniffled and he handed me kleenex and patted me on the back (and I suspect rolled his eyes) as I ate Tylenol and Advil instead of the heavy stuff and promised I would try to trust that everything was indeed okay and not collapsing around me never to be the same again. And today I look and feel much better. So perhaps the deep blog will have to wait for the next time I have a drug-induced meltdown. That shouldn’t take too long.

In the meantime, just to add to the whole trippiness of the last few days, my latest default picture seems to be attracting some new viewers and I thought I’d share them with you for entertainment’s sake. Please, please, don’t bug these people, everyone has a right to their page and I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I just feel I should share the wealth when it comes my way.

This guy: BARRY writes:

Subject: Would you…

Body:
… read the beginning chapter of my book and let me know if it’s something that would make you want to keep reading?
It’ll take about 5 minutes to read.

I’m asking because, like yourself, Bukowski is one of my favorite writers. I would never dream of comparing myself to him.

I’m hoping that someone like you, who likes his work, can certainly tell me whether or not my 1st chapter is, at the very least, interesting.

And as a stranger, I’m hoping you can disregard my feelings and tell me honestly what you think of it.

Ever yours gratefully,

barry x

Now, I am a big sap and although I see that Barry is dressed as Frank N’ Furter, I think, well, maybe the big girl is actually looking for some literary interest, and perhaps I should just be a nice person for once and go to his page and check out his writing.

Then when I get to his page, I see that every single, solitary, frigging friend is an attractive female, and there isn’t one single, solitary, frigging speck of writing on his page. I’ve been had by the deadliest of cross-dressers, the horny heterosexual transvestite! (insert creepy organ music here)

Sigh…

Then there’s this guy, his page is private, but he writes:

YOU HAVE A EXOTIC LOOK, GO MODEL…tONY

Well, thank you, Tony. But where do we go from here?

Dum de dum…

And this one – the lone wolf:

From: RAVENWOLF II
Date: Jan 16, 2008 6:10 PM

Come!Check out my site and blog-

Okay, that’s friendly enough, albeit there’s no mention of why I should or what we might have in common. I did check out his site and his blog, and I learned that he leans toward the spookier type of gal, and that he is not looking for gays or fatties. I have no idea whether he looked at anything other than my default pic.

Sir, I have checked out your site and your blog and have decided I would like to join your stable of pagan hotties…

Boys, boys, boys. If you are truly interested in a female on myspace, here is the sage advice I have for you today: Take a moment to look around at her page, check out her interests, and ask her about her. You might actually notice that she’s got it plastered all over the place that she has a significant other, and thereby save yourself valuable hunting time by heading on to greener pastures. And if you are merely collecting women to fill your myspace ego, do not choose cranky, smart ones like myself that tend to post every detail about their day to day existence in blogs.

And lastly, this guy:

From: Hot Rock Love
Date: Jan 10, 2008 7:43 PM

Subject: pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease add me.

Body: View me, if I dont deserve adding tell me to fuck off. (Then at least I got a fuck off from you) P.S. I want to bottle your voice and sleep with it under my pillow. Thanks Queen, I think?

Of course I added him immediately! And Drew rolled his eyes.

And lastly, it’s no secret that I’m weirdly in love with the Spice Girls (oh, Posh!). I don’t know why, I am fully aware that it’s a mental glitch. Maybe because they’re like a pop version of the Cycle Sluts. Maybe because I’m actually a gay man and I like any act where girls get together in semi-matching outfits and enact bad choreography while singing in unison. Except for the Pussycat Dolls, of course, because that’s just all kinds of wrong that we don’t need to elaborate upon at this time.

So today the Japanese crew at work got into a silly Japanese pop mood and we spent some time on youtube, and eventually ended up on the greatest act Japan has ever produced. Who is that you ask? Why, Pink Lady of course. If you’ve never seen them you should watch some of their videos. They actually had a little crossover into the US the 70’s when they landed a variety show called Pink Lady and Jeff. Delightful! I’m sure it lasted about two minutes, but who cares, now we have the internet to preserve and review every precious moment, and I felt the need to share a couple of them with you today.