Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I've been fired up about everything this week and deliberately shutting myself from political commentary. Daily Show is on? Gotta go play Nintendo. Countdown is on? I think I should make cookies and listen to Moby. (Fear not! My obsession with Google headlines continues!*) When I sat down with dinner this evening the television found Comedy Central on its own and was re-playing last night's Colbert Report. I've already made no secret about my love affair with the sixty minute block of political irreverence on Comedy Central. I was going to change it though, because when I get stressed I get hives, and oh my god, I just can not deal with that right now, when Stephen promised me Carole King.

Carole Expletive King! I stayed.

For the sake of brevity I'm not going to argue that Carol King rocks. I don't think I need to, and if I do, you might need to seek another blog (or stick around and find common ground another day!).

A few Christmases ago, Charlotte came home with two copies of Tapestry. One was for Winifred, for reasons still unknown to me, was unfamiliar with the Queen of Songwriting. I was knee-deep in love for King, having enrolled in a history of rock and roll class with a professor who had dropped out of college at 20 to become a singer/songwriter before finding success and quitting the industry at the height of her career to get a doctorate in music ethnology and teach young, hip, 19-year-olds about Joan Baez** and how much pop music owes Carole King. This was the same year I started to commit myself to watching Gilmore Girls on Tuesday nights, so I'd leave class just before the show started to walk back to my dorm room and watch Carole King after spending a few hours talking about her.
Charlotte had already tried this with me though, when King and her daughter were on a Christmas Gap commercial when I was in high school. I know, Gap! I haven't forgiven Dylan for his dive into commercialism, but my love for King runs so deep that I don't care. Her moments have always been deeply touching. Also, I want to believe that as proprietor Sophie Bloom on Gilmore Girls, King would really help Lane find her footing in music against Mrs. Kim's knowledge.
Thanks to Charlotte, my happiness was heightened when King was on Colbert. I don't know what I love most about this interview, but I think it's that King openly says the label just wants more money from her:

If you don't mind I'm going to go eat some cookies and defeat Slash on Guitar Hero III. If I don't beat medium all I'll have to show for these six days of Spring Break will be all of the real work I've accomplished and we can't have that.

*And now I'm mad at Joe Francis for new reasons.
**Interesting side note that will embarass my family: At the time I was also knee deep in love with a boy I'd known--and been In Like With, Like Oh My God--since I was 12 and we started a passionate debate about Joan Baez. It ended with us agreeing, if you can believe this, "I totally wish I was Bob Dylan, because I'd be doing the hottest babe in the history of rock." (You're hot too, Wendy O., but you died, and ten years later I'm still kind of upset.) Winifred doesn't like Joan Baez--or Bob!--and that always bothered me, because Winifred was a babe, and she's just as mad as Joan, and I like to think they could have met at a cafe and had a Coke while talking about politics before Winifred went back to base and Joan met with Bobby to share a spliff.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


This is post #51 and Winifred has still failed to login herself and share these things with the web. Just sayin'. It's been a gender discriminatory two weeks, and I've been an aggressive monger this week. So have the other Quimbys, and my inbox is bursting with material to share.

Let's start with my most recent e-mail from Winifred. She wants us to check out and read Marlo Thomas and Julia Reed's responses to yesterday's Question of the Day (Should Silda Spitzer Stand By Her Man?)

wowOwow is a "website created, run and written by Lesley Stahl, Peggy Noonan, Liz Smith, Joni Evans, Mary Wells, Sheila Nevins, Joan Juliet Buck, Whoopi Goldberg, Julia Reed, Joan Ganz Cooney, Judith Martin, Candice Bergen, Lily Tomlin, Jane Wagner, and Marlo Thomas." It launched last Saturday. I'm not so keen on Whoopi but I'll hold my breath that this doesn't go downhill. I'm all for women on the internet, and hey guess what! I'll get to that next.

Here's what Marlo has to say:
It is her decision whether she wants to stand by him in the long run — but for God’s sake — why must these women have to stand next to them when they confess their sins?

I really didn’t mean it to be funny. I think it’s painful to see these women, time and time again be dragged out to these press conferences to stand there by their man. I’d think more of Spitzer and any man who refused to make his wife stand there in humiliation with him.

and Julia:
I can’t imagine Silda staying with her husband after so public a humiliation, but she wouldn’t be the first woman to do it. Just last July, when Louisiana Senator, David Vitter, was caught in almost the same situation, his wife — another attractive, highly intelligent, auburn-haired lawyer — stood with him by the press conference podium in a photo that looks exactly like the one today on the front page of the New York Times. So far, Wendy Vitter is still standing by her man and he is still in the Senate, but either of these women are made of far sterner stuff than I…or they are nuts. I still remember the awful stone face of Lee Hart in the wake of Donna Rice, and Silda’s face was heart-breaking. She was just so obviously thrown. As Candice said, Bill Clinton’s philandering did not come out of left field like this. And whatever bizarre pact the Clintons may have, Hillary has her reasons for sticking it out. I would have a far more difficult time, especially since these guys are not just unfaithful, but so arrogant. Gary Hart went so far as to challenge the press to follow him, and then he led them right to the monkey business. Did Eliott Spitzer honestly think he would never be outed as client number nine?

Okay, I lied. I can't hold back from wowOwow. I just. Can't. Do. It. The website includes a piece titled, "PRINCESS DIANA! Remember Her?"Liz Smith alleges, claims, and shouts that America has forgotten Princess Diana and that her former lover, Dr. Hasnat Khan, has gone unheard in American media ("And nobody stateside seems to have printed what this man said.") REALLY? BECAUSE EVERYWHERE I TURN HIS CLAIMS ARE REPEATED. Smith doesn't expound on The Pill (hopes dashed) but how we've "forgotten" Diana in the Democratic nominee goings-on and Spitzer scandal. Smith, I've got a tip for you: Turn on E! Check Google headlines. I promise you'll change your mind. What's your point, anyway, Smith? You've only regurgitated what Khan has said. And Khan's testimony was more than a week ago. Okay. Done now, really.


This season's issue of Bitch arrived in the mail this week and its theme is "THE WIRED ISSUE" (just in time for me to exasperate over dumbed down websites 'run by women for women') and details "blog bandits" among other tech-related stuff. Charlotte gave me a subscription last year, and it has brought me endless joy because the thing about Bitch is that it tends to arrive when I've found I can take no more from the masses. I find solace knowing that other women are as fed up as I am.
Yet issue #39's "Wack Attack" by Jaclyn Friedman addresses an issue I can't (and luckily haven't had to) relate to (yet). Addressing "blogging while female," gender bias on the internet, and the overwhelming amount of power handed to men in control of the internet, Friedman includes several resources for avoiding and supporting one's words on the internets, so I've added them to The Gospel's links. (And, oh yeah, we're part of BlogHer.)
...So I want to like wowOwow but it looks like it just won't work for me. It's not you, it's me, and I'm sure Winifred will have more she wants to share in the future.


First: The Vatican has released new sins. I love to sin, so I love to know that my inability to recycle in the apartment (bad habits die hard, I guess) or accept my college's graduation pledge (it's just not your business, degree dispersers) can add more sinful delight to my daily life. That was tongue-in-cheek. Honest. A thorough discussion has been shared by e-mail by the family, but I think Charlotte summarizes everyone's feelings accurately. She wrote, last night:
I have been considering the "new sins." As it turns out, this is just one guy's opinion and not actual policy, but it was telling nonetheless. I am encouraged by the emphasis on the effects of one's actions on others, but why are these specific sins mentioned? It seems that those who bear social responsibility are still disproportionately female.

I also think that it is insane to single out drug use as a sin in general, much less as a mortal sin. Do caffeine and Ritalin count? Was Frank McCourt's father sinning by indulging in alcohol, or was his sin the neglect of his family? Is it a sin to have a mental illness? Why aren't owners of gambling establishments, pimps, or sellers of alcohol mentioned instead? Is this really about targeting pleasure yet again?

I liked this from the BBC: "Father Gerald O'Collins, former professor of moral theology at the Papal University in Rome, and teacher of many of the Catholic Church's current top Cardinals and Bishops, welcomed the new catalogue of modern sins. 'I think the major point is that priests who are hearing confessions are not sufficiently attuned to some of the real evils in our world,' he told the BBC News website. 'They need to be more aware today of the social face of sin - the inequalities at the social level. They think of sin too much on an individual level. I think priests who hear confession should have a deeper sense of the violence and injustice of such problems - and the fact that people collaborate simply by doing nothing. One of the original deadly sins is sloth - disengagement and not getting involved,' Father O'Collins said."

I particularly like that this priest focused on priests' responsibilities toward their parishioners, who should, as Deacon Manley says, be exercising their consciences rather than obeying a catalogue of mortal and venial sins. It is absolutely time for an honest examination of the intersection of individual freedom (and moral agency) and social responsibility. I take comfort in the idea that there are at least two priests who care about the divide between rich and poor. I do wonder what the definition of "poverty" is -- vis a vis, say, Mother Teresa and her views. Is it still okay for nuns and mothers to be poor? Will the Vatican share some of its "excessive wealth" to feed those who heed its warnings against "bioethical" sin? Or are they still receiving "graces" in return for their suffering?

Charlotte used to live in New York. In fact, I've told people that she's "from New York" even though she was raised in the same house that Emily and I were. She's more devastated than I am, and I'm embroiled in my own drama, preventing me from really getting involved.

I am so disgusted by Spitzer. I had been telling people how great he was for years. What a load of CRAP about testosterone. The problem here is not hormonal. It is entitlement to women as products -- as of today's tawdry revelations, we know that he saw them as products whose lives were of no import to him. Clearly the feds are lying about how they caught him, but he knew that there were incredibly powerful people after him -- including "Tammany" Joe Bruno and the entire Bush administration -- and he goes to the Mayflower?? Ugh. I would like to know when we can expect David Vitter's resignation as well.

Also -- Geraldine Ferraro cannot really be that clueless. Why is she making things worse??
Why, Geraldine, why?
Winifred is disappointed that he had to "import" women from DC. (If Winifred had to pick a home-away-from-North Dakota, she'd pick the District.) I've called her three times today about this post, and forgotten each time to ask what she thinks about Dragging These Women Through the Mud with him. So I'll go out on a limb and assume. (Deep breath.) It's not really our business, and while I think it's important to cover every corner of a story, I don't think it was in the best interest of my campus newspaper to report about Spitzer's clients, and I don't think it's anyone's business what these women look like, what they do, how old they are, and what their myspaces say. He did something illegal. They did too, but prostitution isn't really a woman's career goal and maybe it's better to help women then lambaste them for their choices. BUT MAYBE THAT'S JUST ME.

Is coming later. It's good. I promise. Charlotte said I had to share, and I typically do whatever she says.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

You're Kidding Me, Right? II


While I'm hungry and cranky, I'm going to dive into the Quimby Family Road debacle.
Here are the facts:
1. Emily read it first.
2. Charlotte read it second, and in the Portrait Gallery in January, asked if I wanted to read it.
3. Post-apocalyptic societies are so my thing. I want to know what other people think the End of the World will be like in the way most people wonder about Heaven/Hell. (Actually, I wonder what other people think about the After Life, I can't really prove that anyone wonders what other people think, especially when people are so locked into their own interpretation.)
4. Winifred read it before I did. Subsequently she sent a lot of e-mails. Here is an excerpt from an e-mail:
Who is the man in the yellow/gray slicker near the end of the book. Have we met him before?? I do not recall. I guess I cannot comment any further since KMH is going to read the book. I finished it Friday at work during a slow lull. One of the most enduring images in the book for me though is the finding of food jars in the abandoned farm house. I can see, smell, and hear the [FAMILY NAME] old farmhouse once it was abandoned.
4. I read it next. I liked it. It was grey, it was dark, it was cold, and it moved slowly. I liked that I was fearful that the next page would contain more cannibals, that this would be the last struggle. I liked that instead there was shelter, canned peaches, and an exploration into an unknown. There was constant misery, and the dialog was sparse, but it worked.
4. The King was not a fan. He wrote:
Well I finished reading The Road. I hated the book. I'm already depressed and this did not help whatsoever. Most depressing book I've ever read. Gave me no hope at all.
I tried to talk to The King about this, maybe get a little more, see if we could actively debate, but failed. He's not interested.
5. Charlotte and I feel kind of bad. Actually, I feel kind of bad, Charlotte is crushed by guilt and unenthused to recommend more books.
6. Seeing Charlotte last week, we discussed The Road before dinner. We had several unanswered questions about the cannibals. She posed the plot hole: how can a pregnant woman survive if she's eaten limb-from limb. If you harvest fetuses, isn't that a disappointing meat for end product? And, isn't that a lot of work to keep someone alive for the purpose of fetus-harvesting? Seems counterproductive. In the end I said I thought McCarthy was trying to just make the whole thing scary. Walking for miles endlessly in a nuclear holocaust is scary without raping, maiming, and exploiting women for plot devices, and we both ended the conversation kind of disgusted. So we talked about chicken and waffles instead.

I need to blurt this somewhere, and my regular blog doesn't want to hear it. You know why? Because they want "happy endings." Also I've been screaming about this abomination since I found out it starred Will Smith. That was more than a year before the movie was released. So, well...I guess it makes sense that they don't want to hear about it anymore. Never mind.

I am Legend did suck. It changed the ending, never mind the location/setting and general message. The best part about these movies, for me, is when everybody dies. Luckily for me, the blogosphere spared most of my pain by spoiling the cinematic release (make sure you check out Baldwin's commentary in the comments). Richard Matheson's I am Legend spawned an entire genre, so its lackluster ending was a disgraceful excuse for film. It did in fact, give us Night of the Living Dead.
Because Winifred hasn't seen Night of the Living Dead, I'll give it away as a means of explaining why I am so angry. Brother and sister Johnny and Barbara drive to rural Pennsylvania (note location and symbolism) to pay their respects to their father's grave. There's some action in the graveyard, and some action in the general area of the town, and eventually we realize the area is besieged by zombies. Mayhem ensues, until there is only one uninfected person, and in the last scene of the film (really, I'm spoiling the movie) he exits his hideout, only to be mistaken for a zombie and is shot dead. And then his corpse is burned with the zombies. It's completely horrifying, and Romero is saying more than oops, I killed the hero. (The character is African American, the film was released in 1968, and sci-fi/horror movies are never about the plot on the surface which is what makes it so awesome.) This film has a tragic ending, which is what should befit I am Legend. Just like last year's Halloween, I am Legend doesn't say anything about American society, and It Is Supposed To.

The film is poised for its DVD release, which includes an alternate ending. This is still a crapshoot:

Because this ending sucks too, and still doesn't say anything. AAAARGH.
Sigh. So much angst. Speaking of the Portrait Gallery, a few days after we went, Stephen Colbert had his portrait hung there.

Don't you feel a little less irritated with me, now? What if I told you Night of the Living Dead is tagged on IMDB as "Tragic Ending" and I've found a loot of movies tagged the same way? This is a goldmine, Quimby family. You may remember how much Winifred loves sad movies.

You're Kidding Me, Right?

I want to preface the following dialogue by letting you know that I'm at work, in a computer lab, until 2:45ish, and that the vending machine, which is stocked with all kinds of goods (pizza flavored Combos, for one) and is not working. So I went to a building nearby, which houses the nearest vending machine, and it had nothing in it but "sweet n salty" Chex Mix. There's no salty in the Honey Nut Chex Mix and now my work area is covered in a fine-grain sweet powder. I demand satisfaction! (That's my mantra this week. It's been blurted from 711, to the MTA, to the photography lab. It's going nicely, thanks.) What I'm saying here, is that I'm cranky, rightfully so, so watch out, suckers.

In response to last night's post Winifred e-mailed (but refused to comment):
Good Morning!
Two things: I would like it to be known by the readers of this blog that while I was obsessed with the GMA Mac and Cheese Challenge, and outraged when my personal choice, Princess, did not win, I have not actually eaten one forkful of mac and cheese during this whole time of challenge. If I had someone in the home who would eat mac and cheese, I would like to try Princess's recipe.
Also, If I have time when I come home from work, [blah blah blah personal and unrelated information to this post.]
Love, MOM
I think demanding content is a little out of line from a woman who agreed to make posts here on her own. A woman who has an excruciatingly detailed how-to-post-on-Blogger manual taped to her cupboard. A woman with a lot to say. I'm the editor here! This is post #49, Winifred, and I demand satisfaction!
Winifred said she'd take me to Sofi's for late breakfast on Friday, so I'd better do what she says, or that $4 butterscotch crepe won't be mine. Alright, then. You win. This time.

In an e-mail sent last Friday and titled "NO, No, No!" Winifred wrote:
NO!!----The winning Mac and Cheese recipe on GMA should not be a recipe containing applewood smoked bacon! No bacon in a mac and cheese casserole! The winner should have been the woman named Princess!
Love, MOM
Charlotte (and Emily, I presume) thought from this title that Winifred was upset about Dubya (or the papacy). No, she's outraged that in an Emeril Lagasse-related challenge (which forces me to question her sanity and lucidity) Laura Macek won the challenge. Her win was determined by Viewers Like You Winifred for her "Best Mac 'n' Cheese Ever."
When I saw Winifred this weekend her major complaint--aside from the inclusion of pork--was that Macek didn't have a good story. It's just something she whipped up. Princess Thompson, who Winifred was gunnin' for, had some kind of family history with her recipe. If Macek had really thought this through, you would think she might have concocted some kind of story. Instead she let the recipe speak for itself, which worked for her (and I guess honesty is always important too).

This whole affair is gross to me. First, I don't like mac and cheese. Second, there's a lot of crap thrown into these dishes, and I dare say it's not mac and cheese, but a dairy-based pasta casserole. There! I SAID IT! One woman had muffins, but that's gross too. How about you leave my muffins alone with their fruit, unless it's chocolate, and move on.

Truth be told, Princess doesn't deserve to win anyway, Winifred. It's homemade mac and cheese, except she added some colby/jack--which are mild cheeses at best--to the basic Velveeta. Three cups of whole milk and butter and heavy cream are enough to give me a stomachache. Moreover, her recipe is titled "Smack Yo Mamma Mac and Cheese" which, offensive and vaguely disturbing (I'd like to see how Princess feels when her children smack her and yell, "MAKE ME SOME MAC AND CHEESE, WOMAN") lacks the punch she's promising. She's loaded all the mild a milquetoast eater can muster. Where's the "BAM!", Princess? The whole scenario has left me confused and considerably less hungry than when I started the godforsaken post ten minutes ago.

My friend K in Chicago makes Patti Labelle's Over-the-Rainbox Mac and Cheese. (K, is the name part of the reason? Be honest.) I think he owns her cookbook. It involved five kinds of cheese, which is up my alley, even in the mild, bland, cheeses. If there's anything I believe in cooking, it's mixing a variety of cheeses (instead of "one cup of cheddar" i'll take sharp cheddar, pepper jack, and something crazy, please; three ounces semi-sweet? how about two ounces and one ounce something more refined?). I learned this from Fitzwilliam. K is the kind of host who throws potluck parties, which is an impossible dream for me in Collegetown, and I've always resented his friends for 1) getting to go to a potluck party and 2) having a guarantee for his mac and cheese. I don't like it but he makes it sound so good.

I hate all of this mac and cheese talk. Hand me that box of Chic-fil-A nuggets, I'm hungry.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


You know what rocks about college? The homework. I had to crawl out of my manhole, filled with sketchbooks, scraps of notebook paper, gluesticks, mechanical pencils, and textbooks to retrieve the following e-mails. I've been so busy I haven't shared this past weekend's adventure to Coney Island, the ensuing adventure to see B.B. King, and finally, Winifred's new inexplicable obsession with mac and cheese. The mac and cheese e-mail is a week old. It's still marked as unread in this blog's e-mail account. CRAP! I AM SO BEHIND.

I think it's best to take the cream off the top though, given this Lenten Season.
Pope Benedict XVI, which the family calls "The Rat," decided what the heck, some baptisms aren't legit! Gotta weed out those less legit members as a punishment for the less conservative clergy, eh. (Oh, but marriages are okay because once You Do It in the Catholic Church, you're married.) I was living in happy ignorance until Charlotte chimed in. Thanks.
In a more sophisticated language, she wrote by e-mail:
Have you seen the latest from the Rat? Where are these churches, I ask? The Vatican has clarified that this does invalidate marriages entered into by those baptized with the unmasculine wording -- but they have not addressed how this affects the first five centuries' worth of non-Trinitarian baptisms.
Usually The Rage is from Winifred but this time it was from The King. Usually I try to keep mum about The King. He hasn't asked to get dragged into this blogging experiment, but The King's response brings so much joy that I'm going to break my own rule. In an e-mail from Winifred:
DAD: "This is crap. What bullshit. What nonsense is this? Did you click on the Vatican word--to see what other tripe there might be. This is just stupid. Is he saying God will not let you into Heaven with that particular Baptism? That's just crap." What more could I add to that--except to say that the rat might want to concentrate more on the numbers leaving the church. I will say that I am pretty positive all three of you were baptized with the father, son, and holy spirit.
I don't see what the big deal is. The Rat's just being a snob. Like The God is really that concerned. I mean, really.

Sigh. Well at least Suckabee isn't the Republican candidate. I'd like to elect that we rename the Republicans the Kremlin party. It's just a little more honest, no? You know what? I can't talk about this anymore. I have a portfolio review tomorrow. Also, Biscuit bought a new video game and I need to beat it as soon as humanly possible.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Quick Note

Hello Girls,
My, my, you know I am not a big fan of Jack Nicholson, but now he has a YouTube in his support of Hillary Clinton. I hardly know what to say, but I am ever so slightly warmed.
Love, MOM

Winifred hates Nicholson. I took a cab today (for $4) because my bus didn't come and didn't come and didn't come, and the cab driver asked who I was going to vote for. To my surprise he was with me, and on all points.
Here's the video:

I think it's kind of lazy editing, but whatever.