12 November 2009

4 Reasons to Hate Johnny Depp

I want to talk about Johnny Depp for a minute, because I feel like this is something that's rarely addressed, and I'm feeling a little grumpy right now. My apologies to Mr. Depp and his fans.

4) This picture:

"Oh, God, I'm really feeling these notes I'm playing right now. I could just sit here and smoke and be aloof and play this old piano all day. Oh, what? There's a camera in here? That is so like you, taking pictures of me while I'm just trying to have a serious moment with myself. Whatever. Just don't make any noise, I'm making art here."

Basically what I'm trying to say, is that if Johnny Depp masturbates (and he does) it's probably exclusively in front of a mirror, because he's just that much better than everyone else.

3) Pirates of the Caribbean 2 & 3.

I'll give you this, Johnny Depp: I did like Pirates 1 when it came out. I don't remember why, and I'll probably never watch it again, but at the time I liked it. I liked it enough to see the second one, which was so over the top and absurd that I was duped into seeing Pirates 3. There were no excuses for Pirates 3. If I'd had horrible diarrhea throughout the movie and had to leave for extended periods of the THREE HOUR run time, not only would I have liked it more, but it probably would have made more sense. Anyway, that's like 30 bucks you owe me for those movies Johnny. Not including the snacks.

2) Charlie and the Chocolate factory, et al.
Just because Tim Burton gets a boner watching you act out a love scene with his wife doesn't mean you're making his movies any better. Sorry. Edward Scissorhands was cool. Corpse Bride was NOT. Sleepy Hollow was okay. SWEENY TODD WAS NOT.

1) Letters to Hunter S. Thompson:
Nelson once convinced me to watch the extras on his Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas DVD. They feature a segment of Johnny Depp reading his correspondence with Hunter S. Thompson outloud. To his credit, you can't really compete with Hunter S. Thompson when it comes to writing. I've never read any of his books, and am not racing to, but his letters are funny. It's not so much the writing that bothers me about Johnny Depp in these segments, it's the following:

A) He's wearing a wrist band and a candy bracelet. Shut the fuck up.

B) He's complaining about going to a press event in Cannes, and all of the horrible people he's going to have to meet and talk to. Boo hoo. Poor Johnny Depp has to go to the south of France and promote his movie. YOU ARE SO TORTURED.

C) The burning cigarette that's just sitting in an ashtray as he reads old letters in a room FULL OF CRAP. Oh, cool smoky ambiance in that weird messy workshop. Where's your taxedermied antlers and antique rifles? You're so unusual. I'm so interested. NOT.

Anyway, if my descriptions not enough, feel free to just watch it yourself.

Still not convinced? Did you know that Johnny Depp produced an album called Rogue's Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys? Well, he did.

So, there are 4 reasons to hate Johnny Depp. I'm sure not everyone will agree on this matter. I'm just a lone voice, in a sea of people who get boners for him.

10 November 2009

Sloppy Joe's, Hot Mess Vegetarian Style

Jonathan Safran Foer of Everything is Illuminated and now Eating Animals fame wrote an article for the Huffington Post today about his vacillating relationship with vegetarianism. He made some pretty interesting points about the dreaded gray zone of vegetarianism: how we can't just do our best to not eat meat but slip up occasionally and indulge in a delicious piece of bacon because that would make us NOT vegetarian. It's like we carry a title with our choice and those who aren't fully in the lifestyle club don't get that title.

I agree that it's a bit absurd to deny someone who eats a piece of fish occasionally the title of vegetarian, but it does take a bit of meaning away from the word. But this isn't marriage we're talking about here, it's food. And apparently in the world of food, words can be stretched to include all kinds of versions of the one general idea. Food. Not marriage. We need food to live so you know, it makes sense that we should fuck with the words we use to describe our food or eating habits. "Actually, sir, that maple syrup you just bought is really high fructose corn syrup dyed brown. Yep, drilled straight from the high fructose corn tree in my back yard." "Oh, sure, this is organic. See, only 75% of the crop was sprayed with pesticides, so yeah. Organic." But marriage, (NOT something that we need in order to survive) the meaning of that word is completely inflexible. No stretching that one to include all the different flavors of love. Man and Woman. Marriage. Shit... our government has got some back ass wards shit going on today. Be more rigid with the food terminology, and less so with the marriage one, maybe. Please.

Anyway, I hugely digress...

I consider myself very lucky to live in a time and place where a meat substitute is readily available at nearly any given grocery store within walking distance. And while BBQ or southern fried tofu can't really stack up against their chicken counterparts, I will say that fake ground beef does an excellent job mimicking the real thing. In fact, so much so, that tonight I've decided to make vegetarian sloppy joes, aka "The Bloody Mess." I took this recipe from SugarCrafter (who I'm secretly in love with) and made some necessary changes based on what I had, and what I didn't like. The real recipe is here. I would say trust her first, but really, they're called sloppy for a reason. Even the recipe can be a mess.

You'll need:

1 lb fake ground beef of your liking
1/2 med. onion chopped
1/2 green pepper chopped
2 green onions chopped
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 c ketchup
1/4 c bbq sauce (the recipe actaually calls for 3/4 c ketchup, but I ran out)
1 tsp grey poupon style mustard
worchestershire sauce to taste
3 tbsps brown sugar
salt n peppa to taste
A big ass skillet
Buns. Or Rolls. Or whatever.

I also used a tiny squeeze of Sriracha sauce to give it some bite, but since I'm not sure how that will turn out, I'm not recommending that just yet. Unless you're feeling spicy. (UPDATE: Sriracha is a go. Hot damn.)

So, over medium heat in big ass skillet, cook fake meat with all the veggies, until the veggies are tender and delicious. Because this is fake meat, we're not waiting so much for it to cook, but for it to feel cooked? I don't really know, I guess it turns a little lighter brown. Another thing to consider is that a lot of the fat you'll find in regular ground beef won't be present in your fake meat, so you may have to add some a little oil to cook the 'meat' with, and to absorb some of that veggie flavor.

Once your veggies are soft-ish, mix in all the remaining ingredients and let it simmadown for 15-20 over lowish heat so all those yummy flavors will combine.

Mush together blobs of resulting substance on to bread-like item of your choosing. Enjoy with a fine wine. Or some apple juice. Or both!


07 November 2009

Making Lemonade

I've been in a bit of a funk this past month, and I'm not entirely sure why. It probably has to do with the diminishing number of of daylight hours, and the fact that of the <11 hours we have this time of year, 2 of them I must devote to sleeping, and 8 I am in an office. Unless I get saucy and take a walk on my lunch break. Even then, that's not enough. I need me some fresh air, and sunlight, and sounds. I hate screens, and part of the reason I can never bring myself to write in a stupid blog is because if I stare at a screen for many more hours a day, I honestly think my brain will explode out of my eyeballs. And that's a mess no one wants to clean, least of all me.

When I went to Vietnam earlier this year, I experienced a way of life that was completely unique to me. There were folks who literally spent their entire day doing one task, over and over and over. Making rice paper, making popped rice candy, stitching together bamboo roofing. They would spend their whole day doing this, and at the end of the day, they'd have a big ass stack of rice paper, or roofing for their house, or their neighbors house. The point is, that at the end of the day, they had something. It might not have been much, and the work was probably hard on their bodies and minds, too, but they had evidence of their hard work.

Don't get me wrong. There are a lot of things that I would really, really dislike about spending my days making rice paper. Repetitive motion injury is a god damn bitch. And there are certainly days where I thank my lucky stars for air conditioning. And toilet paper. But the thing that I notice is missing in my life is proof of my work. Something I can show for all the efforts I put into the way I spend my time. I want to learn how to make something, and once I've made it, give it to someone for some money. I want to perfect a craft, one that can just as easily be done indoors as out, and I want to live it.

I had a conversation about the American way of living with a friend of mine recently, and told him I really didn't know if there was anything I'd like to spend 40 hours a week doing. What he pointed out to me is that I automatically tried to insert myself into a 40 hour a week structure. Since when did that become the norm? Why do we have to fit into these slots? Does getting something done take exactly 40 hours each week? Of course not. It can take one hour. Or it can take 50. The point is that you get it done. And once it's done, you have something you're proud of, whether it's a group of kids that now knows something about the Komodo dragon, or a self portrait, or a big old basket of popped rice candy.

Humans need to care about things. I don't think we're meant to thrive on the abstract. However, until the rest of the world catches on and all of us working ladies and gents throw a coup and demand flexibility and confidence from our employers, I guess we'll just have to be flexible ourselves and let the man have his way. I hope you're all making lemonade out there, and maybe some day we'll share recipes.

03 November 2009


Jesus Christ, I'm sorry!! Blog, I am sorry. I never write in you, I neglect your needs, and I'm telling you that I'm sorry. I hate the way you look at me with your lack of eyeballs and new posts, and just silently scream "JULIA WHY CAN'T YOU JUST WRITE SOMETHING?!" I hate it, blog, I god damn hate it. I don't know how to make you happy! Other than to tell you I'm sorry, and it's not you that leaves me uninspired. It's not you blog. It's me. It's not me, me, it's the soul sucking system that makes it impossible to live if you don't spend the majority of the time you're not sleeping doing something that kills your spirit and leaves you daring the things you used to care about to even get you to crack a smile. Come on, paints, I dare you. Make me enjoy you. Hey pen and paper, you think you're cool? Try it. Just try to make me feel like I have something worth saying that's not going to get me in trouble, or make someone think I'm an idiot. TRY IT.

Uggghh.... Needless to say it's been an uninteresting few months since I last wrote anything down. Some people say that writing things down gives you permission to forget them. It used to be the case that I believed the exact opposite, and would try my hardest to record every single thing I possibly could in explicit detail, because I was so afraid to forget. But the thing about then, and the thing about now, is that the things I want to remember are either fewer and farther in between than they used to be, or I've somehow developed a better memory since I was in high school. Doubtful.

What I want to remember now is how grateful I am to be so completely satisfied and in love with the guy I spend all my time with. I can't even write that down. There aren't words. If there were, they'd be embarrassing. What I just said included. I want to remember how lucky I am to have gone the places I've been, and to have support to explore neat places again in the future. I want to remember what a cool family I have, and how my friends, though I don't see them enough are all brilliant and wonderful.

But those are things you don't forget anyway, and frankly blog, I think you'd find it boring if I just gushed about all the wonderful things going on in my life all the time. It's uninteresting. What you want to know is embarrassment, shame, awkwardness, sadness, anger, you want your laughter at my expense, and I will give it to you because you guilt me into it. Not because I have to expose these things to air my dirty laundry, or because I think that anyone cares, but because you, you asshole empty blog, make me feel like it's the only thing worth writing down. So I can forget about it.