Friday, November 25, 2011

A Day in the Life of a Spoiled Dog

Inspired by this somewhat ridiculous post at feministe,  I bring you a day in the life of our dog.

5:00  - Wake up, stare balefully at the Woman for getting out of bed.  Consider whether or not to go for a run with the Woman or go back to sleep.

5:15 - Run off leash in perfect heel position to the the park.  Run like a child who just ate 15 pixie sticks. Greet other dogs and humans who are willing to pet.  As soon as the Woman hits the end of the trail fall into heel position without a word from the Woman.  Gracefully accept the compliments of the other runners and walkers.

6:15 - Go back to sleep on the Woman's pillow.

6:30 - Yawn and stretch.  Tap the Man - on the nose - until he wakes up and provides affection.

6:40 - Pad over to get a drink of water and food, followed by a quick patrol of the backyard.

6:50 - Sit on the Woman's feet while she eats her breakfast looking pitifully up at her until she surrenders half of her Cheerios.

7:15 - Watch the Woman leave for work.  Sit on the back of the sofa and pout for at least 10 minutes.

7:30 - Follow the Man into his office.  Look adorable and pitiful until he lets me sit in his chair.  This may require rolling on my back, pawing his leg and making "Arrroaa" noises.  Stretch to take up 75 percent of the chair and he is perched precariously on the edge.

11:00 - Patrol the backyard.

11:30 - Go with the Man to meet the Woman for lunch at the park.  Chase birds, run, swim, dig, periodically tap either of the humans for water or a thrown toy.  Greet other dogs and humans who look willing to pet.

12:30 - Mope about leaving the park.  Look pitiful until the Man decides to work outside.  This may require bringing every toy and placing them on his feet.  Chase birds, run, swim, dig, periodically request a thrown toy.   Curl up next to the Man to nap.

5:15 - Go inside and sit on the back of the sofa and stare at the door to the garage.

5:20 - Greet the Woman profusely.  Lay just outside the screen door looking pitiful until the Woman comes outside.  Chase birds, run, swim, dig, periodically request a thrown toy.

5:45 - Tap dance in the kitchen while the Woman prepares my dinner.

6:00 - Stare pitifully at both humans while they eat dinner until they feed you nearly all of their veggies.

6:30 - Lay in the Woman's spot while she and the Man clean up.

6:45 - Cuddle the Woman when she sits down.  Begin the Great Migration with a single paw on the lap.  Then a nose.  Then both paws and a nose.  Then request belly rubs while simultaneously moving shoulders on to the lap.  Gently push the laptop or xbox controller off the lap while nuzzling the Woman's hand.  Fully take over the lap and fall asleep.  Make huffy noises if the Woman gets up to use the restroom or shifts position on the sofa. 

9:30 - Stand in front of the bedroom door staring at both humans until they go to bed.

9:35 - Grab a nosh while the humans get ready for bed.

10:00 - Once the humans are comfortably ensconced in bed proceed with the nightly affection ritual.  Bring various toys to place on the pillows of the humans.  Nuzzle each human.  Employ the Arrroaa Technique.  Stretch.  Make "Pfffttt" noises into the blanket.  After collecting all the affection sprawl out to take up the third of the bed between the humans and all of the blanket.  Look adorable and smiley so that the humans won't want to move me.  Sleep.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fascinating

Lamb...is fascinating...


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bacon Pasta

That's right...a Jill inspired original.  Bacon mac...er...fettuccine...and cheese.  With bacon in the pasta.  It still needs work...but it was delicious!


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ambiguity

 I thought we were playing, why are you holding that thing?

 Look! Its a deer!


What's that over there?

You want me to do what?  I'm thinking...No.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

JILL, I AM DISAPPOINT


The Battle of La Rochelle

This is going to be an open post if someone wants to discuss the porn issue brought up here:

http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2011/05/09/

This isn't going to modded much so please keep that in mind.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Fashion is Mostly Deep

In an ideal world, fashion would be fun, an exercise in self-expression.  Alas, it is often another institution valuing whiteness, thinness, conventional attractiveness, and "appropriate" gender performance, among other things.  Then there's the flip side...you know that whole economic exploitation thing  So I get where Gwen Stefani was coming from with:

"I think fashion is more of a fun sort of thing," Stefani says. "It's an expression of yourself and your personality and your mood, it's not something we take super deep."
But I think this is pretty damn deep:

"Fashion is of course an almost wholly feminized industry. Apart from a few men at the top, including manufacturers and retailers, celebrity designers and magazine publishers, it is and has been a female sphere of production and consumption...It comprises of six component parts: manufacture and production; design; retail and distribution; education and training; the magazine and fashion media; and the practices of consumption....Thinking across the fashion sector in this way also has the advantage of disaggregating what often seem like a series of starkly monolithic institutions." - Angela McRobbie, "Bridging the Gap:  Feminism, Fashion and Consumption," 55 Feminist Review 73 (1997).





Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Manapua

Yumm...
Or at least the buns
So I have two recipes for manapua. A “quick” one that is very good and a super delicious…this-is-what- manapua-should-be…slow one. But for both you need char siu, which is more the cooking department than the baking department…so I'm linking to the recipe M uses for char siu.  His only caveats:  (1) you MUST use fermented red bean curd, (2) the food coloring is optional, (3) the ketchup (in his opinion) should be substituted for tomato paste, (5) the brandy is substitutable, and (4) the amounts don't need to be exact.

To the baking!

Quick Recipe

1 pkg or 2¼ t dry yeast
3 T lukewarm water (110ish degrees or warm on the inside of your wrist)
2 c warm water
1 ½ T vegetable oil (or any cooking oil really)
¼ c sugar
¾ t salt
6 c bread flour (or all purpose, but bread flour will be chewier)
12 pieces of wax paper cut in 3 inch squares and lightly oiled

Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water.

Separately, combine the additional water, oil, and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Allow to cool. By the time it cools the yeast mixture should have bubbles on the top (if not, your yeast is probably dead).

In a large mixing bowl, combine the liquids. Add 4 cups of the flour and mix well. Add the remaining 2 cups (keeping in mind that you may not need the last ¼ c or so).  Set aside for 20 minutes then sprinkle in the salt. Knead until smooth.

Lightly oil a bowl (make sure it’s big enough to hold the dough assuming it expands to at least double). Roll the dough in the bowl to make sure it has a light coat of oil on top. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and a cloth and set it somewhere out of the way of any drafts until it doubles in size, about an hour.

Punch down the dough, flip it over, re-cover it, and allow it to double in size again (alternatively, for a tastier manapua place it in the refrigerator for 3-6 hours).

Punch down the dough again. Divide into 12 equal portions.

Roll each portion out into a 6 inch round with the edges very, very thin and the middle thick. Fill each round with about 2 T of filling. Pinch the edges together to close. Place on a wax paper square and set aside. Cover with a towel for about hour to allow them a final rise.

To steam: Place in a steamer at least 1 inch apart. Steam for 15 minutes.

To bake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the tops with oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Slow recipe


1 t dry yeast
3 T lukewarm water (110ish degrees or warm on the inside of your wrist)
1¾c lukewarm water
¼ c warm water
1 ½ T vegetable oil (or any cooking oil really)
¼ c sugar
¾ t salt
6 c AP flour (bread flour is even chewier, which I like, but which M insists in not "authentic" manapua)
12 pieces of wax paper cut in 3 inch squares and lightly oiled

Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water. Set aside for a few minutes until the yeast has softened.

What the sponge looks like after 12 hours.
To make the sponge, in a large bowl combine 3 cups of the flour, the softened yeast mixture, and 1¾ cup lukewarm water. Stir until well mixed. Cover with plastic wrap or towel and set aside for at least 4 hours and as many as 12 hours.
When you're ready to proceed, separately combine the ¼ cup warm water, sugar, and oil. Stir until dissolved.

Stir down the yeast mixture and add the liquid mixture. Add the remaining flour (keeping in mind that you may not need the last ¼ c or so.  After the mixture is just combined set aside for 20 minutes.  Sprinkle the salt on top and knead until smooth.

Lightly oil a bowl (make sure it’s big enough to hold the dough assuming it expands to at least double). Roll the dough in the bowl to make sure it has a light coat of oil on top. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and a cloth and set it somewhere out of the way of any drafts until it doubles in size, about an hour.

Punch down the dough, flip it over, recover it, and place it in the refrigerator for 3-6 hours.

Punch down the dough again. Divide into 12 equal portions.

Roll each portion out into a 6 inch round with the edges very, very thin and the middle thick. Fill each round with about 2 T of filling. Pinch the edges together to close. Place on a wax paper square and set aside. Cover with a towel for about hour to allow them a final rise.

To steam: Place in a steamer at least 1 inch apart. Steam for 15 minutes.

To bake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the tops with oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

PUA and Social Anxiety

Over at Feministe the topic of PUAs came up with the suggestion that a significant number of the men* who turn to the PUA community do so because it offers a comprehensive solution to a problem with social anxiety where, I would guess, the focal point of pain (the thing that is pushing the social anxious guy to get help) is a desire to connect with either a romantic or sexual partner.  For these particular men, I think gender theory might be helpful and so when one of the guy commentors asked for help, I decided to put together some thoughts.

First, some assumptions to avoid derailing:

(1) Sex is a morally neutral act.**  It goes in the same category as things like drinking lemonade or wearing pointy shoes.  Some people like it, some don’t.  Similarly, there is a wide array of different things people do sexually all of which are also morally neutral.  In short, I don’t have any opinion on whether or what variety of sex you enjoy.

(2) People are substantially the same regardless of gender.  In some ways we’ve been socialized differently.  But we are all humans seeking essentially the same things: safety, comfort, and connection.

(3) People have equivalent value.  I’m not going to argue on this one.  If you think one person is more valuable or worthy as an absolute metric (rather than a point of preference) than another…we have nothing to talk about.

At a cursory glance the PUA community would seem to offer people with social anxiety a method to connect to other people.  Follow these specific steps and you’ll be able to talk to, date, have sex with a woman.  But many of the steps the PUA strategies suggest are laced with the implication that who you are is not good enough, not manly enough, not okay. 

That simply isn’t true.

You are a person.  Yes, you have flaws and quirks.  Believe it or not, your flaws and quirks are very likely no worse or weirder than anyone else’s.  You probably sometimes perform gender in socially unapproved ways.  We all do…the socially approved ways of being manly or feminine don’t actually fit any human being.  These things about you don’t need to change in order to connect with other people.  Moreover, working through social anxiety is not about putting on a mask and pretending to be someone else.  It requires something much more difficult – accepting that what you feel is intrinsically wrong with you isn’t wrong or bad. 

Sometimes you can do that on your own through self reflection, sometimes you need help.  There are lots of support forums on the internet for people with social anxiety, but there is also self-hypnosis (which I’m a big fan of for anxiety) and therapy.  It’s not unmanly to seek help.  If you want your life to be different, you have to have the courage to try.  This is the elephant in the room in the PUA forums.  They help may help you nominally connect with another person, but they don’t help you overcome the underlying problem.

Instead of dealing with the anxiety PUAs use it.

There are two big ways people overcome fear.  You can devalue the thing you’re afraid or you can try to connect with the thing you are afraid of.  When we dehumanize someone by using insulting them or deriding them (calling them “hos” or “targets”), we’re trying to overcome fear through dominance.  Essentially saying I’m not afraid of you because you don’t matter, I am in control.  This isn’t just a technique that you can use and throw away.  It’s pervasive.  And it pervades the PUA community.

The alternative is connection.  You can see that the thing you’re afraid of isn’t all that scary because it’s just like you.  And you aren’t scary.  So there is no reason to be afraid.  Anthropomorphizing things is probably the easiest example to understand.  We anthropomorphize dangerous animals for example because doing so makes us feel less afraid.

So instead of thinking of the woman at the bar as a “target,” you could think of her as a person who once had the hiccups for a whole day, a person whose mother yells at her at least once a week for being a failure, a person who sometimes does or says the wrong thing, a person who cannot remember to turn off the light when she leaves the room, a person…with just as many flaws and quirks as you who is also looking for the same types of things…comfort, safety and connection. 

Those I think are the major pitfalls of the PUA community.  There are others.  I think PUAs stink at teaching about non-verbal cues and at helping people overcome fear of rejection.  The evopsych they use to explain human action makes absolutely no sense and explains why their human psychology is all off.  But I think all of those problems stem from these two things: not addressing the source of the problem and trying to forge a connection based on dehumanization.

If you want to talk about related things feel free, but please keep in mind that comments are moderated and since its not really a blog, I don’t check them all the time so there may be a delay.

*My understanding is that the PUA community is structured for cis het men, but I think the discussion that follows is relevant regardless of gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

**Sex is neutral.  Rape is not.  It should go without saying that any discussion of sex implies consent…but over many years I’ve learned that isn’t the case.  So I’m saying it.  Sex requires consent.