OMG The Pope Is Retiring!

…and the first thing George wants to know is whether or not there are retirement benefits.  As though he’s going to throw his hat in the ring.  Though apparently he IS eligible for consideration, since you don’t have to be a Cardinal, just a Catholic.

Of course, he–he being George, not he being the current Pope–already has his theme song ready for his ascendency to St. Peter’s Chair.

Which, may I remind you, looks like this:

The main altar, St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City.

The main altar, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City.

Yeah.  That’s bronze, people.  A 60-foot tall, carved, 17th-century bronze canopy, over a giant block of Greek marble.  Can you believe the Pope is giving all this up?  To go where–a two-bedroom condo in Boca?  They haven’t had a Pope retire in 600 years; my guess is they don’t have a modern contingency plan.

Anyway.  Here is George’s theme song for when he becomes Il Papa.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songInfo.cfm?bandID=865257&songID=7580023

Looking forward to some joyrides in the Popemobile!  Dominus vobiscum, spiritus sancti, y’all!

Looks like I'm going to have to give this an update.

Looks like I’m going to have to give this an update.

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Delicious Meat-Shell Pie: The Musical!

My boyfriend, who I think may be clinically insane, was so profoundly inspired by my post about cooking with soup and the majesty that is a Meat-Shell Pie that he has set the recipe to music.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songInfo.cfm?bandID=733401&songID=12156288&showPlayer=true

It’s chock full of oo-ooo’s and alludes to the wonderous Kitchen of the Future, and (if I may be so bold) is kind of genius.

Mmmmm...MMMM!

Mmmmm…MMMM!

OK, so maybe “The Musical!” was a little over the top but it’s still a song about a pie with a shell made out of meat.  And that’s pretty tasty, no matter how you slice it.

DePotorLand: Where’s The Water?

Presenting….badabadabadabada (ersatz drum roll, what do you want from me?)….

My boyfriend’s band, DePotorLand, has just made a video of a song called “Where’s the Water?”  They wrote this song for the Frack Awareness Coalition concert held at the Central Oak Heights Tabernacle in West Milton, PA.  Song by them, all photos in the video by me.  🙂

Please turn your volume to eleven and enjoy the show.

Dear Secessionists:

BARACK OBAMA HAS BEEN RE-ELECTED!  FIRE WILL RAIN FROM THE SKY!  TWO-HEADED CHICKENS WILL RUN IN THE STREETS!  ROVING PACKS OF FRENCH COMMUNISTS WILL ROAM OUR MALLS, CLOVE CIGARETTES CLENCHED IN THEIR TEETH!  AND THEY WILL SMOKE INDOORS, DESPITE THE NO-SMOKING SIGNS.

Heaven forfend.

Some of you, it seems, have worked yourself into a fine lather about the re-election of President Obama.  Now, I know what it feels like to have the guy you wanted booted out of office, not get booted out of office.  I know what it feels like to think, what the hell is the matter with the electorate?  Why don’t people see this guy has failed policies?  How could they pull that lever for a second term?

Yeah, I’m talking about Bush.  And while I did vote for Obama in this most recent election, frankly, I would have voted for Jill Stein if I thought a third party stood a ghost of a chance.  For those of you who want to froth about how I should have voted that way to show support for third parties so they can gain a foothold in the electoral machine, I have one word for you: Nader.  The entire system needs an overhaul, starting with a reversal of the Citizens United ruling.  But that’s a different blog for a different day.

Lately, there’s been some sort of crazy talk in the paper and the television machine and on the interwebs about secession, and about citizens petitioning the White House for the right for their states to secede.  Look, I’m all for the rights of protest, and I understand dissatisfaction with how your government manages money and time and people.  But secession, folks?  Shame on you.

What sort of spoiled, whiny, entitled, profoundly paranoid, closed mind generates such a response?  Instead of saying, “Hey, look at that.  Maybe I should measure the nation’s emotional climate and see what I don’t get,” these people say, “I’m taking my bat and my ball and I’m going home.”  Ooh, careful!  You might learn something.  That’s right.  I’m calling you paranoid.  I’m calling you entitled.  I’m calling you totally fucking whiny.  I’m also saying you need to get a better grip on things like “communism” and “fascism” and “entitlement“.  And to the people who do the whole “Obama is Hitler” thing: fuck you.  Get back to me once you’ve read a history book.

So first I’d like to know: is this what you think is in the future for Obama, Part 2?

Not gonna happen.

Seriously, people.  Worrying about whether or not people can get food on the table or can get affordable health care aren’t questions of the government trying to steal your money but rather, questions of basic human decency and legitimate public health concern.  I’d much rather feed people and maintain a decent standard of health then grapple with food riots or a cholera epidemic.  Think about how cranky you got the last time someone messed up your order at your local burger joint, and you had to wait while everyone else ate their dinners around you.  Now imagine you never get that food.  Grow the fuck up.  Shame on you.

Supporting a diversity of religion doesn’t directly correlate with hating Christianity, and freedom of religion also means freedom from religion.  Your bibles are safe, Christian population, and you’re welcome to use whatever words you want to use when wishing glad tidings this holiday season.  Do you get your knickers in a twist when the greeter at the big box discount shopeteria says “Happy holidays” to you instead of “Merry Christmas”?  Really?  Grow the fuck up.  Shame on you.

Not every immigrant is dirty, uneducated, and dying to have anchor babies in your back yard, despite what the odious, hateful, skeletal, shrieking head of Ann Coulter may say.  And not every brown person is an immigrant, despite Arizona’s stop-and-identify laws.  And before you start pointing out to me that it isn’t targeting specific races, let me ask you: how many people of Irish or Belgian descent do you think they ID’d?  Now, how many Mexicans and Native Americans do you think have been asked?  If you can’t accept that the US is getting browner around you all the time, then please, do us both a favor and grow the fuck up.  Shame on you.

And for the people who think this secession thing has legitimate legs, take a look at this:

This is a screen shot from the White House petition page.  In order to sign a petition you need to have an account so you can digitally sign, and all it requires is a name and email.  That’s it.  You don’t even need to provide a street address.  Do you honestly believe that all of those signatures are real?  I’ll wait while you think it over.

***

I’d be willing to bet money that the Koch brothers have installed an office full of wonks whose sole purpose is to generate fake signatures for these petitions.  Not because anything will come of it in the end, but because it will create a (falsely, I would argue) legitimized legal diversion that by law must be addressed.  Which is just like how them fancy high-falutin’ corporate lawyers file motion after motion that requires multiple court appearances, making it virtually impossible for an individual to win against a corporation.  It takes time away from the real business of running the country.

Bonus! If the Koch brothers were to win, in this scenario, then they could form their own country and call it Kochistan.  Kochistan.  Say it three times fast and get back to me.

Listen, the minute a federal officer shows up at your front door with an acetylene torch, demanding your bible, I will apologize, take back everything I say, and sign as many secession petitions as I can fake-generate before my kitten gets a punch.  But until then, people, please.  Relax.  Read a book, or go for a walk, or something.  Take some Zumba classes.  Work to understand the system, understand the demographic makeup of the country and what the most effective ways are to generate real, legitimate change, if that’s what you want.  And for God’s sake, please, get over yourselves.

This Just In: DePotorLand Music in the News!

Hey, everyone!

A while ago George read the book Merchant of Death by Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun and then, wrote a song called “We Deliver” about arms dealer Victor Bout as a result.  George sent Douglas Farah a link to the song–which he said he enjoyed and sent around to other “Boutophiles” (his word, not mine), and then George sent Douglas Farah the link to the video he put together recently.  Stephen Braun recently wrote an article for Forbes.com discussing Bout’s trial underway in Thailand.  Said blog went out on the AP wire, AND HE MENTIONED DEPOTORLAND!  🙂

Here’s the quote from the article (full article linked here):

It will not be easy. The Web is flooded with photographs of a haggard Bout in his Thai jail cell, as well as news stories, websites and Facebook pages. There have been documentaries, books and a suspense novel based on the Russian businessman. Bout dismissed the “Lord of War” film as “a bad movie.” A rock group, DePotorland, recently released a new video for a song about Bout, “We Deliver.”

{{{heart}}}

And here’s the video:

Yay!  DePotorLand rocks!

Travel: Savannah, GA

A few years ago, before I had gotten my grubby little meathooks all over a digital camera, my boyfriend and I went to Savannah for a vacation.  My first piece of advice about Savannah?  Ladies, wear flats, and wrap your mind around the practicalities of a floppy hat.

When in Savannah...

Savannah is a fantastically gorgeous city (and it knows it) located on the northern corner of Georgia’s coast, which is of course all the frigging way down the bottom of South Carolina.  It was a long drive, what can I say?  It’s slightly inland but manages to be a port city, thanks to the excellent navigability of the Savannah River, and much of its wealth was built on shipping of some sort.  Sugar.  Corn.  Slaves.  The dock area, with businesses now built up for tourism, is still heavily cobblestoned, and the stairs between street and dock level are cut into the town’s bedrock, cut high to accommodate a man’s stride, are uneven and often seem to be wet, even if the weather is dry.

Somehow, I managed not to kill myself on these things.

Ladies, seriously.  Wear flats.  Heels are stupid.

My second piece of advice: never go there at any point in the future without a digital camera and a dedicated memory card, because Savannah is gorgeous for DAYS.  As I am now armed with a fabby camera (and I love the city) I have ample reason to go back, and I will…I will.  Everywhere you look, there are gracious houses and manicured gardens and Spanish moss and magnolias in bloom. Fountains.  Statues.  Scenic verandas from which you can feast your eyes upon the Savannah River.  Weird guys who hang around the squares in town talking about murder.  Kudzu, but we’ll get to that later.

The Cotton Exchange, now operating as a shopping/eating complex.

It really is this pretty. Everywhere.

Steamboats!

My third piece of advice: gird your liver for a barbaric onslaught.  The joke (as I was told repeatedly) in Georgia goes:

In Atlanta, people ask what kind of business you’re in.

In Macon, people ask what church you go to.

And in Savannah, people ask, “What’cha drinking?”

Still love.

No.  Joke.  And because everyone there is so nice, and charming, “Would you like another?” sounds like an invitation, and yes, please, I surely would.  There’s no shortage of places to go—though if you end up at Chuck’s and talk nice to the bartender, they may put on a hockey game for you, even if you’re a Yankee.  And then they’ll make you the bar pet for the evening, and feed you Jell-O shots.  I wasn’t sure why that happened then, I’m still not sure why it happened, but who am I to look a gift-bringer-of-Jell-O-shots-horse in the mouth?  Though this does come with a warning as you may, by the end of the night, have an inescapable urge to crank Cheap Trick’s “Live at Budokan” on the way back to your hotel.  Embrace these moments.  (Robin Zander, I still love you.)

Fourth piece of advice: Go there ready to get your eat on.  Sub-piece of advice: it will be fried.  Deal with it.  Go to Vic’s on the River for the mint juleps and fried green tomato stack.  Go to the Crystal Beer Parlor for the fried okra.  The burger was really good, too, now that I remember, but the okra kicked its ass.  Take a day and don’t formally eat anywhere, but travel from place to place and graze (you can just walk along the lower street at river level and the upper street that parallels the river, and will be more than jam-packed at the end of the day), nibbling at

The Crystal Beer Parlor. Try the okra.

what the servers consider their best dishes.  And DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK WHAT’S GOOD, even if it takes you somewhere else.  Savannahians, I have found, {{{heart}}} their fair city and will be happy to talk about it.  Within moments of asking the bartender in Vic’s where I could get good barbecue, the entire wait staff had assembled around us and were having a boisterous debate about where, exactly, we would indeed find the best barbecue.  And at the end of the night, after all this eating, go to the Bar Bar for a nightcap.  Because when you’re in an unfamiliar city looking for a bar bar, only the Bar Bar will do.

Interestingly, no one in Savannah directed us to The Lady and Sons, Paula Deen’s joint.  I wasn’t keen on going anyway as Paula Deen sort of creeps me out and the line for the restaurant literally stretched the length of the city block, and there are a trillion other places to eat that don’t require long, sun-parched waits.  And then I began to hear—from more than one local—that as restaurants go, it’s kind of meh and kind of expensive.  So I could go somewhere else, pay less money for better food, and not have to potentially deal with the coattail jockey sons?  Sold!

Fifth piece of advice: take a ghost tour, even if you’re not a ghost hunter-y person.  It gives you a chance to learn a little bit more of the dynamic of the city, and you have a reason to do a walking tour AND, after all those mint juleps and fried green tomatoes, who doesn’t want to go out and move around for a little bit?

Sixth piece of advice: expect weirdos.  While I didn’t quite have “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”-type encounters at every turn, I did have an encounter with a crazy guy in one of the squares who thought I was there because I am a junkie for photographing murder scenes.  Apparently, I stalk dead people.  Maybe not a terribly surprising assumption but nonetheless, untrue.

Apparently, things turned tragic for a young woman in this square. But that's not why I took the picture.

Or there was the man we struck up a conversation with in a bar who seemed perfectly nice, perfectly friendly, bought us a beer and then used the term “war of Northern aggression” not in reference to a certain X-Files episode. ‘kay.  Gotcha.  Moving on.

And a few final notes:

If you are traveling to Georgia from the north, do NOT feel compelled to stop at South of the Border, no matter how deeply your taste for kitsch runs or how many road signs you see beckoning you in.  The giant sombrero is admittedly hard to resist, but you should try; it’s not a fun place.  The food sucks, it’s kind of racist, and the attractions seem to be an amalgam of poorly conceived ideas and woe.

Not as well-executed kitsch as one might hope.

Stop somewhere, ANYWHERE, and pick up some local cider.  Try the scuppernong, it’s super-sweet, but delicious.

Tuck in!

If peaches are in season, have one.  Or five.

For all I know, these could have been giraffes, now overwhelmed by kudzu.

Don’t linger too long near the kudzu.  For those who don’t know, kudzu is a vine that was introduced by the Japanese at the Philadelphia Centennial in 1876.  It was promoted as a way to conserve topsoil and prevent erosion and then?  It ate the South.  It now covers something like seven million acres of land in the southeastern US, it grows nearly a foot a day, it lays down deep root systems that are hard to kill and it also spreads through spores.  I often wonder if an inadvertent napper in the wrong place at the wrong time would end up the victim of some sort of real-life horror movie…but I’m not going to take my chances.  It inspired my boyfriend to write the following song, because it’s just so damn pervasive.  Written in Koto scale (sez George), because he is a nerd.

Anyway.  Savannah.  Enjoy your stay!

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