John Oliver totally nails our food problems

In 17 minutes, John Oliver totally nailed everything that’s wrong with food in America:

When I was a barista, I set up a donation program for our morning pastries. After 2pm, whatever wasn’t sold went in the garbage, so I arranged for someone from a residential mental health facility to come and pick them up on a daily basis. Sandwiches and salads had a one-day shelf life, and for all the reasons John Oliver discussed, we couldn’t donate them. Our solution was to bag them and place the night’s sandwiches next to the trash bin on Michigan Ave., rather than out in the dumpster, thus unofficially “donating them” to the homeless in the area.

Our dorms here in Dublin have common kitchens, each consisting of four waste bins: glass, waste, plastic and paper, and food. That’s right, food and waste aren’t the same thing. It’s been really great to live in a place where composting isn’t weird, but also a little bit frustrating to watch my American flatmates try to adjust. Not to rat on them, but I’ve found spinach in the waste bin, and plastic bags in the food bin (bins with labels on them as to what you should and shouldn’t throw in). To me, it’s a sign that we’ve conditioned ourselves into thinking that once we’re done with something it doesn’t matter where it goes. Just stick it in a bin, and it’s not our problem anymore.

I could go on, but if seeing this gets one person to eat around the bruise on an apple and throw the core next to a tree rather than tossing the whole thing in the trash, then I feel pretty good about today.

My Netflix queue is filled with lesbians from the 1980s

The thing is, when the GF goes out on the road, there’s a measurable uptick in my house for redecorating and bad gay movies. I don’t have cable, but  I do have Roku, and Sunday afternoon I came across this little beauty: Desert Hearts.

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You know the story… the lonely, dissatisfied professor – Vivian –  travels to Reno to get a divorce (apparently that was a thing), and falls madly in love with the radical feminist lesbian of the desert – Cay. Spoiler alert: they live happily ever after. Continue reading

It’s okay, Veronica, I don’t wear leggings either

Once you get through the social media feeds on the State of the Union address and “Deflate-gate,” there’s another very important public debate going on.

Christian “Mommy Blogger” Veronica Partidge has stirred up some strong feelings about leggings after calmly describing her views about how God doesn’t want her to wear yoga pants because they cause men to have unclean thoughts.

Ok.

I mean, I’m on the fence here, because its hard for me to agree with a woman who deliberately changes her behaviors to cater to men who can’t seem to control their thoughts. I’m sure there are plenty of women who can’t control their thoughts either, and who really gives a crap anyway? Oh right, Veronica Partridge does.

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On the other hand, leggings aren’t pants, and I don’t wear them in public either. Plus, in today’s society, I’m not sure it’s always lust that crosses our minds. Leggings are not the most flattering of options for bottoms, unless you’re wearing them like tights, or have a butt like Jillian Michaels’.

I’m just not that girl, so, I pull sweatpants on over my yoga pants when I’m leaving the gym. You can agree or disagree with Veronica’s choice of fabric for covering her legs, or you can disagree with her reasons for making the choices she’s made.  I have students who cover their entire bodies from head to toe – and they all have slightly different reasons for doing so. Far be it from me to try and change their minds, or judge their reasons. I guess the point is… wear what you want to wear, and leave Veronica alone.

A confession, an admission, and a proclamation

It’s Spring Break at UIC, and I’m taking stock of a few things. Having a few precious hours to reflect on my life, this is what I’ve come up with:

Confession: I’ve broken every rule of blogging lately, and I’ve let this little hub of amusements wither away. As far as the Internet is concerned, this site is totally dead. Today I’d like to confess that it’s only going to get worse.

Admission: I’ve been accepted to the PhD program at the University of Illinois at Chicago (what?!?). So that means my really busy schedule just got a whole lot busier.

Proclamation: I’m resolving today to learn how to say no – to recognize my limits (because I DO actually have them).

Something’s got to give, and unfortunately, for now, that’s One Crafty Lady. Effective immediately, we’re on a hiatus. But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep up with my life… I’ll still be micro-blogging on Tumblr, and you should catch me there. Maybe someday this blog and I will be together again, but let’s be honest: I don’t have time to make a recipe more complicated than instant rice, never mind blog about it.

So I’m asking you to not forget about me, but to make a shift to Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram (or heck, even Snap Chat). I want and need to stay connected to real people (or at least the virtual ones that I think are reading my blog).

OH, and if you want to follow the PhD adventure beginning this Fall, you can catch me at Art Intercepts too.

Paperless

There was a time when I balanced my checkbook, when I demanded paper statements, when I held 3 or 4 magazine subscriptions.

I love the feel of paper and the idea of paper. I love handwriting and stationary and print. I love reading a newspaper and getting ink on my hands.

But I think I’m over it.

I’m tiring of the stacks of mail and unread magazines on the dining room table. I’m seeking a less complicated space and a simple home that is free of the mess that paper compels me to make. About a year ago I went paperless on almost all of my bills, and many of them are enrolled in automatic deductions (something I vowed I would never do). Then, tonight, I thought I’d try and sort through the stack of magazines.

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It’s not so bad – I mean it’s only about a year’s worth. Every once in awhile I go through a purging. Carefully sifting through Food & Wine, I rip out pages of recipes I’d like to try, and they go into a slightly smaller pile tucked between cookbooks I seldom use. I put up a good front of domesticity and culinary prowess, but I’m also a workaholic who admittedly fed herself a dinner of Ritz crackers with peanut butter and beer tonight.

How’s that for full disclosure?

p.s. Want the old copies of Food & Wine? First in Chicago to say “dibs” wins.

Status update: Today I’m Doing Laundry

It’s true, there’s a load or two headed down to the washer this morning.

But actually, the point is not to tell you it’s laundry day, but rather to get something off my chest.

I’m all about keeping a to-do list, but am I the only person who finds it silly to post your daily to-do’s as your status on Facebook?  It leads me to think one of three things about this person:

1) You are a celebrity and your agent requires you to broadcast your life on Facebook no matter what.

2) You are so self-important that you think people care about what you do all day. Every day.  This could apply regardless of whether or not you are a celebrity.

3) You have nothing of importance going on in your life, and/or are so disorganized that doing laundry and eating breakfast is an important event and saying so on Facebook helps you keep yourself together on a number of levels.

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Here’s the thing: Silence is golden.  I don’t care when President Obama himself does laundry.  Save the good stuff for Facebook, like having babies and graduating from college.

Exception: If, in fact, you can’t help yourself and have to broadcast your daily routine to invite adoration of your mundane life, doing so through pictures with a retro filter is always acceptable.

By the way…

Maybe you already know that I have another blog, but if not, I have another blog!  Art Intercepts is my main squeeze, with a dance focus, and I’ve entered it in Dance Advantage’s Top Dance Blog Contest.  My success in moving on to the next phase of the contest is based on number of comments, so I’d really appreciate your help!  All you have to do is visit this post and add a comment (Not this post, THIS POST).  You only have until Tues, 1/22 to comment, And, thanks!

Thirty pounds of tomatoes was not nearly enough

As I climbed the step stool and stored jar after jar of tomato sauce on top of the cupboards in my tiny kitchen, I gave myself a serious pat on the back:

Well, Warnecke, you’ve done it.  You preserved enough tomatoes to make it through the winter, and next spring too.  Well. done.

Not really.

A pasta dish and a couple of homemade pizzas later and I’m about half way through my stash before the first snow.  I’ve been yearning for the full experience of eating and living seasonally, and seriously want to make a pizza in February without buying a mealy tomato from Mexico.  I thought this might be my year, but, alas, it seems not.

I realize that my quest to live like Laura Ingalls Wilder is somewhat impeded by living in a twenty-first century metropolis with 8 cubic feet of outdoor space…

It’s a process, but I’m determined to do it, and this year is apparently part of the learning process in what I actually need to do to get through a winter sans the produce aisle.

Next year I’ll be upping my game.  I’m thinking, instead of thirty, I should really be canning more like 130 pounds of tomatoes.