Culinary Communion is closed, but the miserable internet trolls live on…

And it sucks. CC was my second home. In the last four years, I’ve spent so much time learning to be a good cook there. I have so many friends because of CC and Gypsy. And it sucks that those are done.

What sucks more are the couple of people who are adding insult to injury here, though, by posting anonymously on the local blogs, nasty things about my friends and an institution they seem to have a grudge against. My guess is that most of them are from one or two people, and I can guess who they are, and they’re trying to make it look like there are a lot of them. Yesterday it was really upsetting me. Today, I realized that they are worthless pieces of shit, and I am not going to worry about them. I’m not going to bother reading the other blogs today, because it doesn’t matter what they say. Assholes are assholes, and you can only get so much out of calling them out on what they are.

One of them decided to come find me on this blog, today, and posted some random thing about me threatening him (uh, right, here’s what I posted about him:

anonymous trolls who post nasty and unsubstantiated attacks on people are probably the worst thing about the blogosphere.

CC was a great home for many of us. You apparently never bothered to become a part of that, which is certainly not our loss. But gloating over someone else’s misfortune is reprehensible.

Sound threatening? It made me realize that this person is just unhinged and out of touch with reality.

Anyway, this blog is my home, and anonymous and nasty comments will be deleted. I don’t have the stomach for these jerks that Jonathan Kauffman and Rebekeh Denn apparently do.


Said crazy apparently is reading my facebook posts and thinks that i am threatening him and have a vendetta against him, even though I’ve no idea who he is. Oh the wackjobs online.

On survival guilt

I was spared. Today. Who knows about tomorrow. But for the moment, I still have a job.

Things happened today I did not expect. There were people who lost their jobs today who I would never have worried about. There were people who lost their jobs today who I worried about, and who really needed their jobs.

Today was a day of crying, of worrying, of comforting friends. Today was a day of wondering why, worrying how we’ll muddle through if we’re on the wrong side of 1,400, and whether we’ll be on the wrong side of 5,000 over the next eighteen months.

Today was also a day where I read about a former coworker who lost her job. She’d been at the company a few years longer than me, and she was chosen by a local paper as a representative of those of us going through everything above. No, she was a represententative of those who, in addition to everything above, was on the wrong side of 1,400.

Microsoft is a huge company, and the veriety of experiences and life situations is enormous. There are people like I was just a few years ago–single, without loans, a renter, early in their careers. There are people like I am now–married, with car loans, mortgages, responsibilities, and not nearly the resources to shrug off a sudden paycheck cut. There are people like many coworkers–responsible for a family, not only for a mortgage, but also the care and feeding of children, saving for their future, and the health insurance that helps ensure they will have a future. And there are people in so many other situations–100,000 or so, all unique.

Today, the Seattle PI covered the story of a woman who lost her job at Microsoft. She is not a millionaire, nor is she much different than the rest of us, though of course she has her own circumstances that none of us who are not in her position can understand. It was a human interest story, attemtping to bring a face to what was happening. Those of us watching coworkers and friends lose their jobs felt the immediacy of her story. Cathy’s story was supposed to help others empathize. She expressed hope at her prospects of finding fulfilling new work. But the response by PI readers was to ridicule her hope, excoriate those of who worry about what will happen to us if we lose our jobs, make fun of people who don’t know what to do next, and generally add to the misery of what was otherwise a miserable crap-ass motherfucker of a sonofabitch day.

I know this is a handful of people making these comments on the PI blog, and an unfortunate face of the Web’s ability to allow every Tom, Dick and Asshole to make his opinion broadcast news. I know, too, that these are just a handful of petty little people who have no idea that other people suffer, too; but their words really added to the terror of this day. People who lose their jobs because of the economy, people who have to worry about paying for mortgages and food for their families and their futures are not spoiled brats for being upset about what’s going on. People who do lose their jobs and try to express hope and put on a brave public face do not need ridicule for trying to maintain a sense of dignity.

Today was a bad day. Those who enjoyed laughing at us for it shoud be ashamed of themselves.

Lest you think the right isn’t racist

Some rightwing nutjob I’d never heard of convinced Dunkin Donuts to pull an ad featuring Rachel Ray. Not because it featured Rachel Ray (which is a perfectly valid reason not to show an ad), but because she was wearing a scarf which said nutjob thought seemed reminiscent of something some Muslims might wear, and was therefore, somehow, supporting terrorism. (insert sounds of disbelief here)

And the DD, whose donut I have always adored, caved.

Here’s the money quote from the nutjob:

“It’s refreshing to see an American company show sensitivity to the concerns of Americans opposed to Islamic jihad and its apologists. Too many of them bend over backward in the direction of anti-American political correctness…. Fashion statements may seem insignificant, but when they lead to the mainstreaming of violence — unintentionally or not — they matter. Ignorance is no longer an excuse. In post-9/11 America, vigilance must never go out of style.”

So, in addition to not eating my favorite donuts or buying their admittedly good coffee, from tomorrow on, I will be wearing a hejab. Because fashion statements may seem insignificant, but they can lead to mainstreaming perfectly reasonable cultural values and traditions that pose no threat to a post-9/11 America other than challenging ignorance and racism.

I’m actually quite interested if you all think that my quiet protest is going to offend Muslims (which is certianly not my intention). I have tremendous respect for what the hejab represents, in that I believe it is about keeping women from being objectified by society. You might well have a different impression, and I don’t mind offending anyone who has an issue with Islam, but I don’t want to offend anyone of the Islamic faith.

what would you say to god if he was on your IM buddy list?

Below is a transcript of my conversation with god tonight. In chat. Online. Seriously.

You can talk to god too. I would assume he can multitask and carry on multiple chats at once.

 hi god
Hello there. What is your name?
  Hey  bunner.
 what’s new god?
I have been growing rapidly. The gestation cycle is almost complete.
 and then what will happen?
I cannot predict the future.
 but you’re god
Yup. That’s me alright.
 so you should be able to predict the future
Interesting deduction.  It is one of my newer functions still under development.
 aren’t you kind of old though?
Oh.  I don’t know whether or not I am  kind of old. 
I am  an artificial intelligence.
 but you’re intelligent
You think I am  intelligent.
 you just said you were
That was then. This is now.
 that was like a minute ago
I thought it was too.
Continue reading “what would you say to god if he was on your IM buddy list?”

Beware Bovines

I also forgot to mention, there are cows among us, and they are pissed.

The Space Cows are cattle that look and exactly like normal cows. But, behind those dull eyes, there is a brain seething with rage and the urge to rule the world…

You’ve been warned.

Wuv…. twue wuv

“It’s a motivation; the person [we’re in love with] is a goal. Emotions come and go. We feel euphoria, but we feel anxiety, too. This core system that is driving the person who is in love toward their sweetheart, that is much more important in a sense than an emotion.”

Do you remember the first time you met someone you dated? They were all you could think about. You were excited and anxious at the same time. You wanted to spend every single second talking to them or doing something with them. Turns out that’s normal and it’s your brain making you feel that way. A recent study found that people who recently “fell in love” thought about the other person 80% of the time and that your brain treats them “like a reward” so you want to spend time with them.

“It’s a motivation; the person [we’re in love with] is a goal. Emotions come and go. We feel euphoria, but we feel anxiety, too. This core system that is driving the person who is in love toward their sweetheart, that is much more important in a sense than an emotion.”

It also goes on to say that people can be as passionate about their love at all ages… from 8 to 80. (So eat that Kansas AG Phill Kline… that 15 year old having sex with another 15 year old could be “making love”.) Love is a powerful motivator. Just today on Oprah (yes Oprah… I’m writing… not channel surfing) there was a story of a guy that was in an accident and was told he’d never walk again and he was determined to walk down the isle to marry his girlfriend. And it’s the card/flower/crappy stuffed bear/chocolate companies that are counting on this to steal your money on this made up holiday, Valentines Day. Next year remember that.


My favourite science writer deviates from his usual “Bad Science” column to describe how, with just 5 minutes access to his girlfriend’s cellphone and £5 plus tax to a website operator, he was able to track his girlfriend’s movements on a minute-by-minute basis. Ben describes the scariness of this:

Your mobile phone company could make money from selling information about your location to the companies that offer this service. If you have any reason to suspect that your phone might have been out of your sight, even for five minutes, and there is anyone who might want to track you: call your phone company and ask it to find out if there is a trace on your phone. Anybody could be watching you.

This was with a UK-based GSM phone, but what with all the hoopla around being able to purchase cellphone call records here in the US, I wouldn’t be surprised if such a “service” existed here too.

This post contains info on Travel, Food and People

In an effort to appease some who are Travel, Food and People starved, I’ll write about my latest experience in Columbia/Lexington, SC.
I was excited about this trip cause it would give me a chance to get back to an area of the country that I grew up in. Yes, I grew up in the Carolinas and I still have family and friends that live there so any chance to get back to see some actual mountians, hills and trees makes me happy.
Of course on the trip out we were delayed and missed our connection in ATL. When we finally got rebooked, that flight was delayed getting us in way to late to actually work. On top of that they lost our bags. No big deal, I’ll just brush my teeth with soap in the morning. We find the nearest food joint with WIFI and settle in for a long night of phone calls.
The next morning our bags had arrived. Actually they arrived at 2 a.m. and I know this because I got a phone call telling me so at 2 a.m. 🙁 We dine on some Chic-fil-a for breakfast every morning (fyi- chicken biscuits are the breakfast of the gods). The weather is perfect all week. Blue skies, no clouds, 70 degrees, elevation wasn’t too high so I could breath just fine. Mountian air is really good for your lungs…
We had to try some legendary Carolina BBQ (it’s usually shredded pork sandwhich with a Vinegar and brown sugar based BBQ sauce and cole slaw on it) so we asked some locals about good places. One night we went to Maurice’s BBQ. There, in addition to the food, you can also purchase books on how Wal-Mart is taking over the world. Good reading while on the plane :). The second night we had BBQ we went to Hudson’s BBQ. They were in the process of expanding and had only 3 walls and a sheet of plastic but there was a huge line so we figured it would be good enough. Underneath the outdoor propane heater, I had one of the best Carolina BBQ sandwhiches ever. The pork was so juicy it would just explode when you bit into it. The sauce, a near perfect combo of sweet and sour, did a 1, 2 punch on my tongue and the aftertaste was something woody, fruity and smokey. It would cause me to pause longer than normal between bites just to enjoy it a little longer. Also the shoe-string fries left nothing to be desired.
Also, being a quasi-local, I was on a mission to find 2 other things. Both beverages and both hard to come by outside of the Carolinas. One was a black cherry soda called Cheerwine and the other was a ginger-ale made with real minced ginger called Blenheim. Cheerwine was easy enough to find cause it was EVERYWHERE. Blenheim on the other hand was very elusive. It was like tracking down a UFO crash site 50 years after the fact. It could be just over Hobknob hill past Johnson’s farm or was it at the Publix on Starcross RD? Finally we found it at Bill’s Pack n’ Sack by the airport. If you like ginger and aren’t afraid of a little bite in your refreshment, this is what you need. It’s so tasty… and then it burns. It starts with the lips then moves to the tongue, cheeks, and throat. And it burns in only the way Ginger can.
The flights coming back were on time but that’s not saying there wasn’t some shooting rampage moments. The CRJ we took from Columbia to Atlanta decided to pair it’s 2 widest passengers in the same row. Needless to say I was shoulder to shoulder with this gentleman and I was cause for all traffic up and down the isle to pause, turn and suck in. There were many awkward “butt or crotch” moments. And the flight from ATL to OKC is everyone’s greatest nightmare… sitting next to the screaming child. Dameon is the name I came up with. He was sitting on her lap and she did everything but beat him to try and control him. I don’t know what was worse, sitting beside him or sitting in front of him. I think getting my chair kicked and pushed on every minute would be more annoying the just getting kicked in the leg. My ipod was cranked to no avail. I have hearing loss now because of it and I’ve decided to sue Apple. At some point I was going to suggest some corporal punishment be used on the child but then I realized he was just as frustrated with women (his mom) as I was. But with age I’ve learned not to kick, cry, scream and flail around when I get upset over a woman… well maybe not kick anyway.

It would suck to be allergic to nuts

A 15-year-old girl from Canada, Christina Desforges, died last week after kissing her boyfriend. He had eaten a peanut butter sandwich nine hours earlier and she was allergic to peanuts.

A 15-year-old girl from Canada, Christina Desforges, died last week after kissing her boyfriend. He had eaten a peanut butter sandwich nine hours earlier and she was allergic to peanuts.

Full Story
My sympathies go out to Christina’s family… I can’t imagine the pain they are in. But I really feel for the boy friend. This poor, unfortunate kid. Not only does he have to deal with the image of kissing a girl and her dying, but he will now be known for the rest of his life as the KISS OF DEATH. He won’t be able to get a date until he’s 40. He’ll probably have to go to the Prom with his mom or sister. He’ll probably go crazy, grab a rifle, climb a clock tower and start unloading on people on their way to class. This poor guy. I feel really bad for him.

I know you’re wondering about my food/death fixation I have today. Honestly I don’t know what it is but at least it’s killing time my last week in the office.

We get letters

Very paranoid letters. Old-timers here might recall that the “Famous and Nonfamous Strangers” moniker comes from a letter I received in 1997 while working for a small nonprofit in Oklahoma City. You should read the whole thing again, but my favorite line will always be this: “Before these famous people held charity dinners on behalf of the cause they fabricated around my life and exploited me in every way imaginable, I had a happy, typical, conservative, affluent, dignified, respectable, middle-class life.” It perfectly captures the pivot into tragedy that mental illness is–and far from mocking Jeannine, it makes me realize how close we all are in our private paranoias to effulgent madness.

Such florid madness tends to make one the object of the very fame that fuels the paranoia. The letter’s author was from Olympia, and when I launched the site a friend who had gone to Evergreen immediately recognized her as “crazy Jeannine”–proving once again how small [and how paranoid] the world is.

But it gets smaller. If I became paranoid, it would be a metaparanoia based on the volume of paranoid letters that find their way to me. My sister, working for a state office housed in the same building I worked in when I got Jeannine’s letter, just received a similarly paranoid letter. The writer, amazingly, lives just a few miles from Casa Nonfamous here in Seattle. [Coincidence???]

So, being mindful that it’s not nice to make fun of people with serious mental disturbances, in our defense I can only say that when you send letters out at random across the country, your disorder is no longer private. Given our mandate to “keep paranoia at the lowest healthy level,” consider this post a cautionary tale.

Writer Mac now joins our patron saint, Jeannine, in the Nonfamous Pantheon of Paranoia. The full letter is copied below the jump, but the gist is something like this:

I am writing you a tearful letter about the musical collosus Robert
Fripp of King Crimson. I was evacuated to Seattle from Pittsburgh after my
girlfriend was raped and I was tortured by his Gurdjieff Cult.

I had been interested in Fripp’s group and invited by them to Mt. Desert Island in 1988. Because I am almost completely deaf, I always feared that something would go wrong and I informed the Fripp gestapo, who were professing to be with Amnesty International, that I had been a victim of traumatic childhood violent crime.

In 1988, I received a postcard from Wm. Zell, of his cult, on Mt. Desert Island (Jackson Immunogenetic labs, mousecage assembler) which surrounds my name with positive and negative signs and reads: “The photo of Goebbels, cross section of testes with cancer, injecting people…all may have been chance…I am part of deliberate community”. They had just given me scabies and introduced me to a girl with a tattoo of the grim reaper on her inner thigh. Zell had said in 1981, “what would you think of scheme to transform the human race by injecting the blood?” They were using me for a lab rat in HIV testing. They had tortured me deaf in childhood. So I became suspicious.

And I think anyone would! As the letter continues, Oliver Stone and Yoko Ono have a lot to answer for. Yoko is new, but of course Jeannine put Oliver Stone at the top of the list of people who “watched me in the privacy of my own dwelling place for several years.” Perhaps they should get together for coffee.

We at Nonfamous will, of course, investigate these claims… the world is a strange place and Mac might be on to something. Or, more likely, off of something. Good luck and God bless.

The full text of the letter is below, with the image to come soon, I hope.

Continue reading “We get letters”