“I got yer fiscal responsibility…

…right here in my lapbanded gut.”  Governor Sammiches:  football seasons 2010 and 2011, somewhere in Fuck-All, New Jersey

Chris Christie has t3h munchies

Chris Christie has t3h munchies

Short and sweet:  how in the name of sweet holy fuck do you rack up $82,000 in expenses on fucking stadium food and beer when you have a gastric band in yo motherfucking belly?  Let’s just ask the resident blowhard in Joisey, Governor Chris Christie, to tell us.  But he won’t.  He can’t.  His mommy told him not to talk with food in his mouth.

Now, I’m sure there is a logical explanation for this astounding display of supply chain management discipline.  After all, we Sayers-of-the-Word-NO make damn sure there are limitations in place so the P-Card system couldn’t possibly be abused.  You know, used at places such as department stores and sports arenas.  Unless, of course, you’re the governor and you can throw any purchasing and contract grunt out on their ass with the snap of a greasy finger and toss of a chicken bone over one’s rotund shoulder and quadruple chin.

Awww.  I’m being hard on the man, am I?  Fuck him.  I’m going to call him a fat, miserable lout.  I’m going to take the low road and mock him whenever the opportunity presents itself and it’s not solely because he’s from the cesspool that is New Jersey, either.  I’m going to do it because he’s a double-talking, idiotic shitstain who yells at teachers and is, generally, a blight on humanity.

$82,000.  How many teachers, combined, make $82,000 Governor Sammiches?  Of the teachers you have verbally eviscerated while provolone cheese drips down your Jabba the Hutt chin, how many of those would have to work one year to make $82,000?  And, what would their personal financial outlay be to make sure their classrooms are appropriately equipped with all necessary supplies that you and your horned cohorts cut from budgets like you slice through butter to put on your margarine covered bread?

Governor Sammiches, you could come up with an iron clad alibi.  You could provide receipts showing that you took every single foster kid and/or orphan in your state to a game for Christmas for all I care.  There’s no excusing $82,000 on foodstuffs in two years.  I don’t spend $82,000 on stuffed animals, toys for my kid, my hair and my wardrobe in a decade and I can spend some money.  I’m so motherfucking talented at spending money, I made a career out of it.

Such a gross display of disregard for one’s office, one’s civic duty and the tax payers is so vile it doesn’t even merit a spot in the Go Fuck Yourself Weekly hall of shame.  Nope.  It merits a much nastier penalty:  living in New Jersey for the rest of your artery clogged, loud mouthed life.  And to be precise – Newark or Trenton.

A very middle class…

…sort of afternoon.

Let me start by saying that I have an extreme disdain for A Southern Season on the weekend.  For the years that I worked at the hospital, I was able to skitter over to A Southern Season during lunch, snap up what was necessary and get the fuck out without having to deal with the doddering, old people trawling for free samples.  I was able to avoid overhearing the annoying conversations between Bitsy and Tweety about their quilted handbags and their grandchildren.  I didn’t have to dig down deep within myself to find the restraint necessary to avoid grabbing a Wüsthof knife and driving it through the heart of a Junior League member lamenting about how hard it is to find good help these days.  Also, I didn’t have to play dodge the portable oxygen tank.  As I have said previously, that is the must have accessory for a majority of the clientele.

I have long maintained that there should be certain hours set aside for those of us who need to shop for actual groceries so we can get in and out without any irritation.  Call me bougie all you want but there are certain food stuffs that I can only get there or I can pay 50 trillion dollars in shipping to some weird internet shop specializing in French salami and Kalles kaviar (not that I would dare eat that shit).  Also, blame my father for this.  He was the one who foisted this upon me.  I was perfectly fine with a diet of Pop-Tarts and scorched meat (my stepfather, my lovely, learned stepfather…my wonderful stepfather who should not be permitted to touch meat at all) until I moved in with my father.  Then my life turned into “eat like a proper European and like it or starve.”  Also, have some wine with dinner…even if you’re only 9 (ok…even if you’re only 17).

On Christmas, I made a horrible discovery.  We had one jar of lingonsylt (lingon berries) remaining.  There is an Ikea in Charlotte but it’s an Ikea…in Charlotte.  People go there as a tourist destination.  Anyone who needs to get in, get lingonsylt and get the fuck out does not have the time to waste driving two hours only to deal with drop-jawed morons stumbling and bumbling through a low grade furniture store, massacring the names of Scandinavian towns.  Also, there are no meetings for work scheduled in Charlotte in the near future so I have no actual reason to go to Charlotte.  Further complicating my life is the obliteration of Ericsson’s footprint in RTP (thank goodness I left Ericsson for the current job).  Finding Swedish anything at the regular grocery store is no longer a possibility.  No more Ballerina cookies.  No more Felix anything.  My choices for acquiring Swedish foods are now limited to Ikea, the internet, begging for parcels from my friends or going to A Southern Season (or ASS as my husband calls it).  I make köttbullar (Swedish meatballs or shitballs, if you’re my husband) often enough that we must have a reasonable inventory of lingonsylt.  Köttbullar without lingonsylt is like college without beer – why bother?

So, I break the news that Milkface is going to have to run a marginally uninteresting errand with Mommy today.  He was in his fort in the living room and stayed silent in hope that I would forget that I had a child.  I lured him out with the promise of a handsome reward/threat of death.  It never ceases to amaze me that the child who is never tired always seems to come down with chronic fatigue syndrome whenever it’s time to get dressed to run an errand.  I manage to get his limp body into clothes, bundle him up and stuff him in the car.  Then he forces me to listen to Avril Latrine (yeah…Avril Latrine.  When you have to listen to Avril Lavigne over and over and over again until your ears bleed, she becomes Avril Latrine.  And believe me, this is one time I find myself wishing my hearing impairment is way worse than it actually is, too.) ½ way up I-40.  The child, he’s good.  He’s already mastered the art of manipulation from his conniving, scheming and evil mother.

We get to ASS, walk through the doors and Milky inhales.  He immediately recognizes the smell of happiness.  The smell that brings much joy and harmony to the house.  The smell that represents comfort, sanity and security because Mommy isn’t losing her shit over something inconsequential:  coffee.  Milky is intrigued.  Milky is comforted.  Milky is willing to push the cart and cooperate.  We head over to the jam aisle and start our search for lingonsylt.  There were four jars.  We scooped up three.  I always feel guilty taking the entire stock of whatever in the event that there is someone else who is having an emergency.  I would hate to be the asshole that caused distress because I took everything (see, I am considerate!).  Then I noticed the rows and rows of French jams Dock and I fell in love with while on one of our trench hiking holidays so I placed a few of those in the cart.  After that – marmalade because my father loves marmalade.  Examining the cart, I’m thinking we have the equivalent of Milky’s freshman year of college tuition in jam and decide it’s time to move along.  But where to next?  We satisfied the need:  lingonsylt.  We obtained the want:  jam.  Oooooh…bread!  Must have bread for all this glorious jam.  To the bakery, we go.  And now, my ambivalent sloth of a child is getting into the experience.  After a brief discussion, we decide brioche would be better than several croissant so we get a loaf of that.  I think that may have cost more than my boots.

Out of the corner of my eye, I notice Milky drifting towards the left to the case with the desserts.  Of course.  There are two King cakes in the case and Milky loves anything that is sparkly and purple.  The whining begins in earnest.  Lower lip protrudes, eyes well with crocodile tears but I manage to convince him to hold off for a minute.  What Milky doesn’t realize is that ASS has a candy section that is something to behold.  And this is where things get a little weird and where I fail to understand how the brain of a five year old functions at times because five year olds glom on to some really weird shit.

On our way to candy land, we cruise by my mother’s concept of heaven:  cookware and cutlery.  Rows upon rows of knives (which she may or may not wield when I arrive home with another tattoo; not unlike the first time I came home with a tattoo when she waved a chef’s knife at me and was certainly not smiling) twinkling beneath the lights strategically placed to showcase the wares.  Shelf upon shelf of Le Creuset cookware and bakeware.  Milkface notes the lack of purple cookware and wonders if Bubbe can do anything about that (note to mom:  I’m totally serious).  A table display of Scanpans are taunting me.  Then my weird kid fixates on a pie bird.  Of course he reaches for it (what five year old wouldn’t grab something fragile) and demands to know what it is, what it does and, of course, can he have it.  I explain why pie birds are used and that Mommy isn’t big on baking pies but this is irrelevant.  Milky now wants a pie bird.  Oh…and the pie bird should be made by Le Creuset (properly pronounced) and preferably red or purple (because purple is his favorite color and red is the favorite color of his bestie).  Somehow, I’m now finding myself in a lamentation reserved for an Op/Ed piece in The Guardian about Middle Class Shame.  This is all very confusing.  Especially given the fact that I look like something that has been pulled out of a shower drain and dressed in a Ponyville Public Library shirt, jeans and ratty cowgirl boots.

I finally manage to lure the child to the candy section and watch what every parent dreams of, even if they’re unwilling to admit it, a face awash in joy at the sight of endless candy and impending tooth decay.  As is Milky’s wont, he stands still and processes all that he sees before diving in.  Then the “May I have…” begins.  At first, I restrain him much to his chagrin.  I don’t want him loading up the cart with the first thing he sees or stuff he can get anywhere (supply chain toady represent – we do not buy M&Ms at an exorbitant markup).  I want him to explore a bit.  I want him to have the full kid-in-the-candy-store experience.  We cruise the aisles looking at all the things.  He recognizes the goodies Uncle Magnus brings him from Sweden.  He sees lollipops with insects in them.  Then he finds the good stuff…the stuff of infinite possibilities…the bulk candy:  jelly beans, chocolate of endless varieties, gummy this and gummy that, licorice, gumballs, jawbreakers.  Then it’s time to really blow his mind, I put on one of those non-latex gloves, grab a handful of empty bags and tell him he can have whatever he wants.  Who has two thumbs and is mom of the year?  This train wreck.  And load up the bags we did.  The staff smiled.  The other patrons sneered.  Let them.  My kid and I were having a moment, dammit.

Even after we had cleaned out a good bit of the gummy inventory, Milky still had his mind on the bakery and the pie bird.  And, because I have done a stellar job of spoiling the child rotten, I suspected that there was going to be an addition to what was already in the cart.  I managed to distract Milkface from the pie bird by taunting him with stinky cheese.  Then we negotiated a deal – there would be no King cake coming home (it was large, it’s not yet Mardi Gras and I don’t care for holiday creep as it is) but Milky could have petit fours or an individual cake.  He chose sponge cake with strawberry mousse.  And somewhere, the bougie brigade agreed to overlook the fromage foul, grant me a pass on the pile of gummy goodness in the cart and allow me to keep my tastefully muted membership card granting me access to the most exclusive of food and beverage markets provided Milkface partake of ethically sourced foie gras by the end of February.

Once that was all said and done, we left ASS and walked through the remaining shops of University Mall (all four of them – maybe five?) where Milky was additionally rewarded with his first pieces of art glass because a cultured lad is never young enough to start building his own collection.  He selected a plane, a turtle, a heart and an octopus (or maybe I chose that for myself?).

And as I sit here, with Scooby Doo (might I say – I really dislike Scooby Doo) in the background, I’m having a hard time figuring out if today is 2015 and Milky’s childhood or if it’s 1976 and my childhood.  My parents saw nothing wrong with taking me to a gourmet grocery store and feeding me food that grown-ups eat.  They didn’t see anything wrong with allowing an outrageous indulgence now and then.  If there was something random and weird that I wanted and I was well behaved, I could, conceivably, have been rewarded with the random and weird object.  Today, it appears that I gave Milky a little of what was given to me – a little bit of the weird, magical, offbeat childhood that I had that a lot of kids didn’t necessarily experience.  While I may make fun of myself for the excess, I’m also quite proud to pass along the some of the kookiness.  And, maybe there will come a day when Milky is flying solo with a kid of his own, doing the same nonsensical, silly things while thinking about the day that his goofball of a mom did the same with him.  Parenting may feel like a series of really long and really frustrating days but the reality of the situation is that it is a very narrow allocation of time.  The ultimate goal is to raise kids to be self-sufficient and self-actualized adults.  But…who is to say that the process can’t be fun, too?

Lazy Mexican Sunday


Sunday Corona at our local Mexican restaurant. That’s one thing I don’t envy about Europe, it’s the devil trying to find a half-way decent Mexican place there. For some strange reason Chinese food also sucks in Europe.

Butter Rich

Did you happen to read,
In the paper today,
Of the shortage of butter,
Over in Norway?
So ill-timed and cruel,
This sad deprivation,
Leads Norwegians to look,
Outside of their nation.
They can use margarine,
As one way of faking,
The lack of real butter,
In their holiday baking.
But a butter black market,
Is what Norway’s needing.
So let’s bootleg some butter,
From butter rich Sweden.

Thanksgiving Confession

I do love my family most dearly,
And I don’t mean to be rude.
But Thanksgiving Day for me,
Well, it’s all about the food.
Right now that turkey,
Means more to me than family.

Not that I don’t give thanks,
I’m just trying to be frank.
I do feel bad, or at least not good.
But, oh my god, THE FOOD!!!
I’m not only a bad girl.
Maybe I’m the worst person in the world…

So come on, now. Don’t by shy.
More whipped cream on my pumpkin pie.
Right now the thought of obesity,
Really does not scare me.
Just leave me to my fate.
But first put more turkey on my plate.

No Milk Situation

The very indication,
Of a no milk situation,
Is a source of office crisis.
Always causing great distress.
Oh, whatever shall we do?
This surely can’t be true.
Have we no relief or remedy,
For this lack of milk emergency?
Well, you could go to the store,
Forthwith and buy some more.
And solve this milky lack.
Or just learn to drink it black.

WOTD: smörgåstårta

Today’s word literally means “sandwich cake” in Swedish. I have seen it translated as “savory tart” though, which to me sounds like a naughty woman.

This cake-like concoction, popular throughout Scandinavia, is comprised of layers of white sandwich bread, mayonnaise or some other spread, ham or shrimp and cucumber slices. It’s a popular fika dish here in Sweden. It’s difficult to overstate the importance of fika for Swedes. The word means coffee but it’s much more than just coffee. It’s like tea in the UK: a big deal and a whole meal.

Anyway, we were served this after today’s conference at work. Even though I’ve lived in Sweden for more than five years, this was actually the first time I’d ever had the opportunity to try this delicacy. Despite the popularity of the dish, I must say that it’s definitely not one of my favorite things to eat. Well, it’s not exactly awful, but the idea of a savory “cake” made out of white bread and mayonnaise just seems somehow wrong.

The one I tried had smoked salmon and shrimp and there was crushed pineapple between the slices of bread. I thought it was a bit weird.

Here's a picture of one made with shrimp, egg and caviar.

WOTD: Spam

When I was little I sometimes went to stay with my great-grandmother for a day or two. She was in her 80s but she was a lot of fun. Everything in her house was old, but she came from a time when things were built to last. Her refrigerator was an ancient propane gas Servel from the 1950s, which still worked prefectly. She had held on to a lot of stuff from days gone by: boxes full of fascinating old clothing such as arm-length satin gloves, shoe boxes of old photographs, and even a few old magazines full of pictures of women in Christian Dior New Look dresses. Eventually all this ended up being given to my mother. I loved looking through the magazines and at the old pictures, mezmerized by the faces of people who were long dead.

Anyway, one day I was flipping through one of my great-grandmother’s old Harper’s Bazaar magazines from the 50s. In the midst of all the advertisements for cigarettes and liquor was an ad for Spam. I clearly recall what was written on the ad and will probably remember it forever:

Spam: The Ham that Didn’t Pass its Physical.

Isn’t that great?

Back in those days Spam was a canned meat product. Its name is a combination of the words “spiced” and “ham.” To me it’s always been one of those foods that older people eat. In fact, the only occasions on which I ever ate Spam was during those visits to my great-grandmother’s house. She always seemed to have some and she used to make us fried Spam, which was actally pretty good. It didn’t taste anything like ham, though.

Today, lower-case spam is something completely different. Wikipedia defines it as “unsolicited or undesired electronic messages.” These can come in many forms including emails and comments on blogs. We at Random Misanthrope use an application called Akismet which politely and discreetly moves comments which smell like spam to their own special folder. Today I saw that we had six comments sitting in our spam queue, so I thought I’d take a look. This one comment caught my eye because it reads like it was written by a Nigerian prince:

You have certainly antecedently been exceptionally strenuous publication pointing up all of this well weblog, Completely rather interesting to be able to read. Can’t time to wait to find out everything you articles about in the up coming last seven days. New for your huge positive aspects, choose to I do not very nurturing such a web site , and after that intend this guidance, too since the great evaluations some other rather folks wrote, ought to aid loved ones decide in the case when it is some of the ripe alternative for you in person. May be the idealfact Hydraulic.

All this was apparently the introduction to the last word, hydraulic, which was a (now broken) link. As you can see the comment is written in the all-too-familiar awkward style associated with Nigerian spam emails. Most of the language is sort of correct but definitely not standard English, “completely rather interesting”  being a key example. One wonders if this was generated by a spambot programmed to make the comments or emails read like that.

If so, then why?

Oh why?