Eclectic Eats 10.31.15

It’s time once again for some eclectic eats. Appetizers are the theme this week. Before I dive into the appetizing goodness I’ve found, can I just take a minute to talk about how much I love edamame? I first learned of the soybean in a pod several years ago at a previous job. It was a seafood restaurant that also served sushi. Edamame was one of the more popular side dishes. The first time I saw someone consuming them, I thought they looked really plain and couldn’t figure out why the person was raving about how good they were. I mean they’re like hot green beans on steroids sprinkled with sea salt. What’s so awesome about that? After I tried them, I came to understand. For me, they’re almost as addictive as popcorn, but much better for you (provided you don’t overdo it on the salt). And I say that as a popcorn lover. They’re a perfect snack on their own, but you can also use them as ingredients for a salad (something else I’ve done more than a few times).

Ok, with that out of the way-let’s get down to the eclectic eats! What unconventional dishes will I like? What bizarre dishes get the thumbs down? Which dishes elicit an ambivalent shoulder shrug? Read on! On to the appetizers!

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Eclectic Eats 10.31.15
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Police Behaving Badly 10.29.15

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I began the ‘Police Behaving Badly’ series in 2014 to document the stories of police officers who engaged in questionable, unethical, immoral, or illegal behavior. At the time, I knew that there were cases of on-duty cops sexually assaulting women, that cops had been caught stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from drug suspects, that it was not uncommon for officers to use excessive force, and that police brutality and racism often go hand-in-hand. What I didn’t know was how often this shit occurred. I didn’t know how pervasive these problems were. Like many, I trusted law enforcement officials. As I read more and more stories of police officers behaving badly, I came to realize that these individual cases pointed to a more significant problem-rampant corruption within law enforcement across the country as well as departments filled with sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, racist officers. Not just individual officers either, but entire police departments (the New York and Ferguson PDs immediately spring to mind). I learned that this shit happens all the time and as a result, this series will continue for a very, very long time (as long as I’m blogging most likely). Here are several recent examples of Police Behaving Badly:

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Police Behaving Badly 10.29.15

I’m of two minds

I’ve been an atheist for roughly 20 years. As a child, I didn’t grow up in a particularly religious household. My parents believed (and still do) in the god of the bible, but their belief wasn’t attached to any particular denomination. Unlike other families, we didn’t attend church services*. I wasn’t part of any church groups. We didn’t read bible verses at home. Heck, I don’t recall ever seeing a bible in the house (though I’m sure there was at least one). From what I recall (my memory regarding finer details is spotty the further I go back) god was not a subject that was often discussed at home. During the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, we sat at the table and said grace, thanking god for giving us the food we were about to eat and praying that he’d ensure our continued health and happiness, but that was about it. This was par for the course for pretty much my entire childhood. As a teenager, I had some vague belief in god. If someone had asked me, I’d have said “yes, I believe in god”, but more than that? There wasn’t anything more than that. When I got to college, that ill-defined belief in a deity was challenged once I took Philosophy 101 and 202. It was in those classes that I began to explore morality and ethics. Questioning the morality of an a particular act led me down the path to atheism. Just as importantly, in those classes, I was exposed to other religions and learned that humans have created gods for thousands of years. By the time I’d taken my break from college in my sophomore year, I was an atheist. I realized that humans had been creating deities for a very long time and those gods so often served to explain aspects of the world we couldn’t explain. That bright flashing light in the sky when it rains? No idea what that was. Nor any idea where the rain came from. But chalk it up to Jupitor or Thor and you have an “explanation”. Does something happen to us after we die? No idea, but Hel and Valhalla provide an “answer”. As I began to learn about the similarities between religions, I began to think that if those were all invented, there’s no reason Christianity couldn’t have been invented either. Plus, the modern Christians had no more evidence to support the existence of their god than the ancient Greeks had to support the assertion that their gods existed. That was the primary reason I rejected a belief in any god or gods (there were other, slightly less important reasons, such as the problem of evil and my growing belief that there was nothing wrong with me or anyone else being gay-contrary to many religious teachings). I say all of this bc my lack of a belief in any higher power(s) had (and has) fuck-all to do with having faith. And that’s why I have a hard time understanding the perspective of Ijeoma Oluo, an atheist who recently wrote an article for the Guardian titled ‘My atheism does not make me superior to believers. It’s a leap of faith too

Continue reading “I’m of two minds”

I’m of two minds

I'm of two minds

I’ve been an atheist for roughly 20 years. As a child, I didn’t grow up in a particularly religious household. My parents believed (and still do) in the god of the bible, but their belief wasn’t attached to any particular denomination. Unlike other families, we didn’t attend church services*. I wasn’t part of any church groups. We didn’t read bible verses at home. Heck, I don’t recall ever seeing a bible in the house (though I’m sure there was at least one). From what I recall (my memory regarding finer details is spotty the further I go back) god was not a subject that was often discussed at home. During the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, we sat at the table and said grace, thanking god for giving us the food we were about to eat and praying that he’d ensure our continued health and happiness, but that was about it. This was par for the course for pretty much my entire childhood. As a teenager, I had some vague belief in god. If someone had asked me, I’d have said “yes, I believe in god”, but more than that? There wasn’t anything more than that. When I got to college, that ill-defined belief in a deity was challenged once I took Philosophy 101 and 202. It was in those classes that I began to explore morality and ethics. Questioning the morality of an a particular act led me down the path to atheism. Just as importantly, in those classes, I was exposed to other religions and learned that humans have created gods for thousands of years. By the time I’d taken my break from college in my sophomore year, I was an atheist. I realized that humans had been creating deities for a very long time and those gods so often served to explain aspects of the world we couldn’t explain. That bright flashing light in the sky when it rains? No idea what that was. Nor any idea where the rain came from. But chalk it up to Jupitor or Thor and you have an “explanation”. Does something happen to us after we die? No idea, but Hel and Valhalla provide an “answer”. As I began to learn about the similarities between religions, I began to think that if those were all invented, there’s no reason Christianity couldn’t have been invented either. Plus, the modern Christians had no more evidence to support the existence of their god than the ancient Greeks had to support the assertion that their gods existed. That was the primary reason I rejected a belief in any god or gods (there were other, slightly less important reasons, such as the problem of evil and my growing belief that there was nothing wrong with me or anyone else being gay-contrary to many religious teachings). I say all of this bc my lack of a belief in any higher power(s) had (and has) fuck-all to do with having faith. And that’s why I have a hard time understanding the perspective of Ijeoma Oluo, an atheist who recently wrote an article for the Guardian titled ‘My atheism does not make me superior to believers. It’s a leap of faith too

Continue reading “I'm of two minds”

I'm of two minds

The destructive fury of nature

I remember thinking how surreal it all was. After all, just 45 minutes prior, there were torrential rains and howling gusts of wind. I wouldn’t have dared to open the front door then. But now, everything fell silent. No more wind. No more rain. After several minutes, I worked up the courage to open the front door and that’s when I thought “this is surreal”. It was calm outside. From what I recall, there was no wind at all. There might have been a very gentle breeze, but perhaps not even that (memory being faulty and all, I may simply not remember certain details accurately). In addition to the tranquility there was also darkness; as far as the eye could see. Granted, it was nighttime (morning technically, since it was a few hours past midnight), but usually there are street lights, porch lights, or lights on inside homes.  Not that night. That night no street lights were on. No porch lights flickered in the darkness. No homes had electricity. Unless you had a private generator, no one in Pensacola had power. Hurricane Ivan took care of that.

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The destructive fury of nature

Five of my favorite horror movies

It’s the most fearful time of the year

With kids in scary costumes

And Hollywood filling you up with much fear

It’s the most fearful time of the year.

It’s the scar-scariest season of all

With those Satanist readings and de

monic meetings

When pagans come to call

It’s the scar-scariest season of all.

(apologies to Andy Williams for tweaking/butchering his widely loved Xmas song)

Obviously, this post is a Halloween-themed post. I don’t really think this time of year is particularly frightening (no more so than any other time of year). I was just channeling the whining of far-right fundie whackaloons. We all know how whiny and double-extra irrational they get around this time of year. I’m sure we’ll hear something from Pat Robertson about the dangers of dressing kids up or demonic energies (or other such nonsense). Me, I figured I’d take this time to list 5 of my favorite horror movies. Note that I said 5 of my favorite, rather than Top 5. The reason for this? Most of the movies I would even think to list in a Top 5 are ones I haven’t seen in a very long time. It’s hard for me to rate one movie over another when I haven’t viewed it in a while and don’t remember enough details. The only caveat here is that I *do* have a favorite movie, which I’ll be counting down to (it’s a movie I’ve seen repeatedly and it left an indelible mark in my mind, so I remember a lot about it). Here are four of my favorites, in no particular order:

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Five of my favorite horror movies

Eclectic Eats: Chicken Edition

Once again, I’m here to share with readers some of the unique dishes I’ve encountered during my online wanderings. this time around, i thought to go with a theme: chicken. I’m also looking outside the united states for more inspiration (I’ll probably continue to seek more international dishes in the future). As usual, I’ll add my thoughts on each entry and then I’ll give my verdict on whether or not I’d try the dish. In addition to my final verdict, i’m adding a numerical score (based on a 10-point scale) which reflects my excitement over each dish.  First up:

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Eclectic Eats: Chicken Edition

LGBT Link Round-Up 10.17.15

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here are some of the informative, entertaining, and frustrating queer-centric stories I’ve discovered in my travels on the internet:

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LGBT Link Round-Up 10.17.15

Speakeasy #5

Welcome to the Speakeasy! Pull up a metaphorical chair and relax with everyone. Chat about whatever you want, just be nice to each other (and no bigotry).

Speakeasy #5

Police Behaving Badly 10.16.15

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From the use of excessive force to stealing drugs from suspects…from racial profiling to abusing the power of their badges…from sexually assaulting suspects to planting evidence…there is a never-ending stream of stories of law enforcement officials behaving irresponsibly, unethically, immorally, and/or criminally. Here are five recent examples from across the United states:

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Police Behaving Badly 10.16.15