My skill set tastes better than yours

Italian Cheese Spread

Put half a block of cream cheese/neufchatel in a food processor with a splash of milk and process until smooth.  Add basil, rosemary, garlic, sharp cheddar cheese, onion (dried or roasted, not fresh and raw – too much moisture), red bell pepper (I use the dried red bell pepper I make), salt and pepper.*  Process until thoroughly blended.  Spread on toasted french bread, mix with mashed potatoes, use as a dip for raw vegetables or potato chips.

Honestly, you could make this with a selection of flavorings.  Chives and bacon is nice.  Cilantro, green bell pepper and lime makes a divine change from seasoned butter for your steaks.  Mix it with shredded leftover roast beef for a really damned good sandwich.  It keeps quite well in the fridge too.

My inherent point here, besides sharing something tasty you can make in sixty seconds, is that everyone should know how to be useful.  In the area where I grew up, most of the people I knew or was related to had an actual set of skills.  Granted, the area was rural and this was some time ago, but I didn’t run across many people who were unemployed or held nonsense jobs and the extent of their off-duty accomplishments were knowing how to run a microwave and program a VCR.  City slickers.  Useless idiots.  Cannon fodder.

These days?  Not so much.

These days, we call that being a “consumer” and it’s a big chunk of the problem.  Oh, if you’re looking for a spiel on mindless consumption, you’ll have to look elsewhere because this isn’t it.  Mindless consumption has its own issues but the problem I’m thinking of is “production”.

Sure, you consume, and maybe even mindlessly, but the point, see, the point is, are you capable of producing anything?  You should be.

The economy is teetering on the brink, and our freedom is disappearing faster than the value of your 401k.  Those who don’t see this aren’t paying attention, and those who insist it can’t happen here/bad things only happen back in the old days has their head stuffed up their bum.  Bad things happen to good people constantly, we are not special, and every democracy in existence failed due to fiscal collapse and was followed by tyranny.  “That’s different,” people say.  It is never different.  They just want to think so, because it’s less frightening than reality.

There’s a saying in the stock markets that bulls make money, bears make money, and pigs get slaughtered.  Rather a useful saying, and also true.  There is no situation which cannot be used as an opportunity, so long as you are able to adapt quickly and use your damned head.  Economic Darwinism culled most people employed in the real estate sector and related fields for exactly this reason; they didn’t adapt, and stuck their heads up their arse, chanting “It’ll fix itself, housing always goes up, sub-prime is contained, TV said we’ve reached the bottom and TV would never lie to me!”

Time to turn off the TV and turn on your brain.  What useful skills do you have, and what are you capable of producing for yourself or for a wider economy?  If the answer is “practically nothing” then it’s high time you learned to be useful.  You might need that knowledge one day, and hey, even if you don’t, you’ve learned something interesting and doing it yourself is always cheaper.  Win-win.

 

*Yes, I know this is not terribly helpful to people who can’t cook.  I never measure anything unless I’m making something which would be screwed up royally by eyeballing, say, cream of tartar until it “looks about right”.  But for everything else, “looks about right” works fine and is quicker.  Sorry.

Published in: on August 26, 2011 at 8:01 am  Comments (2)  

What I do when I’m bored

I love food.  When I was little, I wanted to own a restaurant when I grew up.*  In my spare time, I’m usually reading, writing or cooking and the main reason I like gardening so much is the promise of fresh peppers.

Since Brandy and I spend our business hours at the incall, I spend a fair amount of the down time playing with food.  For about a year, I’ve been dehydrating everything in sight, and then I’d turn the dehydrated goods into a powder, and then I’d assemble the various dried powdered foods into mixes of sorts.  (Several of you have been used as tasters, sometimes even knowingly, aha.)

I’m telling you, the stuff smells fabulous too.  I could bury myself in the dried red pepper powder all day long.  Much fresher than anything you could buy in the store, and the vast majority of this you couldn’t get in the store anyway even if you were willing to pay their vastly inflated prices for it.

I do it mostly for the convenience.  If I want carrots or green peppers for a dish, I don’t have to go to the store – I just pop open a jar.  No prep work either.  Brandy likes it, because lunch is usually my job and while most people would swear we have no food at the incall (just ingredients), I can make damned near anything in about twenty minutes.

If you want quality convenience food, sometimes you just have to do it yourself.

 

* My recipe for peach cobbler with homemade honey ice cream would solve the Middle East crisis all by its onesies.

Published in: on August 25, 2011 at 9:52 am  Comments (3)  

Are you smarter than a fifth grader?

Anyone seen that show?  It purports to be a game show, hosted by Jeff Foxworthy, and – title notwithstanding – it’s really stupid.  Adults get asked questions on school subjects that elementary students are taught, and they all strain and chew their nails in terror because they just don’t know the answer!

It’s riveting TV.

I like math.  It was one of my best subjects.  Let’s try some fourth grade math, for which I hold fonder memories than, say, Honors Geometry.

The US population is 307,006,550.  The federal budget is 3.7 trillion.

The population of Texas is 24,782,302.  The Texas state budget is 182 billion, albeit 40% of that comes from federal funds and we’re running a 15-27 billion shortfall (oddly, no one seems to know – apparently it is one of those complicated things).  Let’s call it 15 billion for kicks.

3.7 trillion divided by 307,006,550 is $12,051.86.

182 billion minus 40% plus 15 billion equals 124.2 billion.  Divide that by 24,782,302 and you get $5011.64.

$12051.86 plus $5011.64 equals $17,063.50.

It will require just north of $17k for every man, woman and child living in Texas to pay this year’s bill presented to them by their state and federal legislators.

Are you happy with what you get for your $17,063.50?  Think they’re spending it well?

$17k is quite a chunk of change, but that’s just for one person.  A typical family of four will have to write a check to their state and federal government for  $68,254.  Remember, that’s just for this year’s budget.  We’ve got another one coming around next year, which will need another check!  And it’ll be a bigger check!

It’s like we all start life with a crazy golddigger ex wife attached to our necks.  She’s got all the credit cards, her Daddy (MSM) tells everyone what an asshole you are for not giving her enough money and her beer-swilling rage-issues brother (police) threatens to kick your ass every time you even think about not paying for her shopping sprees.

 

Published in: on August 24, 2011 at 10:33 am  Comments (2)  

“I got rights, man…”

Your Daily Carlin

You know what I like about George Carlin?  No, you know what I love about Carlin?  It’s that we don’t agree.  Politically, this guy’s about as close to me on the map as Savannah, GA is to San Diego.

But here’s the brilliant thing.  You can listen to me rant, and then listen to Carlin rant, and the thing that quickly becomes obvious is that two people can approach a problem from opposite ends and reach the same conclusion if they are people who engage their brain.

And you know why that is?  It’s because the left-right dichotomy is BULLSHIT.  We don’t have two parties in DC, we have one; the Spending Your Money party, and they are united in harmonious bliss in favor of their platform.  Half of them tell you that gays are downtrodden and we must save the gays!  Half of them tell you that gays are evil – like Hitler! – and are after your kiddies!  You know what that is?  That’s a fucking distraction so you don’t bother them while they spend your money and restrict your freedom.

There are two kinds of people in politics, and they are not D or R, or pro-life vs pro-choice, and they’re not even Elitist Sellout Motherfucker vs Dumbshit Prole Constituent.

It’s the party of Thinking People vs the party of Useless Idiots.

Do you got brain?

Because you sure as hell don’t have any rights.  I love hearing people talk about rights.  I want to pat them on the head, it’s so cute.  But it’s even better when someone hears something, sees something on the news, reads about something, that isn’t supposed to happen in a nation of laws (you know… where people have rights) and they cock their twee little heads to the side in puzzlement.  You can see their poor grey matter trying to reconcile the facts in front of them with their perception of reality.  And then they turn to you with an expression I can only describe as “hurt”, and say, “But… they can’t do that!”  In defiance of all the facts in front of them, as it were.

Yes, in a nation of laws there are things “they can’t do”.  The police can’t shoot a sleeping seven year old girl in the neck, blame her grandma, arrest her father and lie to the media to cover it up.  Banks can’t break into a home they don’t own to change the locks and steal your things.  Elected representatives can’t pass an unconstitutional law demanding the fact of your existence means they can require you to participate in the market of their choice.  Six cops can’t beat a man to death because they think he might have been looking in car windows.  Child Protective Services can’t take the children of a woman whose husband beat her, because she “failed to protect” the children from witnessing domestic abuse, and then give custody to the abusive husband.  Banks can’t foreclose on a house to which they don’t own the note.  The Testical Squeezing Authority can’t perform invasive strip-searches without a warrant or consent and then, when a Colorado woman reached out and grabbed the breast of the TSA thug in a true tit-for-tat, aha, have her arrested for felony sexual assault.

Clearly, this isn’t a nation of laws.

People say, “They can’t do that” and “I’ve got rights”.  No.  You don’t.  Maybe once you had rights, or more likely one of your ancestors.  That is because there was once a time when the myriad “them” in authority would see that there was a law against something, and then not do it.   We don’t live in those days anymore.  Now, if there is a law against something, they will do it anyways.  IF you have lots and lots of money, you are free to sue them.  After a couple-three years and the cost of a small house, a judge may tell them that, yes, in fact, they are not allowed to do that and to stop it immediately.  Maybe they’ll stop, or maybe they’ll just appeal.

So, tell me about these rights of yours.  From what I see, the only right you have is the right to spend $40k trying to convince a judge to uphold the law while they do what they want any damned ways.

Published in: on August 21, 2011 at 9:29 am  Comments (3)  

Fair warning

Most of y’all who have either been reading for a good while, or who know me fairly well in meatworld, know that I voted for Ron Paul in the last presidential election.

Yes, I know.  We can get into an argument about wasted votes later.  Suffice to say, for the moment, that any vote for neither McCain nor Obama was not a wasted vote, as at least I still have my dignity.

I like Ron Paul.  I like his politics   I like his nicknames, Dr No and Dr Truth Serum.  I even like his sticky-out ears.  He’s the anti-politician.  He’s not pretty, he’s honest and he can’t be bought.

He’s as close as I’m ever going to get to seeing a Constitutionalist on the ballot.  Expect to hear a lot about him from me in the coming months.

Published in: on August 13, 2011 at 11:08 pm  Comments (3)  

Saturday morning fluffery

Funny news link of the day:  Colbert’s SuperPAC, “Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow”

Excerpt:

The development of Super PAC’s began after the 2010 Supreme Court decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Committee, which allows groups unaffiliated with a candidate to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money.

Colbert has been continuously mocking the decision ever since. He solicits donations and runs donors’ names along the bottom of the screen during his show.

That?  That is awesome.

All the news out of Iowa is making me want barbeque now.  Which means I only have to wait until tomorrow, since the whole state of Texas barbeques every Sunday and I’ve discovered that a reputation for making a good potato salad ensures an invite to all of them.

I like Saturday mornings.  They seem tailor-made for, after a long week, faffing off and lolling around the living room in your underwear.  I’m going to have to out some pants on eventually and get the day started, but one lazy morning a week is very nice.  I’m cooking later, and I have a bunch of copy editing to get done, but that can wait another hour while I enjoy more coffee.

Mmmm.  Coffee.

ETA: OMG, Governor Goodhair is on the boob tube.  And, y’all, if’n he ain’t laying on that fake drawwwlll thicker’n gravy on grits, sheee-yooT!

I despise that man with a fiery scorn formerly reserved for Tom Daschle.  I’m going to have to shut down the blog if – Heaven forfend – he actually wins the presidency.  Otherwise it’ll descend to incoherent keyboard smash of capslock rage.

Published in: on August 13, 2011 at 9:27 am  Leave a Comment  

And now.. the rest of the story.

My alter ego.

I shook for two hours after this appointment.  Brandy tried to talk me into posting earlier, but I demurred.

Now, I find myself in the LOVELY position of either “She should have said something to us, because we need to know the whole story for our own good” and “Any provider who rebuts is just causing trouble.  Bitch should keep her mouth shut.”  (WELL, everyone knows what my opinion to THAT will be.)

You people are keeping me from the Iowa debate.  I RESENT THIS.  I could be talking about Governor Goodhair’s absence, his alter ego from Massachusetts, that Pawlenty is actually quite funny and WHY oh WHY has Ron Paul STILL not learned to talk in soundbites… but no.  I have my very first bad review to deal with.

My very first.  How long have I been in this business?  I suspect that my experience without ever getting a bad review is relevant.  We shall see.

Rideafatboy scheduled an L1 massage with my alter ego.  He’s been here before – twice. At this point, I am convinced he has forgotten that he had seen Emily.  (It was many months ago, before last Christmas.  Emily, however, is low volume.  She remembers people.)

He was a bit early.  I apologized for answering the door with my hands covered in bread dough – I was baking and thought I had time to get it kneaded and set to rise before he showed up.  (I sort of wish I were joking.  It sounds so gay.  Regular readers of my blog – hell, regular visitors to my incall – will know that I like to cook and recognize this is par for the Emily course.)

The massage went fine.  We chatted about his motorbike, cooking, the economy, the drought.  Then I flipped him over and things went sour.

He asked for topless.  I don’t do such unless a tip is offered.  He offered a tip.  It was not $ + 40, as he reported.  I lamented that, since we don’t upsell and ergo have to wait until a customer not only requests but offers to pay for it, inevitably my hands are covered in oil at what point I have to touch my shirt.  (WOE.)

He was unhappy that topless L1 meant he couldn’t grab.  He was unhappy that topless L1 didn’t involve kissing.  He was unhappy that topless L1 didn’t involve L2 or L3  – which he asked for (didn’t offer to PAY for, I must add – he wanted it gratis and told me bluntly he had no more money to pay for that which he expected).  In regards to kissing I told him, and I quote, “I won’t tease you; that isn’t going to happen.”

He chose not to take no for an answer.

I have had appointments that I did not enjoy, or found unpleasant.  They were very, very rare (this is why I screen) but I have occasionally had them.  In all my time as a provider, this is the only appointment at which I felt I was in trouble.

He kept kissing me, after I told him it wasn’t happening and tried to make him lie back down.  When I turned my face away, he would grab my head and turn it toward him, despite me pulling away many times, and telling him no and to lie down. I pushed him into a prone position at least five times, by my count (twice quite forcefully).  He insisted upon sitting up immediately.

He tried to put his mouth on my bits.  I pushed him away and continued the L1 massage, he tried again, I quite bluntly made him lay back down**.  He immediately sat back up and grabbed my face to force me to kiss him.  I pulled away; he followed and pinned me down.  I pushed him back down onto the bed, and told him in no uncertain terms, “I’ve told you no, if you can’t take no for an answer then I’m going to get unhappy.”  That is a direct quote.

That’s when he got nasty.

I have always been a paranoid screener.  Even on the FBSM I insist that Brandy and I back each other up.  We do not do these FBSM appointments without the other present in the incall.  This is why.

I have met hundreds of playmates in this apartment.  This is the only time I, in my entire professional career, felt I was in any danger.  It was the first time I have ever been pinned against my will, and definitely the first time I’ve ever had to shove a guy down onto his back and had him react like a pouty little bitch.  If he had responded in ANY way but to decide he was going to leave (and I quote, “If I want to be told no, I can get that at home”**) he would have had much more to write in regards to his dissatisfaction.  I have an inner Igor complex.  If you ever push me to the point I have to TELL you that you’re over the line in bluntest terms possible… you have pushed the Irish lass too far.

This is why I am such a paranoid screener.  People may object to the hoops through which they have to jump to see me, but… I don’t know what you people are like.  I don’t know what’s going on in your lives.  I don’t know what the straw that breaks the camel’s back may be, and I don’t want to find out that it’s me telling you NO.

I have never, in nearly two years of public companionship, had a bad review.  I have never, in one year of L1 FBSM, had a bad review.  I have seen the top, most reliable, most trustworthy CC gentlemen and have earned their trust and affection.

If that is not enough for you, then, frankly, you can kiss my Irish ass.  I do not beg for favor.  And I most certainly do not, and will not ever, give Emily-style GFE FS for a Benjamin plus a meager tip, you cheap-assed, bitter, lost half a million on the stock market and now want someone to take out your frustrations upon, wanky little tit.

You want GFE?  Pay for GFE.  Otherwise, go <strike>troll Leopard</strike> enrich the lower levels of hobby economic commerce.

Although, and I’ve said it already but I think it bears repeating, I doubt he realizes that the woman he pissed off today was Emily Hemingway.  Most are not aware in specific terms of the exact identity of my alter ego.

(Well.  There goes that idea.)

** I am now middle aged – very early thirties.  I am of the opinion that just because one is middle aged doesn’t mean one needs to look middle aged, so I’ve begun an exercise program.  I’m up to 150 push-ups per day.  220lbs of short elderly white male is well within my range.  I also do 150 crunches per day.  One is free to ask Bull, or anyone else who has physically lain eyes on me lately, about my level of exercise.

** Perhaps you should also consider paying for the level of service you require.  I mean, if I show up at a taqueria and ask for taqueria food and then throw a fit because I didn’t get the much more expensive filet served by other restaurants – which I neither
ORDERED nor PAID for – you’d think I was crazy. Maybe I’m just being too sensible and non-PMSing douchebaggie though.

ETA: And now I have received a PM from the aforementioned.  I have no idea what it says because I have not opened it, nor will I.  I can readily suspect what someone might choose to say by making sure their comments are kept in areas where 1) I cannot see what has been said or 2) I am forbidden to reveal what he said.

Sir, you are welcome to address me here.  If you cannot address me in public – where all can see your words – you are welcome to not address me at all.  Stand behind your words for all to see, or stand craven.   Entirely your option.

I sent him a PM titled “PM deleted unopened” with the text, “You are welcome to visit my blog again though.  I updated it.  Cheers, Emily.”

He sent another PM.  I don’t think he gets the point.  Deleted.

Published in: on August 11, 2011 at 9:27 pm  Comments (13)  

Are we there yet?

May you live in interesting times. ~ old Chinese curse.

My, my, my.  Things have been interesting lately, haven’t they?  I admit that I’m finding it all very entertaining, in a rather horrified gleeful rubbernecking manner.   That’s one of the perks of taking your ball and going home: one can look at the 600 pt swing in last nights futures market, giggle, and say, “This will end well.”

The top two questions on everyone’s lips today are, “Is this the big crash?” and “Will Bank of America go under?”  Let’s talk about that.

I expected that right now we’d be selling off to Dow10k.  (I missed the cause, and so lay no claims to prescience.  Sometimes an educated guess just gets lucky.)  Why 10k?  It would mark a significant loss, but much more than that could take us into panic selling and both panic and HFTs are very hard to control.  I expected the slide would be both political and organized behind the scenes.  The banksters would make money on the way down, and then would make more money on the way back up as they siphoned your money away.

I don’t think this is our big crash.  The Feds still have too much wiggle room*, and much of the markets are under the control of huge corporations and banks.  They will not be the bagholders here, trust in that.

So.  I don’t know where the bottom is.  Today could well be our newest Black Tuesday.  All I know is that anyone who claims they know what this market is going to do today is a lying little tit.  Wherever the bottom is, I’m pretty sure there is one and we’ve got a few months before the market goes Mad Max.

And if that isn’t chipper enough, moving right along to Bank of America.  I don’t think they’ll go under.  Yes, shocking.  We’ve seen this play too many times though.  Remember Citibank?  Bernanke will finesse a last-minute deal to save their bacon.  TBTF.

On the one hand, I can almost see the rationale for a sticksave.  Which would cost the feral government more, a bailout or the cost of BofA collapsing?  ‘Specially keeping in mind that BofA is much too big to go down alone – they WILL take others out on the way down.  To the left… I said “almost.”  Bailing these insolvent little pricks out when they overreached and crashed the economy is what puts us on the razor’s edge right now.  That governs best which governs least.  They should have just let it alone.  It’s what they should do now.

They’ll paper over and bail out and print money and sticksave until they can’t.  There’s an election coming up, after all.

* If by “wiggle room” you mean that Americans are not yet rioting in the streets en masse over the price of bread, and I do.  I’ve long maintained that while $5 gas would be awful, it’s $5 ground hamburger that frightens me.  People don’t riot over the cost of a commute; they riot when they’re hungry.

Published in: on August 9, 2011 at 7:35 am  Leave a Comment  

Holy shit.

Guys!  Guys!  Check out the five day chart for BAC.

Wow.

Also, VIX setting records.

I wouldn’t touch this market with someone else‘s money.

Published in: on August 8, 2011 at 10:15 am  Comments (6)  

Challenge me

It’s Sunday, so let’s relax and have a little fun.  Go find an article having something to do with the economy – your favorite recent article, one you hated but couldn’t put your finger on why it was so bad, whatever Google spits out at random… I don’t care which.

I’ll post where in that article the media lied to you, either openly or through bad fact-checking.*

This should be amusing.

Aaaand Brandy starts us off.  I admit that she came up with an article more difficult than I’d first imagined, because I could see what was wrong right off but it was going to take a whole 30 minutes to look up the figures before I could lay out why.

Under any other circumstances, the strong profit reports companies have been delivering since early July would be delightful — probably sending investors’ hearts aflutter and the stock market on its merry way.

Emily counters with: O RLY?

In addition, neither European nor U.S. politicians seem to know what to do about daunting levels of government debt at a time when austerity measures could threaten what little growth there is.

That’s because there is no growth.  There is only government spending propping up GDP.  Do you remember when the Democrats threw a national fit about GDubya’s $400B deficit?  We’re more than quadruple that now, and crickets chirp.  If they hadn’t increased government spending by that much, not only would we not have “grown” at all, but we’d be recognized as experiencing economic depression.

Yet, with about 75 percent of U.S. companies having reported their earnings for the second quarter, corporate profits look good — definitely not the stuff of desperate times.

Emily counters with: Fuzzy Math.  Welcome to the world of “generally accepted accounting principles.”  It’s perfectly legal for companies to report positive earnings in a quarter where they experienced a loss.

Companies are growing their revenue too. Sales for the second quarter were up about 12.5 percent.

Yardeni notes that without the drag of financial companies, especially Bank of America, sales growth for S&P 500 companies would have been about 15 percent. Earnings are about 12.7 percent higher than a year earlier with financial companies and about 22.5 percent without.

Finance and telecommunications have been the only sectors with declining earnings year over year, according to Yardeni, and energy companies have been among the biggest gainers. Excluding energy companies, profits from S&P 500 companies reporting so far have grown about 8.5 percent, with revenue up 7.9 percent.

Oh, I doubt that.  I highly fucking doubt that.  Consumer spending is down.  So, corporations are experiencing great growth in sales, without those sales ever involving consumers.  How does that work, exactly?

Despite the good showing, the stock market has tumbled about 9 percent the past three months.

BAM!  Lights going off, alarms blaring… anyone who read this line and didn’t think, “Wait, what?” hasn’t been paying attention.  The market lost about 10% in two weeks.  Not three months.  Two weeks.  This is spin, of the “Remain calm.  All is well!” variety.

In the months ahead, companies might feel less pressure from commodities.

Ahaha, good one.

* Remember the statistic about 32 million uninsured Americans, and how I blew that out of the water with about an hour’s research?  Yeah, you’d be surprised how often “statistics” are nothing more than someone in the news spouts some number and then everyone else repeats it.

Published in: on August 7, 2011 at 11:26 am  Comments (2)