Drama is composed of Tragedy and Comedy

I’ve been feeling a lot of Drama in the last few days. People show up here, and I have an open door policy. I love conversation. I love critique. I love feedback. As a person with an open door policy, I try to “love everybody” and just parse the stuff as it comes. That policy may not always work in every case. I accept that there are times and people who do not come to participate in the conversation, and that can undermine the environment for everyone. I have not stopped to talk about it, and I’ve tried to deal with it in a low key fashion. I think at some level I thought that if I just played it off it would turn a corner and things would be fine.

A good friend asked me “why aren’t you more upset about how you’re being treated?” Honestly, I’ve had a hard time getting too upset because of something happening to another friend in blog-land.

Thoughts about Tragedy, Comedy, and a baby in the hospital after the cut…

Apple and Netflix killed the Cable Company

For two weeks now, we have been experimenting with “the future” and I think we’ve now signed on for the long haul. In the future, entertainment will have nothing to do with single source programming providers (i.e. Cable or Satellite companies) that charge a TON for a ton of stuff nobody watches. A la carte consumption models will rule the day. Cable companies toy with this via “On Demand” but there’s no universal on demand model today that doesn’t come saddled with the traditional model and it’s traditional costs.

“That paragraph was ridiculously geek-filled and made no sense” you say? Let me break it down.

Ridiculous costs and elegant solutions…

A Moment of Sanity

As anyone who listens to the news is aware, Federal Judge Vaughn Walker has ruled in Perry et al v. Schwarzenegger et al in California today, and for the first time in quite some time, I feel like the America I live in is becoming a little bit more like the America that I aspire for it to be.

The ruling can be read here (it’s a .pdf) and starting on page 109 Judge Walker provides some of the most profoundly rational and reasonable findings I’ve come across in a federal ruling in a long time.  I’ve read the entire finding, and I encourage anyone to do the same.  It’s very approachable, and draws clear and reasonable conclusions.  Judge Vaughn will be excoriated as an “activist judge” by many on the losing side of this finding (which is hardly a risky prophecy given the love of some groups to trot out that phrase at the drop of a hat) and I honestly encourage people to take 10 minutes and read what the judge has to say, and read why he makes the decisions he makes.  It’s not a difficult read, just 25 pages of double-spaced, courier font goodness.  This is the essence of how America works.

I’m not a political blogger, nor am I a law blogger, nor am I an LGBT-issues blogger…nor am I a member of any of the classes of people that are directly affected by this ruling…but I am affected by the spirit of this ruling.  I have family that will be affected by this ruling. I have children who will live and love and marry in an American legal landscape decided by the ultimate Supreme Court review of this ruling.  I can only hope and pray that the Supreme Court of the United States gets it as right as Judge Walker got it today.

The conclusions of Judge Walker’s ruling:

Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

A Minor Update and a Major Wish

First, the unimportant bit:

We’re finally here in Atlanta, weather isn’t that bad, the new office is nice and I’m as busy as I’ve ever been.

Second, the very important bit:

A big wish for a very happy birthday goes out to to Tiffany at Snerkology.  I’ve been reading her blog frequently for what is starting to feel like many years.  Tiffany is great at many things, not the least of which are amusing anecdotes about life and craziness; but she also excels at photography, and describing delicious food and how to make it, and delightful twitter moments that make me snerk-out-loud in airport terminals at inappropriate times.

What I find so delightful about Tiffany is that she writes in such a way that I always come away from her posts absolutely convinced that her and her husband would be exactly the kind of people I’d want to hang out with.  And her sense of humor.  It cuts like a wicked blade both ways, especially in 140 character chunks.  The world needs more of that when it’s done with so much aplomb and grace.  And snerk.

I admit that had it not been for an announcement by TB I wouldn’t have known the significance of today, and I can only guess at her age, but based on the freshness of her life outlook and the photographic evidence, I can only assume she’s turning 29 today. Again 😉

Wonderful wishes going out to Tiffany and her husband as they wander through Maine on vacation and enjoy a special day.

(Other Stuff by Me)

A long time ago, I wrote a lot.  After that I didn’t write much at all.  Then, I tried to start up a new blog, and it was going to be focused on the writing I do “for money”.  Actual storytelling, not just “random shit from my brain” blog posts.

And then life reminded me that I already have a full-time job and I’m busy and blah-blah-blah (insert other excuses here).

So I recently bought a snazzy new netbook with a full sized keyboard and a large enough screen that I can actually use the thing and see a full page in Word.  I thought, “Hey, if I have a way to sit on my lazy ass on the couch and write, I’d become mister super writer dude and get everything I’ve ever wanted to write written, and then I’d be awesome!  And Stuff.”

But the only way to make the purchase worthwhile is to actually use it, so I’m also gonna participate in NaNoWriMo again this year.  I won’t be talking about this much here, athough I do hope that this new burst of creative inspiration will carry over here and drive me to post more and kick this place back up again.

You can follow along over at SerialStoryteller.com if you’d like to see the stuff I write that is more “for money” and less “for self-psychoanalysis” and peek into the process as I plug away at the 50,000 word NaNoWriMo goal.

Either way, here’s to a more creative November!

(Chicken Enchilada Pasta Casserole)

Ok, so this is neither particularly low-cal or low-fat, but it is VERY delicious.  Also, this was one of those “happy accident” cooking experiments that worked out for the very best.  One evening, late in the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle of grocery shopping, I found myself with a limited set of components for a meal.  I had some pasta, a can of enchilada sauce, some salsa, some cheeses, and some frozen chicken breasts.  This is what you get when you mix those things together and bake them for 30 minutes at 375…


1 Box (12.5 – 16 oz.) Penne Rigate pasta.  Rotini and ziti would also work very well, elbow macaroni and farfalle (bowtie) noodles would not.

1 10 oz. Can Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce – Mild (if you like it hot, go with spicy, but be warned I have no idea myself how this would turn out).

2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

~2 C finely grated Monterey Jack Cheese (i.e. a mound about the size of a softball).

1/2 C Pace Picante Salsa – Mild (again, as spicy as you like it, I just haven’t tried it myself).

~1 Cup finely grated Cheddar Cheese

~1 TBSP of taco seasoning?  Not sure on the amount here, enough to season two chicken breasts.


Preheat oven to 375.

Grease a 9×13 baking dish.

Grate your cheese.  Trust me, use the fine grating even though it takes three times as long.  This casserole is dependent on a good, even mixture of flavors and the large grate cheese just doesn’t mix as well and cooks in clumps.  NOT what you want.

Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the box of pasta.

While the pasta is cooking, season the chicken breasts with the taco seasoning and then grill them on your Foreman grill.  You do have a Foreman Grill right?  Everyone needs a Foreman Grill.  EVERYONE.

Now, as the universe works this way, your noodles and your chicken will end up finishing at exactly the same time, screwing up your carefully orchestrated plans for simultaneous prep steps.  Yank the chicken off the grill and onto a cutting board and let them rest for a couple of minutes while you drain the noodles and then return them to the pot.

Dump the entire can of enchilada sauce into the pot with the drained noodles, mixing thoroughly.

Slice the chicken breasts into strips about one inch thick.  Then, take a fork and shred the chicken.  Personally, I just smash the fork into the chicken and use the knife to constantly push the shredded chicken off the tines, but do whatever makes you happy.  Dump the shredded chicken into the pot (I do this one strip at a time, making room for the next one on the cutting board) and when all the chicken is in the pot, stir it all together with the noodles and the sauce.  Go for good, even coverage of sauce.

Now, mix in the Monterey Jack cheese.  Try to do this without large clumps of just cheese or chicken building up.  This is easier to say than do.  Be warned, over-stirring will be your enemy.

Now dump the whole mixture into the baking dish.

Put the salsa on the top of the mixture, using a fork to spread it across the surface of the casserole, and then cover the whole thing with the cheddar cheese.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the cheddar starts to brown on the edges and the casserole has cooked all the way through.  You’ll know when you hear the oils from the monterey jack simmering.  It will sound like the casserole is whispering.  Don’t take it personal, casseroles are just like that; always talking about you behind closed doors.

Remove the dish from the oven and let it rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

Personally, I like it with a dollop of sour cream on top and a couple of dashes of tapatio, but that’s just me.


I am, I will honestly admit, a grammar and spelling snob. That being said, I am also human and prone to mistakes. Misspelling a word won’t make me hate you. Intentionally (and repeatedly) spelling cool as kewl, dropping apostrophes, and using all caps will make me loath [see comment below] you. (Also, it will likely prevent me from approving your comment, just FYI.)

Still, I am far from the worst grammar/spelling-nazi on the internet. In fact, I’m probably not even in the top thousand or so. Whereas, this person…this person is a demi-god:


It’s one thing to be a spelling and grammar psycho on the internet…it’s friggin AWSOME to be one in the gritty reality of life.

I wish I had even the slightest clue who staged this photo, I’d give them full attribution and credit. Alas, I do not have that info, so up it goes unattributed. I have no idea where I got this image from, but I’ve had it for at least a couple of years. It makes me smile every time I stumble upon it in the bowels of my personal files archive, so I thought I would share it with the world at large.