Cambridge Honda finally redeemed itself

Look, they gave me a coupon for $25,000! And a key that doesn't start my car. Hmm.


Vegan pumpkin pie recipe and pumpkintini recipe

While I'm talking about oppression ("Um, eeka, aren't you usually bitching about oppression?"), I thought I'd mention that Thanksgiving is one of the days in the United States on which the most animal products are purchased and consumed. Even if you're already vegetarian, vegan, or carnivore who consciously reduces some animal product use, you probably will still attend a celebration with people who aren't taking any steps to decrease abuse of animals and the resulting environmental destruction. I've not yet met a person who likes pumpkin pie and who didn't love my pumpkin pie recipe, so take it to your celebrations and spread the love. If you have friends and family members who aren't ready to abandon animal products entirely, one of the easier places they can eliminate animal products is in recipes where it makes no discernible difference in the result. The recipe is then cholesterol free, lower in fat, and usually cheaper.

Thanksgiving 2009: volcano Thanksgiving 2009

(I don't seem to have a photo of the year I actually served the tinis in rimmed martini glasses, so here they are in boring glasses. Also here's the pie. And a Thanksgiving volcano, because, dude, volcano.)

Vegan pumpkin pie:

Graham cracker pie crust, purchased or made
One container (15-16 ounces) silken or regular tofu
One can (15-16 ounces) pumpkin puree, or equivalent cooked pumpkin
3/4 vegan sugar (can also use maple syrup or other favorite sweetener, plus a little flour)
Pumpkin pie seasoning to taste
A few teaspoons of flour

Blend tofu in blender until smooth. Silken will usually blend right into a liquid; regular might need some soymilk added to avoid burning out the blender motor. Add pumpkin and blend until uniform. Add sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Add a little flour, using more if the mixture is still too much like a thin liquid rather than a batter. Pour into pie shells. With the pie shells I buy, there's usually leftover batter, which I save for pumpkintinis. I usually bake at 400° for about 20 minutes, then turn down to about 325° for another 20 or so. Cook until firm and knife comes out clean.

Pumpkintinis:

Leftover pie filling
Silk™ soy creamer
Vanilla vodka
(Use seltzer, lime, extra creamer instead of vodka for nondrinkers in the crowd)

Shake about two parts pie filling, one part creamer, one part vodka. Serve chilled. One time I rimmed the glasses with graham cracker crumbs, which looked cool and gave a pretty snazzy effect, but the crumbs eventually wound up in the drink and made gross playdoh-tasting glop, so I don't recommend doing this. Use cinnamon sugar instead. If you aren't also making pies, you can just blend up pumpkin puree, sugar, spices, and use more soy creamer. You don't need the blended tofu or the flour if you don't need your mixture to be able to bake up into a solid. For nonalcoholic tinis, use seltzer, lime, extra creamer. I recommend serving these on the small side since they're really rich.

Thanksgiving 2009

Also, since people have asked about this lately, I'm reposting (er, linking to) my guide for including vegetarians in Thanksgiving celebrations.


Here's a roundup of radio stations playing Alice's Restaurant. Also, what's this holiday really about for you?

Click here or here for stations that have been known to play it in the past.

As far as confirmed airings for this year, WZLX (100.7) will be playing it at 9, noon, and 4, per usual.

WUMB (91.9) will be playing it at noon. They've previously played the anniversary edition as well as the regular one, so it'll be a surprise.


EDIT: They're playing the anniversary edition!

Also, Alice's Restaurant is a good reminder that any time we bring up one-sided historical references (such as celebrating Thanksgiving), we should also be conscious of mentioning at the very least that there are two sides. Tell your kids and friends and families that some folks observe a Day of Mourning today. If you celebrate Thanksgiving in a mainstream sorta way, make sure you make it clear that you personally aren't cooking and gathering with loved ones today in order to celebrate the taking of land and the ensuing genocide (Um, and if this is what you're celebrating, kindly get offa my blog. Or stay here, keep reading, and learn something).

Too often, we stand by idly because we "know" that our friends and families and loved ones are all on the side of justice and fairness. They probably are, but even so, every time we make stupid pilgrim hats without explicitly mentioning the whole story, we're allowing only one side of the story to be heard, and I think the subtler forms of silencing are the most damaging. And while I'm on my vegan-fair-trade-organic soap box, might I suggest that there are really tactful, middle-ground ways to remember and acknowledge. Do your family and friends go around the table and say what they're thankful for? Or say some sort of grace or blessing? Then attend their celebration, enjoy yourself and your loved ones, and toss in a line about how on this day you're also remembering the genocide and the continued struggle against racism and other oppression.


Delores Handy word of the day

"Armbicore of Engineers"


People, Freecycle isn't a concierge service!

I offered a futon on Freecycle, just the futon, and now I have all these people asking if I would please please give them the nonexistent frame too, if I could tell them where to get a frame so they can decide whether they want it, and if I can take pics alongside a measuring tape.

Really? It's free. If you take it and it doesn't work, Freecycle it again.



Four four four four loko!

I'm watching in amusement as attempts are made to ban Four Loko, because some dumbasses get wasted on it and do stupid things that they could just as easily do with rum and cokes.

Over on Universal Hub, Kaz suggested that someone needs to make a Warhol out of Four Loko. Not being one to resist a Photoshop urge, this intrigued me. Sure, I could have duotoned up some cans in da shop and changed each one to a different pair of pop-art colors using the levels feature, but that would be too much like work. So first I googled "Warhol maker." There are a few, but they require downloading and installing things, and again, the work factor.

So I tried a really low-tech option and got some surprisingly fun results.

Photobooth, in all its glory, has a filter that makes Warhol-type images ("pop art,") but of course can only be applied in real-time to things shot with the built-in camera, because that's the point of Photobooth. So what I did was to search for images of Four Loko on the iPhone, hold the iPhone up to the MacBook, and shoot it that way.


Just the can, man



Some crazy dude I found


This one involved a quick 'shopping


I think we've found a new pizza place

So, we quickly rebounded from having broken up with our old pizza place, and I think we have a new one.

We've now ordered from Pizza Pie-er twice, and we've been more or less happy. Food is wonderful. Great variety, tends to be fresh and healthyish for pizza, seasoned and cooked well. The pies are a bit overpriced, especially if you create your own, but they make up for it by having really cheap side orders.

Their customer service kind of sucks though. The first time, I ordered through Foodler at 8:20 and it said it would be here around 9:00. (The restaurants provide Foodler with the estimate of how long they take to fill orders). At 9:20 it wasn't here, so I called to check. The person who answered the phone was really flat, not the least bit apologetic, and said, "yeah, it's Friday night; orders take about an hour and a half, so what Foodler told you is wrong." I explained to him that the restaurant provides the timeframes, so they might want to adjust accordingly. He grudgingly gave me a credit on my next order, but wouldn't credit the current one. It finally showed up at 9:50, at which point the driver handed our pizza, then asked us if our neighborhood "is safe." Classy.

Also, I can't order from them directly on their website. It says they don't deliver to my address, even though they obviously do.


What's really wrong with pop culture



I can't believe I didn't come across this until today, but I'm positively in love with it.

This is where I'm going to point people now when I try to explain the reasons why at times I don't mind getting into and appreciating aspects of professional sports and mass media, but I nonetheless find the whole institutions around them really sad. Almost all of the money that goes into producing videos and putting on football games comes from the public, and is given freely by average working individuals. Imagine what we could do if we scaled back art and sports to their basic forms and people instead gave all this money to things that really matter.


Her son is gay. Or not.

This is really inspiring, and also discouraging. It's pretty shocking to me really that people (other than the crazy far right-wingers who are afraid of everything making them/their kids/their spouses/random strangers gay) would have any sort of feelings about a Halloween costume that expresses a different gender than the person's usual identity. Um, it's a day when you dress up as someone different from yourself. It wouldn't have occurred to me that there were limits to this.


Besides, there are some much more disturbing and offensive Halloween costumes to worry about.