Bohemian Table: Summer freshness and bold colors

Southern Stir Fry

This gallery contains 8 photos.

I totally found myself thinking about the old 1940’s-70’s cookbooks of my mother’s and grandmothers. I used to flip through them giggling at the jello molds and drooling over the colors and textures of food my dad would never let my mother cook. One batch of vichyssoise, before I was even born, and the “let’s try new things” portion of my mother’s cooking, or at least of my father’s eating, was all but done. I HAVE been trying new things. New flavors, and combinations…. Continue reading

An Open Letter to Arkansas leaders and citizens

An open letter to Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, members of Arkansas Legislature and courts, cultural and community leaders, and every one else in The Natural State

I’ve always been proud to be from Arkansas where the libertarian spirit thrived for so long but the recent attempts to regulate ethical and moral truths- i.e. equality- is both un-American and un-Arkansan. While the beauty of our state’s independent attitude toward nationalism and the politics of Washington has always been a source of pride for its residents, it has now tipped too far and is threatening to obscure the very spirit of its people and erode the rights of its very tax-payers. Reactionary, fear-based and dogmatic policy has no place in our free republic. When a state so over-reaches its bounds as to deliberately aim to oppress a part, ANY part, of its culture or aims to protect one groups chosen religious interpretations over the inherent and moral imperative of another groups protection, no one wins. Only by coming together, as a unified state, working in partnerships based on mutual respect, not for each others beliefs, lifestyles, or politics, but for each other’s shared humanity and shared state of choice, can real progress happen. Once before, our great state has been faced with a great cultural dilemma, a chance to show the nation and the world and more importantly the citizens of its own mountains, deltas, fields, and valleys, that Arkansas, as a state, holds true to our founding fathers ideals. Like our state, even our founders made mistakes and stumbled in enacting the actions of equality their words had put into the minds and hearts of a revolution. We have a chance now to show that the wonderful, messy, complicated and beautiful system of our free and democratic government is still BY the people and OF the people AND for the people. Even LGBT people. Even the aethiest people. Even the people we disagree with on a profoundly deep level, our opportunity here is to demonstrate freedom, of religion AND from religion. Our chance here is to not be a petulant child, forced into progress by the shifting tides, but to be a leader in the South on equality, civil liberty, and the democratic way. Let’s not make the mistake we made when we had this chance during the 60’s, this time we CAN get it right. We don’t have to all agree, in fact that is how you know the system is working, but we do have to preserve the integrity of our republic by using those differences to our advantage by providing REAL, demonstrable growth, protection and unity for ALL our citizens, so that no one is silenced whether it be my very conservative Southern Baptist minister Father or my wonderfully smart and talented gay friends who just want to be treated no-better and no-worse than any heterosexual citizen or visitor in our state. Real Christian roots do not need to make a show of themselves, for if they are deep enough they will give shape to our cultural landscape by showing only love, grace, and liberty. Nothing exclusionary can exist in a spirit of unconditional love. You can not preach God’s love as indelible, infinite and unconditional and then also claim that those values lead to discriminatory attitudes. If you wish to hold on to your “Christian” roots, then I challenge you to do the Christian thing. Love thy neighbor. Unconditionally. Like he or she were an extension of you. Love them like they were your very soul. Love your neighbor, your LGBTQ neighbor like he or she was Jesus. You want to hold on to your Christian roots? Fine! Stop watering the weeds of disharmony, hate, fear, and judgement. Because your citizens are smart and will laugh at your idiocy and mourn for your ignorance and then eventually we will leave, taking our love to more welcoming places and leaving you with your hate and fear and emptiness. I don’t want that for my state. Neither do you so please, please, please let us all practice love. Love in the cracks between opinions. Love in the gaps of culture and policy. Love in the uncomfortable places, the disagreeing places, the “I just don’t understand” places. Let’s practice love for the liberty and justice FOR all that we aspire to and work for daily.

God forbid anyone makes a good wage….

One thing about controversy- it’s really great for much-needed weeding out of “friends” on social media… I may be getting the “Unfollow” version of “trigger finger” but at least I’m not a bitter bitch. 

The latest in adventures in un-friending? All the hoopla about fast-food workers striking. 

I have a loosely-held theory about this…

You are a (possibly bitter about your own crappy pay) asshole OR you have never worked in food service (which also kind of makes you an asshole in my book).

To the jerks who don’t want hard working humans to be able to make a decent wage then by all means…GTFO. You have no business being here.

The “unskilled labor” argument is one I have been seeing a lot of on facebook. “Why should they be getting paid that much to flip burgers?” or “I have a college degree and I don’t make that much.” are two very common versions of it and aside from being straight up petty, childish, bitter, elitist and well- dumb, the reported-to-death statistics showing that federal wages have 1) not kept up with inflation and 2) do not accurately reflect true cost of living in our current economies.

There is another very good reason why we should all be pro-labor rights. Most of US are laborers. Increasing minimum wages for these kinds of employees actually helps the overall economy by creating more disposable income and driving ALL wages up which increases the likelihood that YOU TOO will reap the benefits in so, so many ways! I agree with many who say things like “no one made it easy for me,” and “you just have to be a hard-worker.” The most important factor in anyones success is probably determination to succeed, but if the work-market reflected the current economy better (i.e. corporations drawing the biggest profits ever while the middle-class virtually disappears) I think it would actually increase productivity, work-ethic, and success by making it a truly level competitive field.

As for the unskilled part-

this is just plain ol’ stuck-up bullshit. You don’t think it takes “skill” to work at McDonalds? Oh baby, trust me…Aside from teaching children, It’s the hardest job you apparently never had. Putting up with YOU and your 10-minute-till-close order of 12 double-cheeseburgers 2 with no pickles, 3 with no onions and 4 with extra cheese plus “uhh…4 medium…no 2…no 3 large fries…oh and a coke.” is worth FAR MORE THAN $15 an hour… These people slog through grease-burns made of hellfire and freezers the temps of Hoth in order to get you your precious big-macs, and tacos, and frosty’s, and when was the last time you said thank you and genuinely meant it?

When I worked in fast-food, rarely did anyone say thank you to me or even look me in the eye. I can say from experience ANYONE WHO CURRENTLY WORKS IN FOOD SERVICES IS EXTREMELY UNDERPAID, and yet they smile and hand you your extremely efficient lazy-ass burger INTO YOUR CAR while you are blasting your radio and talking on your blue-tooth and in general treating them like robots or worse, like they are all-together invisible… And they do it all and in polyester-polos and weird pants to boot. It’s a hot, nasty, thankless job that YOU think you are too good for. 

Conclusion: It takes a lot of damn patience and a great attitude to work at a fast-food restaurant. Taking care of YOUR stupid ass IS a highly-remarkable skill.

I will leave you with this thought…

 

“Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle”

J.M. Barrie