It’s not me, WordPress. It’s You.

April 22, 2011 at 7:03 pm (Uncategorized)

Original image by Ross Berteig

I am moving my blog over to blogger. Yep, that’s right. I am jumping ship, cutting the cord, dumping the chump.

Actually, I just like blogger’s interface a bit better, which I am hoping will help keep me motivated to finish my posts. Plus, it will be nice to blog with someone who trusts me with flash (notice I did not say “trusts me *to* flash–get your mind out of the gutter).

So the URL will be slightly different (http://rachelbaron.blogspot.com), and you’ll need to update your RSS feed or reader…but it’s still me, just bloggier!

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#28 is done…hello cherry pie!

March 14, 2011 at 11:36 pm (Bucket List, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

Cherry Pie Goodness

Cherry Pie Goodness fresh out of the oven.

When I first put together my “40 before 40” list, I wondered which number I would cross off first…would it be an altruistic endeavor, such as signing up for the Bone Marrow Registry? Would it be something creative, like signing up for a stained glass class, or finally making some resin jewelry?

Nope. Silly me. Of course it would have to do with food.

But it’s not my fault, since today is Pi Day, and I share a classroom with two other teachers who are always looking for a good excuse to bring in yummy food. So when my one roomie suggested we bring in pies for Pi Day, who was I to rain on the celebratory parade?

#28 on my list was to make a homemade pie. Any kind, just homemade. Now’s probably the good time to mention that I really don’t like baking all that much. Measuring is for sissies, and I prefer to cook without recipes (which has resulted in some very tasty, and some very toxic dishes).  So baking a pie was a pretty big deal for me…seemed like the most imposing type of dessert I could manage.

Yes, I cheated a little bit. I bought a frozen pie crust, because I couldn’t stand the thought of actually breaking out the rolling pin. But the crumb topping I made was such a royal pain in the ass, I feel totally redeemed for the store-bought crust. Another reason I don’t like baking–it tends to be a pain in the ass.

So what did I learn from #28? You shouldn’t let fruit pies tip, not even a little bit…and you definitely shouldn’t try to counteract the effect by tipping it drastically in the other direction. Thank goodness I was on my toes this morning, and was able to avert the near pie destruction. I also learned I really don’t like making pies. I learned that my roomie who suggested “Pie Day” doesn’t like cherry pie. I learned that when you work with teenagers too long, you can’t write the word pie any longer without starting to snicker and thinking of dirty jokes.

And the world is a better place because of my pie.

More Cherry Pie

Cherry Pie. So easy a caveman can do it. Or me.

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NFL = Need a F*cking Life

March 13, 2011 at 9:16 pm (Somewhat Serious, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Photo courtesy of Zolotkey on Flickr

If I see one more report on the news about the poor NFL players, who already make millions of dollars, complain about being shafted by the owners, who also make millions of dollars, I may just learn how to throw a football properly so I can chuck one at Roger Goodell’s head.

What’s ironic, at least to me, is that this NFL labor dispute is happening the same time collective bargaining rights have been stripped from state employees and teachers in Wisconsin. Unions, especially teacher’s unions, are being made into social pariahs. Yet, I am supposed to give a damn about over-paid athletes and their greedy money-grubbing owners not being able to achieve labor peace.

What’s even more ironic, is I have yet to hear that the NFL players should be stripped of their bargaining rights. It’s OK for them to make millions of dollars, because enough people in the nation won’t blink an eye at handing over thousands of dollars a season to attend games and buy memorabilia. But ask people to pay 1% more to support education in their local community and you would think we had asked them to donate a kidney in a back alley. Because, God forbid, we mess with their weekly excuse to drink copious amounts of beer while watching our modern version of the Roman Colosseum.

I’m not anti-football. My family grew up loving the Buffalo Bills, so you don’t need to preach to me about the passion everyday people can have for a sports team, and how it can benefit local pride.

I am pro-education. And to attack teachers for wanting a decent salary, while not even blinking an eye as these athlete/entertainers demand more money per year than the average person makes in 20-30 years speaks to how really messed up our values have become in this country.

The average cost of an NFL game ticket for this past season was $76.47 (ProFootballWeekly.com).  There are 16 regular season games. That’s $1223.52 for a single seat, for a single season, not including any pre-season or playoff games. And people will pay that at the drop of a hat to watch grown men beat the snot out of each other for 60 minutes a week.

Ask the same household to spend that on education for an entire school year, of minimum 180 days, with a minimum of 180 minutes of instruction PER DAY, and the uproar begins. How dare the schools bleed us dry? Their only job is to educate our children and they can’t even do that…right?

Education in this country is never going to improve until we value it more than we do our entertainment. It will never improve until we stop blaming teachers as the reason there’s not enough money to educate our children. It will definitely never improve when some parents make it clear they are willing to spend ridiculous gobs of money on a hard plastic stadium seat, but vocally decry schools for needing money to buy books and pay good teachers.

Let the NFL have it’s lockout. The world will keep spinning. Even more, life in the United States will not begin to crumble.

Keep attacking the teachers and pulling money away from education, and society will crumble. In fact, it already has. The barbarians are at the gate, but they joke’s on us…we are the barbarians, and we are breaking down the walls of our country.

P.S. I wrote this before the tragedy in Japan. Now, more than ever, I hope people begin to gain perspective on how ridiculous it is that we are allowing ourselves to give a rat’s ass about a bunch of whiny megalomaniacs (on both sides) wanting a bigger piece of the pie.

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Guinness is good for you…you’re welcome

March 10, 2011 at 12:32 am (Funny at least to me, Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Everything I try to write tonight is being shoved aside in my brain by this confectionery orgasm:

Photo Courtesy of Stone Soup on Flickr

It’s a cake. It’s a Guinness Cake. That’s right, yo, a freakin’ Guinness CAKE! This makes me want to weep, it’s that beautiful.

I spotted the Guinness Cake on, of all places, a Facebook Ad. And then Facebook decided to eff with me, because as soon as I spotted the Guinness Cake ad, my screen refreshed, and it was gone. GONE! But by the power and grace of google, I discovered Guinness Cakes a-plenty…now I just have to make it. And eat it. Because Guinness is good for you. So it’s a health food. Healthy living, brought to you by me. You’re welcome.

From epicurious.com

GUINNESS CAKE

Cake

  • 2 cups stout (such as Guinness)
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups sour cream

Icing

  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 pound bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped

For cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Line with parchment paper. Butter paper. Bring 2 cups stout and 2 cups butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer cakes to rack; cool 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack and cool completely.

For icing:
Bring cream to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chopped chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Refrigerate until icing is spreadable, stirring frequently, about 2 hours.

Place 1 cake layer on plate. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with second cake layer. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with third cake layer. Spread remaining icing over top and sides of cake.

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It’s a gym you nitwit, not a beauty salon

February 25, 2011 at 7:37 pm (Funny at least to me, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Photo Courtesy of elvissa on Flickr

Dear young blonde thang at the gym the other night:

I regret to inform you that you and your friend mistakenly entered into a gym…not a jungle gym, which would be more appropriate befitting your age, but a gym where people work out and sweat. A lot.

So while I understand you were a bit perturbed when I walked my sweaty ass into the women’s lav in order to wash my hands, I really was making a better use of the facilities. I know you desperately needed to know that your hair hadn’t lost it’s proper curl-to-skank ratio. And that your make-up was still attached to your face, because, god forbid, someone see you without eyeliner. But you’re not at a freakin’ beauty salon, honey, you’re at the local no-frills gym. Where I am the norm. Someone sweaty and without an ounce of make-up. And wearing some bargain t-shirts and sweats. Because as cute as your little leopard-print short-shorts are, they don’t really scream “take me seriously!” to the dudes I have to share equipment with. They do scream “take me!” though, so rest assured you will get plenty of the attention you claim to despise.

I also apologize for getting a bit perturbed myself as I had to wait to wash my hands because you and your friend were busy fixing said hair and making kissy faces at the mirror (because if you’re reflection doesn’t love you, who will?). I guess I don’t have the patience I used to with idiots. Sorry. I’m in my 30s. That’s the decade you become allergic to idiots.

Hopefully the dye-job didn’t seep into your brain, and you will be able to figure out that you were a bit confused on your surroundings, and we can co-exist in harmony the next time our paths cross. But lose the leopard-print shorts. They really do scream “take me.”

PS. And to the 40-something dude who couldn’t be bothered to say “thank you” when I held the door for you, despite my strong belief that my arms were about to fall off, your Certificate of Douchebaggedness is in the mail. “You’re welcome.”

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Good thing I have 2 1/2 years to tackle this bad boy

January 4, 2011 at 2:40 am (Bucket List, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Day 3 of the new year, and not one of my 40 items is on the horizon…though I did look at the papayas at the supermarket as a possible fruit never-yet-eaten. And the portabello mushrooms, because you are visiting the blog of the last existing human to have never eaten a portabello mushroom. But then I thought that mushrooms are really a fungus, even though they are in the produce section, so they can’t really serve as a new vegetable…that would be like saying I wanted to try driving a back hoe (which I would do in a heart beat if anyone was every dumb enough to allow me behind the controls in one), but instead I ride around on a tricycle armed with a shovel.

Actually, it’s probably nothing like that, but I am freezing tonight and it’s affecting my brain…like my fingers feel like popsicles. Great, I just looked at my hands, and for a second they looked like old lady hands…thanks for the reminder, hands!

So I am trying to decide what I should tackle first, but I’ll probably just sit here and freeze for a while.

Sorry this blog has no real depth to it…just felt like being a smart ass for a while. It’s my blog. I can do that.

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I blame The Magic School Bus

November 3, 2010 at 1:50 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

You know how society is crying how our youth grow up too fast? How kids are being exposed to sexual images by the evil media and turning them into little prostitutes and gigolos (OK, I had to look up how to spell gigolo, so I guess I’m not as risque as I thought)?

I blame The Magic School Bus. That’s right. The painfully bad mid-90’s cartoon that is supposedly teaching kids “science.” More like backroom biology!

So I’m at the gym, watching The Magic School Bus on closed caption. Don’t judge me, they don’t allow us to mess with the TV stations there. They are very controlling like that. Apparently the cracked-out bus has transformed into a space ship (oh, yeah, *that’s* scientifically sound), and is traveling through the solar system.

So what do I “read” on this innocent little kids show as they are headed towards Uranus (stop laughing just ’cause I said Uranus)?

“Uranus doesn’t do a thing for me…so you can get off of me, OK?”

I shit you not. I even googled the video to re-watch it, to make sure someone in the closed captioning service wasn’t messing with me. To make things worse, this is the scene in which the words are uttered.

The Magic Whore Bus is more like it!

How can our children be expected to remain pure with filth like this?!?!?!?

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How May I Not Help You?

August 9, 2010 at 10:45 pm (Funny at least to me, Livin' La Vida Loca, Somewhat Serious, Uncategorized)

Today one of my friends–we’ll call her Gloria, because that’s what Samir insisted on calling her, because apparently he couldn’t quite get the name Claire…who is actually Gloria here, but whatever. So Gloria Claire tries to contact customer service for our local cable company.

Local, as in, the customer service company is in India. Because it wouldn’t make sense to have the department charged with helping your customers located in your own country.

Now there is a semi-humorous exchange between Gloria Claire and Samir, which ends up with Samir being useless, and Gloria Claire serving as her own technician and solving her problem. Thumbs up, girlfriend.

But that’s not my real point today (yes, I actually have one).

How many of us have called customer service lately, only to reach a customer service rep who is struggling with English, and has an accent so thick you really not quite sure if they are crediting your account, or preparing to send you a contract for your soul? And how many have lamented about those damn foreigners taking away jobs from Americans due to the great outsourcing movement?

Now, I agree; outsourcing sucks. Big time. Outsourcing of jobs have cause friends to lose jobs, small towns to lose the livelihood of their citizens in one fell swoop. So I am totally anti-outsourcing.

But the problem, I contend, lies with us. Or with US.

Americans have an insatiable appetite for the cheap. We love our capitalism as long as it means we can buy jeans even cheaper…but the very same beast is responsible for your neighbors losing their jobs.

In order to produce goods cheap enough to satisfy us, companies have no choice but to move operations where they can get away with paying pennies…rather than the living wage we as Americans expect. What do we really think is going to happen? A company is going to take a hit on their profit so that they can keep jobs here and fill our need for greed? Not happening. Instead, we complain about having to deal with customer service from across the globe, when we are the ones responsible for its existence. Way to chase your tail.

So the next time you are bragging about the $10 jeans you got from Wal*Mart, be sure to go to your local unemployment agency, and thank anyone there who might have made that possible for you. Sure they lost their, jobs, but damn, you got a hot bargain. Awesome.

Photographic Evidence of Superlative Customer Service by James Cridland

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Best Dating Site Message. Ever.

August 2, 2010 at 7:17 pm (Dating is Fun, Funny at least to me, Livin' La Vida Loca, Uncategorized)

Not really sure if I was supposed to just find this funny, be impressed, or be horrified…but this was definitely one of the most entertaining messages I’ve ever gotten on a dating site:

RandomDatingDude: lol don’t you dare lose those lovely ladie lumps your very sexy the way you are

Um, yeah. Thanks…I think. Maybe not.

Also, thanks for getting “My Humps” stuck in my head for the day. Jerk.

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Another Reason My Brain is a Scary Place

July 30, 2010 at 6:16 pm (Uncategorized)

People that don’t remember their dreams are completely alien to me…I feel so sorry for them, and the fun they are missing. My nightly dreams are way more entertaining than the Shore, and are far more bizarre than any soap opera plot. I tell people this, and they don’t believe me for some reason.

Last night, dream scene shifted to the kitchen. I had turned on the stove, only to have forgotten that I had thrown a couple of items in there, and now they were surely going to explode and set the house on fire (so far this is nearly a factual story, so I guess it’s not too impressive…here’s where it gets weird) I open the oven door to pull out a pineapple, a carton of tomatoes, and I hear something hissing. And it’s hissing like it’s really pissed that I tried to roast it. On the bottom shelf is one of these, and it wants to eat me:

World's Most Evil Vegetable

WTF, you’re probably asking unless you watch a lot of the Food Network. This thing was hissing at me…and it’s not bearing it’s teeth in the picture, but trust me, the row of choppers on this thing would make a great white proud.

The truly weird thing is, I never had seen one of these until a friend posted this picture on his FB page…he called it a “Vagina Fruit”, which I can see could be just as scary to a man as a bloodthirsty piece of hot produce was in my dream. It’s really called a Chayote…and I will never, ever try to cook one. Ever. I had enough fun trying to hogtie the angry little effer in my dream last night.

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