Wednesday is Spaghetti Day!

One of my favorite days of the week is Wednesday— not because it declares itself halfway through the workweek and opens the gateway to Friday, but because at Ale Mary’s in Fells Point, you can get a delicious plate of spaghetti and meatballs for $7. And don’t forget the delicious triangles of crusty garlic bread, slathered in butter, perched atop the mound of pasta. In fact, it’s such a giant bowl of spaghetti, I can usually only eat half. Accompanied by cheap wine specials like the $3 house wine, you can’t go wrong at this awesome spot on Wednesday nights.

Ale Mary’s in itself is a fun place to stop by, decorated with religious decor and featuring creative menu item names such as the Thankful Turkey Sandwich or The Crabby Nun. Don’t forget to get a plate of loaded tots for a complete heart attack feast. Topped with three different kinds of cheeses, crispy bacon and ranch on the side, this tasty meal completes the Wednesday festivities.

We Believe in Freedom from Opinions

I’m sure by now you have heard of the controversial debate regarding Chick-Fil-A, and their lack of support for gay rights, single Moms, and unmarried women. There are a lot of opinions out there, and judgements, and that’s what this post is about.

I have seen many friends on Facebook applauding the Mayor of Boston and his letter written to Chick-Fil-A (I was inclined to think it was a fake, but it’s irrelevant as people took it for truth and hailed it as forward thinking), and now there are more Mayors stating they won’t support Chick-fil-A entering their cities. While I certainly don’t agree with Chick-Fil-A’s point of view in their lack of support for gay rights and other issues, trying to ban a business from any city in the U.S. because one doesn’t agree with their views is just plain wrong.

This is about more than personal views. This is the complete opposite of personal views. Government representatives stating a business is not welcome in any city is inappropriate. If one doesn’t agree with a business’ actions of this nature— boycott the business. Chick-Fil-A have the right to their opinion, they are a private company, just as every individual has the right to patronize, or not patronize, a place of business. If Chick-Fil-A is being discriminatory against working or single mothers, or anyone else, they will answer for it in court, under law. These statements from Mayors about Chick-Fil-A not being welcome in their cities are just as bad as the discriminatory views coming from Chick-Fil-A.

This morning, a Facebook page entitled Stop The War on Women’s Rights, made a post in regards to “The mainstream media have gotten the real Chick-Fil-A vs. gay rights story horribly wrong.” It then proceeds to make sweeping arguments such as:

“The Cult of Chick-fil-A,” a 2007 Forbes profile of Chick-Fil-A’s actual CEO, S. Truett Cathy — Dan Cathy’s father — notes the restaurant giant “has been sued at least 12 times since 1988 on charges of employment discrimination” — a fact the media has totally ignored.

Followed by comments about Chik-Fil-A donating money to hate groups across the U.S.

I’m sure any major fast food company in the U.S. has been sued far more than a dozen times since 1988 for discrimination, so in that respect, this post is misleading as well. It is ironic the topic of the post is chiding popular media for omitting facts, when this post is doing the same. Chick-Fil-A may very well have a better ratio of discriminatory cases per employee than McDonalds. Do I know for sure? No. Do I care? No— because I’m not making a Facebook post, trying to piece together select various news outlet clips to make a misleading point.

It really doesn’t matter how many times Chik-Fil-A has been sued, because the point here is not that Chik-Fil-A has a vast history of firing single Moms, or that they donate money to the KKK. The reason the U.S. is so fired up right now is because Chick-Fil-A has dared to voice an opinion on a controversial topic most companies wouldn’t dare to do in this all encompassing, ‘everything is fair’ business environment we have created in the U.S. They have voiced an opinion, taken a stance in an election year on a controversial topic, and they will be crucified for it, or hailed, depending on which side of the debate you fall.

It is irrelevant whether you agree or disagree, because ironically, a bigger rights issue is at stake here; whether government representatives have the right to make statements on whether or not businesses will be welcome in their cities, and whether anyone has the right enforce their own personal viewpoint on another individual or business. Let me be clear here, I fully support gay rights because I honestly have no interest in what someone else does so long as it doesn’t harm me or anyone else. I also support single Moms, married straight couples, little old ladies and having a pet rat.

But what does harm other people is this seemingly new age wave of free thinkers who are as old as time, the thought that one’s own way of thinking is ‘right’, and others should comply. Of course, I support gay rights completely, because in essence, if I didn’t, I would be stating I need to control how others think and live their lives. But in the same vein, no matter how noble the cause, crucifying a restaurant which publicly thinks differently is putting your foot in your mouth.

The fact hate groups exist in the U.S. says this issue has already been decided. Chick-Fil-A giving money to hate groups is unfortunate (if in fact they do, I’m honestly not sure and it doesn’t matter), but these groups are allowed to exist in the U.S. because of freedom of speech. If Chick-Fil-A is breaking the law in refusing not to hire anyone based on race, gender, religion, etc., they will answer for it in court, under law, not to the Mayor of Boston, and not to Stop The War On Women’s Rights. While I might not agree with them donating money to any hate group, or any other group I don’t support for that matter, it’s their choice to make as a private company. Just as it is my choice not provide funds for them to do this, since I choose not to eat at their establishment. I also don’t like people donating money to a politician I don’t like who may stand for things I don’t agree with, but were I trying to police everyone to believe what I believe, well, that would make me no better than any other figure in history who has tried to do the same. Namely, an organization like the KKK, and others who are intolerant to other people’s beliefs. It’s absolutely ridiculous the same people who are outraged that someone else dare think differently than them, are utterly egotistical and many times worse in the thought that their way of thinking is right.

The definition of opinion is subjective belief, based on emotion or interpretation of facts. The question is, do you want to live in a country, a community, where people are crucified for their personal beliefs, or one where they are welcomed? The answer is of course, completely obvious. So next time someone takes a stance you don’t agree with, whether it be a business or an individual, launch an effective campaign for change. If it happens to be Chick-Fil-A, create a page highlighting other places where chicken tenders can be found, to supply an alternative. Write a researched post about how in choosing something as seemingly insignificant as a restaurant to eat lunch, there can be huge implications. But writing an un-researched, opinionated post like the one I read today, slathering at the mouth, an equal to the religious zealots they are crucifying- I am not impressed.

DANI
-the senoritas

Being Vindictive is Freeing

Years ago, I worked at a racecar fabrication shop. I would lie and say I did really awesome stuff, but mostly I was the shop bitch. I did attempt to learn TIG welding, but it takes a kind of patience that I was/am not graced with. Anyway, that lasted about a year during college, until it became a throw-down with one of the owners who would go upstairs and smoke pot and steal cash out of the drawer.

So the ingrate pot smoking owner was a real ass, and we bandied words, and I left. I don’t remember exactly what happened, but I remember he was a jerk. Lucky for me, I had the password for the shop’s email account- including the address book for all of our vendors. This guy changed the door locks (because clearly he was crazy and paranoid), but didn’t bother with the email account. SO-

I composed an email to one of our vendors down the street, which referenced a job we were building for them at the time. It was a perfectly professional email, and I signed it from the jerk owner. I then added at the end, “I’ve attached a photo of the part we’re working on, let me know if it doesn’t go through because I was downloading a lot of stuff at the time“. I then attached a photo in this similar vein:

Send!

for the love of books!

I love books. Real, solid, books, with dog-eared pages and frayed edges, books that smell like clean, fresh pages, or old, musty shelves, books containing amazing, fantastic adventures or the dry, stuffy biographies of forgotten rulers. I have a kindle and I do love it, but there is nothing more satisfying than the weight of a book in your lap, or the turn of the pages in your hand. Reading has been my favorite pastime as long as I can remember. Give me tea, sunshine, and a good book, and I will disappear for hours. I am also a book hoarder: I will recommend books, lend books, but will rarely give one away. I can only hope to be like our uncle David one day, living in a house so full of books he has miniscule hallways carved out to make his way from the front door to the far back wall, with book stacks haphazardly leaning, threatening to fall and bury you under their combined weight.

Because of this (near fanatical) love of books, I have spent much of my time in the past week loitering at the pop-up bookstore, Turning the Page, currently located on 17th and K Street NW in Washington D.C. It’s just a block from where I work, so nearly every day I’ve spent my lunch break perusing its shelves and gobbling up books. The books are all donated, so they’re inexpensive, and they have an impressive collection. But hurry! The bookstore’s last day is May 3rd, 2012. This week is supposed to be gorgeous, so step out, grab a coffee, and saunter down to Turning the Page to buy some glorious used books to round out your collection.

Can you find the Saturday swine (disguised as the elusive Sunday swine) in these books I’ve purchased? He loves books, too.

Angelo’s (mouth-watering and amazing) Pizza

There is an amazing pizza place in Hampden called Angelo’s. Sitting outside at one of their little deck tables during the summer with a glass of wine (or a cold beer) in one hand, a cheese-smothered slice of gorgeous pizza in the other, is a magical experience. It’s a little place, inexpensive, and you bring your own alcohol. The staff is feisty, the bathroom small and dungeon-like, tucked back into the basement, and you can always count on an assortment of Hampdenites and their dogs to strut past your table like a parade. GO.

Just in case you’re not convinced …

Mozzarella sticks. Yes.

Pepperoni and black olive pizza (Dani and I allow ourselves pepperoni on special occasions. Besides, pepperonis aren’t meat. They’re ground hooves, and everyone knows hooves are vegetarian).

In case that luscious pizza from heaven didn’t convince you, treat yourself to a close-up look:

That’s right. Take your Papa John’s and throw it in the garbage. Where it belongs.*

Happy pizza eating!

the senoritas

*But keep the garlic sauce (aka yellow garlic flavored oil). So delicious.

Angelo’s Pizza
3600 Keswick Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21211
410.235.2595

Book Review: The Book of Lost Things

One of the senorita’s favorites, The Book of Lost Things, starts with a boy named David, who has just lost his mother. When he and his father and new stepmother move into an old house, the books in his creaky attic room keep him company. But these are very old books with a past…

This book is about a great deal of things, but most of all, it’s about loss. I read it over and over again, and it always strikes me the same way. The story told may be fantasy, but like all fairy tales, there are lessons to be learned.

Book Review: In Defense of Food

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

As you might have noticed, dos senoritas are very interested in food. We like to eat it, buy it, have wine with it. But we always like to be healthy and know what we’re eating.

This little beauty of a book (recommended by our friend, Shri) is a fantastic read. My favorite section of the book includes tips such as avoiding the center of a grocery store, where all the industrialized ‘food-like substances’ are; the fresh food is always around the perimeter. It discusses the rise of the unhealthy Western diet, the major industries that promoted it, and U.S. politics in the ’70s where many laws were changed by the FDA to accommodate imitation, industrialized products, leading to the elimination of real food in our diets.

Corruption, obesity, politics— it doesn’t get any better than this. Bon Appétit!

house of leaves.

If you flip through House of Leaves, it looks like a jumbled mess. It’s unconventional, with strange formatting and page layouts – you might find yourself reading upside down, for example, or spinning the book like a wheel to follow circular text. There are heaps of footnotes, some so long you follow them across multiple pages. 

It’s a combination horror/love story, with multiple narrators whose individual stories twist and turn and entwine with each other. It’s hard to explain exactly what it’s about without giving an entire plot synopsis, so I’ll say simply this: it’s about a man reading another man’s manuscript about a documentary filmmaker who buys a home in Virginia – a home that is larger on the inside than on the outside. It sounds complicated, and it is – but it’s quite possibly one of the most unnerving, suspenseful, frightening books you’ll ever read, and worth every bit of effort you put into it.

excerpt:

“This much I’m certain of: it doesn’t happen immediately. You’ll finish [the book] and that will be that, until a moment will come, maybe in a month, maybe a year, maybe even several years. You’ll be sick or feeling troubled or deeply in love or quietly uncertain or even content for the first time in your life. It won’t matter. Out of the blue, beyond any cause you can trace, you’ll suddenly realize things are not how you perceived them to be at all. For some reason, you will no longer be the person you believed you once were. You’ll detect slow and subtle shifts going on all around you, more importantly shifts in you. Worse, you’ll realize it’s always been shifting, like a shimmer of sorts, a vast shimmer, only dark like a room. But you won’t understand why or how. You’ll have forgotten what granted you this awareness in the first place

You might try then, as I did, to find a sky so full of stars it will blind you again. Only no sky can blind you now. Even with all that iridescent magic up there, your eye will no longer linger on the light, it will no longer trace constellations. You’ll care only about the darkness and you’ll watch it for hours, for days, maybe even for years, trying in vain to believe you’re some kind of indispensable, universe-appointed sentinel, as if just by looking you could actually keep it all at bay. It will get so bad you’ll be afraid to look away, you’ll be afraid to sleep.

Then no matter where you are, in a crowded restaurant or on some desolate street or even in the comforts of your own home, you’ll watch yourself dismantle every assurance you ever lived by. You’ll stand aside as a great complexity intrudes, tearing apart, piece by piece, all of your carefully conceived denials, whether deliberate or unconscious. And then for better or worse you’ll turn, unable to resist, though try to resist you still will, fighting with everything you’ve got not to face the thing you most dread, what is now, what will be, what has always come before, the creature you truly are, the creature we all are, buried in the nameless black of a name.

And then the nightmares will begin.”

John Carter

We had the good fortune to watch John Carter over the weekend. It was thoroughly enjoyable. And here is why.

Enjoy your day now that it has been improved with this image.