Category Archives: And in Other News

Happy New Year!

I know I haven’t posted in a while. I want to wish you all a very Happy 2014! I am so glad 2013 is over.

Politically, Ted Cruz’s $24B shutdown was absolutely ridiculous. He hurt a lot of people – from government employees to businesses that have government contracts. Most of all, he tried to govern by extortion. I have no idea where in the Constitution that says that’s OK. And he still had the balls to say he would do it again. Certifiably insane. I am really glad Obama didn’t cave. I can’t believe people actually blame him for the shutdown. Really?

The Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). What a nightmare rollout. Thing is, the states had great websites where people could enroll. CoveredCA here was/is awesome. I am really glad that people have healthcare. No one should go bankrupt because they got sick – especially in a country as rich as ours.

A friend of my sister’s has testicular cancer. He didn’t have insurance, so his parents maxed out their credit cards to pay for his surgery. To even start chemo, they held poker tournaments and asked for online donations. That is wrong on so many levels. I’m glad that he now has access to healthcare. Basically, anyone who wants to go back to the days where insurance companies can deny coverage or limit treatment of cancer patients are heartless, insensitive douchebags. I know. Tell me how you really feel. Haha.

I am so glad that the House and Senate passed a bipartisan budget. Hallelujah! Of course, those more Left and Right aren’t too happy with it. It’s called compromise. In doing so, we don’t get everything we want.

Anyway, I hope 2014 goes much more smoothly, and the Tea Party doesn’t scream like boiling tea kettles. Dream on, right? No one screams better or louder than the Tea Party.

I can’t believe that the midterm elections are this year. Time flies. It’s going to be critical to at least keep the Democratic majority in the Senate. The House would be nice too, but I don’t think it will happen. Who knows? Stranger things have happened.

It’s exciting that there are hints that Hillary may run in 2016. The first woman President! I love the sound of that.

Well, I hope 2014 is a stellar year for you all. Or be as good as or suck less than 2013. One can hope. Be blessed!


As the World Spins

My Dearest Friends and Readers,

I’ve been on hiatus since January (obviously).

Moving forward, I will only be posting from time to time – when something politics-related seriously irritates me. I know. That should mean everyday, right? =)

The reason for this change is that in January, I came down hard from a hypomanic state. I spent a few months digging myself out the black hole that is bipolar depression. I got out, with another dosage tweaking. The important thing is that I got out.

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago. I had an ultrasound and biopsy. I’ve been diagnosed with Stage II Breast Cancer. And the fun just keeps on coming, right? Haha.

I’ve decided to blog this experience. There is a whole lot of nothing out there for bipolar women with breast cancer. I figure if I can chronicle my journey, those who are newly diagnosed can find something out there – maybe find out what to expect (generally speaking, of course).

Anyway, my other site is:

Bipolar…with a twist of cancer

Those who are interested can check it out. I’m still working on putting it together, so it’s pretty rough right now.

I love the Spinny Liberal site, so I can’t shut it down permanently. I still need a place to vent when anyone or anything political bugs me. Thank you to those who have been following my blog. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some really intelligent, cool people.

I am not gone forever. Politics will always make my head spin.

God bless you all!

xoxo,
Spinny


Fed Up with the Gun Debate

First, Happy New Year to Everyone! Second, a busy holiday season followed by preparing for a company audit (we passed) are my excuses for a shamefully long absence. Third, I’m sick to death of this gun debate, prompting my jump right back into blog waters. Fair warning, this is probably going to be a rambly rant.

The CT school shootings were horrific, which definitely took the 2nd Amendment off the back burner. I remember during the debates, gun control was not really addressed other than the usual, “make sure kids have a good childhood so they don’t turn into the Columbine monsters.”

The NRA has completely disgusted me. After the massacre, they wait days to give a statement, and when they did, their solution was all schools should have armed rent-a-cops. Because having them really helped in the Columbine shooting.

Bragging about their paid memberships increasing exponentially after the shootings pissed me off to no end. What kind of organization does that? Nothing like 20 dead kids to up your numbers. Ugh.

Vice President Biden meets with anyone and everyone related to guns and violence and comes up with recommendations. On the 16th, he took 23 of those recommendations and turned them into Executive Orders. For some reason, I get Conservative newsletters and alerts even though I’ve e-mailed them, saying that I’m a bleeding heart Liberal. Let’s see. In the past two days, I’ve read, “Impeach Him” (yawn) and “Congress must act to counter every single one of these orders! They have the power to do it, and they must take action.”

Every single one? Even this one?

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

Wasn’t that what the NRA was calling for? Damn that Commie Obama for giving us what we wanted.

The whole debate has gotten ridiculous, really. I have heard it all. From hard core gun nuts who say NO background checks to banning all weapons. Maybe we can have some sensible solutions? Like tougher background checks? Closing that gun show loophole would be great too. I still don’t understand how Joe Crazy can walk right into a show in many states and purchase an AR-15 without any kind of background check. Here in CA, there are background checks when you buy from a gun show. You purchase from the dealer and go through the background check. When you pass, you pick up your weapon from the transfer dealer who has been holding it until you pass. That should be in all states.

The assault weapons ban. Senator Dianne Feinstein is leading this campaign, as she did when assault weapons were banned in 1994. So, to the NRA, she is Satan incarnate. It makes me ask the question. Who really needs an assault weapon? A handgun or shotgun would suffice if Stranger Danger comes into your house. Do you really need something that will literally blow their head to bits? Dead is dead.

And the high capacity magazines. Again, do you really need a 100RD magazine when one bullet is all you need to kill a deer. Max 3 if you’re a bad shot. Limiting the capacity you can buy would be one way to go.

One of the things that I wish the gun lobby, gun nuts, and Conservatives would drop is the “tyrannous” government argument. Where were you when the Patriot Act was signed into law by Bush? And extended by Obama? I should have seen well-regulated militias storming the capital. Did they sleep in? Were they too inept to send an e-mail blast, “Our rights are about to be eroded. Grab your guns and meet at the steps of the capital. Donuts and coffee will be provided.” Either they don’t really care about a tyrannous government, or their militias really suck. Or a combination of both.

Anyway, I’m pretty much fed up with the whole thing at this point. Will real change happen now? I’d like to believe so, but I am a realist. The NRA has a financial choke hold on Congress, and a large group of voters will keep the pressure on to keep gun laws as they are. Nothing screams American machismo more than assault rifles with magazines stuffed with as many hollow point bullets it can hold. Go big or go home, baby.

Of course, on a more personal level, if that Commie Imam King Barack Hussein Obama tries to take away my shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile, he’ll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands.


On the CT School Shooting

Friday was so strange. It started off terrible. I was knee deep in work issues, and I get e-mails from my sister and partner. “So sad what happened in CT” and “All those kids in CT.” Huh? I was dealing with work stuff, so I didn’t hear. Then, I read about the tragedy. 20 children and 7 adults killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown CT, by a gunman who then killed himself. Ugh. Wasn’t there just a shooting in an Oregon mall?

God help us. What can we do to stop this? I’ve heard it all over the weekend. Conservatives, like Representative Louie Gohmert of TX, have said that more guns are the answer. He told Chris Wallace of Fox News,

“Chris, I wish to God she had had an m-4 in her office, locked up so when she heard gunfire, she pulls it out … and takes him out and takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids”

Liberals, like Michael Moore tweeted:

“The short term solution? A law immediately banning semi-automatic weapons & mega-clips. Must have license to own gun. Must pass mental exam.”

Honestly, I don’t know what the answer is. If the Principal was armed, it doesn’t mean that she could have taken him out. And if we ban semis and mega clips, it doesn’t mean they won’t be sold. I see a very profitable black market emerging.

All I know is that the whole thing depresses me. I worked as a sub, and I remember doing those lockdown drills. You lock the door, turn off all the lights, and close the blinds or draw the drapes. It was all very creepy. You just pray you never have to do it for real.

My mind doesn’t want to go to these dark places anymore. It’s really making me hope the Mayans were right. I think the entire world needs purging, and Friday sounds like a great day to do it.


Happy Friday Funnies 12/14/12

During the holidays, the days just fly by – probably because there’s so much to do. Well, at least Fridays feel like they come faster. 🙂 Have a great weekend everyone!!

dogshaming garbage

textsfromlastnight770

passive aggressive haiku

check-mate

dogshaming sea turtles

harsh-reality

dogshaming landline

nancy grace tweet


Spinny Fell off the Wagon

Instead of the Yahoo! Comments section, I’ve been on a Facebook Comments bender. The “Being Liberal” page is infiltrated by Conservatives who irritate the crap out of me. Come on. The page is called, “Being Liberal.” They come on there and regurgitate whatever Hannity, Limbaugh, Levin said as a way to “prove” how stupid Liberals are. I usually tell them to take the condescension and shove it because they’re on our turf.

*sigh* When I first “Liked” the page, I enjoyed reading the comments of like-minded Liberals. The Conservatives just ruin it for me with their Liberal-bashing. I should stay in the blog world, but I was lured back into Lucifer’s lair.

The hot topics have been the Fiscal Cliff and the fiasco that is Michigan’s Right to Work Law. We’re inching toward the Fiscal Cliff, and I am praying that Obama doesn’t cave. I think he won’t because he is now emboldened with the win and the fact that there are no more political consequences for him. Before he agrees to any spending cuts, generating revenue via increasing taxes for the wealthy better be carved in stone and painted with the blood of dead plutocrats.

I believe that spending cuts are necessary. But so are those tax increases. If you’re broke, you can cut your expenses to the bone. To actually stop being perpetually broke, you need to earn more money. Same thing here. It’s not all about spending cuts or taxes. It’s both. However, I personally don’t trust the GOP farther than I can throw them, so Obama should take the carved in stone/blood suggestion above.

The fight didn’t end on election day, as we have seen in that disastrous Right to Work Law. Let’s see. You can choose not to be in a union, but still get the benefits of the same pay as a union worker and health benefits. You just don’t have to pay dues. Hmm. And Conservatives call us the freeloaders? Like I said in the comments section:

God forbid workers should have a living wage and good benefits. I swear to God the way a lot Conservatives are talking, they won’t be happy until people are indentured servants to the almighty job creators.

I need to be back here in blog world. There are posts of substance here – both sides. Those comments sections do nothing but make my blood pressure rise. My sister asked at lunch on Saturday, “Do we have to ban you from another site?” Heh. Looks like it. I’ll try and cut down. I promise!


Spinny Secret™: The Easy Way to a Perfectly Roasted Turkey

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I’m bone tired from marathon cooking, but it was worth it. My nieces spent Thanksgiving with us this year, so I was super happy. They were with their dad last year. They asked me for “candied yams without the yams.” Which are marshmallows. I took some pie tins and browned them under the broiler. It was sort of a joke, but they ate them!

Anyway, on to the easy way to a perfectly roasted turkey. I’ve made turkeys every which way – bags, sealed with aluminum foil, basting constantly, etc. This way is, by far, the easiest way to roast a turkey. The meat is moist, juicy, and flavorful.

I know Thanksgiving is over, but there are people who have Turkey at Christmas. And this will be a nice reference page for those frazzled newbies searching for a turkey recipe guide next year. Been there, done that. Trust me, in the almost 20 years I’ve been cooking Thanksgiving dinners, I’ve definitely messed up some turkeys in the early years. I wish I had the internet back then. So, don’t panic. It’s pretty simple.

To get a perfectly roasted turkey the easy way, just remember The Four B’s: Brining, Butter, Bed of the Holy Trinity, Breast Side Down.

Brining: Rinse your turkey and remove and refrigerate the giblets. Make sure the turkey is not already brined. Place the turkey in two turkey oven bags (Reynolds® makes one). Fill the bag with the turkey with salted water (brine). The ratio is 1 cup of kosher salt to 1 gallon of water, making sure the salt is dissolved completely. That’s it. Some people like to add sugar, herbs, etc. I don’t think they’re necessary, and two ingredients (water and salt) is the easiest way. If you don’t have kosher salt, you can use plain table salt (no iodine – leaves weird purple marks). For non-iodized table salt the ratio should be 1/2 cup table salt to 1 gallon of water as the granules are much smaller in table salt. There should be enough brine to ensure the turkey is completely submerged. If you have a room in your refrigerator, you can put it in one of the meat bins at the bottom. If you don’t (like most of us cooking Thanksgiving feasts), place it in a cooler with a lot of ice. The second oven bag protects the first from being punctured by the ice. I used four 10 lb. bags of ice this year for my 16 lb. turkey. Put some ice on top of the oven bag to make sure the turkey stays submerged completely in the brine. The turkey should be soaking in the brine for one hour per pound, but don’t go over 24 hours. Take it out of the bag and rinse thoroughly, and pat dry with paper towels.

OK – this is the point where I fill the cavity with aromatics (half of an onion and a bunch of thyme sprigs), and truss the turkey. Trussing is tying up the turkey. It is not absolutely necessary, but it does make for more even cooking and a prettier turkey. Alton Brown gives the best tutorial (IMHO) on trussing. His is the sturdiest:

How to Truss a Turkey

Butter: Melt one stick of UNSALTED (very important – remember you brined) butter in the microwave until soft (not totally liquid). Add chopped up sage, rosemary, and thyme and mix it all up. It should be a soft, whipped butter consistency with herbs in it. Loosen the skin on the breast of the turkey, gently putting your fingers between the skin and the breast. It’s easy to tear, so do it slowly and gently. Place some of the herbed butter on your fingers and rub the butter under the skin. Rub some more on top of the breast. It’s totally messy but worth it. Melt another stick of butter to liquid. Spread it all over the entire turkey, inside and out – including the cavity. You can put aromatics in the cavity if you want at this point too. I usually put a half an onion and thyme sprigs.

Bed of the Holy Trinity: In Creole/Cajun cooking, the Holy Trinity is basically a French mirepoix: carrots, celery, and onions. I love it because these ingredients are cheap. Chop them up and put it in the bottom of your roasting pan. Make sure there is enough to cover the entire bottom of the pan. No need to do fancy cuts. Rough chop is fine. Add the giblets you took out when you brined the turkey to the bottom of the pan as well if you like the giblets.

Breast Side Down: Place the bird breast side down directly on the Bed of the Holy Trinity. I don’t like to use roasting racks because they make those weird lines on the turkey. The juices from the dark meat will baste the white meat. Loosely tent the turkey with aluminum foil. Don’t seal it to your roasting pan, make a little tent over it.

Roast it in a 350° F oven for approximately 15 minutes per pound of turkey (my 16 lb. turkey took 4 hours). To be safe, use your meat thermometer. It isn’t hard. Stick it in the deepest part of the thigh (where the drumstick is attached) but not touching the bone. When the internal temperature reaches 165° F, it’s fully cooked.

Leave it alone. Remember, gravity is doing the basting for you. 45 minutes to one hour before the end of cooking time, flip it over. Other than getting someone else to do it, the easiest way to do this is by wearing oven mitts, and put a wad of paper towels in each hand to do it. You can baste the breast at this point if you want. Tent with foil for the first 15 minutes. Then, remove the foil for the rest of the time so the skin on the breast can brown.

After it’s done, take it out of the oven, and let the turkey rest for at least 30 minutes before carving it. You want to keep all those juices in. The drippings are salty, so I wouldn’t make gravy from it. This is what it will look like:

Take it out of the roasting pan, and put the turkey on a platter. Keep the cooked giblets if you want -my parents love these.

Carve and enjoy!