Just Giblets

Believe You Me

15th January 2010
by Scot

Believe You Me

Just stop it. You can say that you believe any opinion:

  • “I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.” -Abraham Lincoln
  • “I believe that sex is one of the most beautiful, natural, wholesome things that money can buy.” -Steve Martin
  • “I’ll ne’er believe a madman till I see his brains.” -William Shakespeare
  • “Despite everything, I believe that all men are really good at heart.” -Anne Frank
  • “I support gay marriage. I believe they have a right to be as miserable as the rest of us.” -Kinky Friedman

You can even say you believe (or disbelieve) dubious or unproven facts:

  • “Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “I believe that I was a dog in a past life. That’s the only thing that would explain why I like to snack on Purina Dog Chow.” -Dean Koontz
  • “I am not a lesbian and I am not a slut, and somehow I am going to make people believe me.” -Vanessa Williams
  • “Everytime a child says ‘I don’t believe in fairies,’ there’s a a little fairy somewhere that falls down dead.” -J.M. Barrie

But you can’t say you believe or disbelieve a documented fact. Consider this statement by Scott Brown, republican nominee for the vacant Massachusetts US Senate seat.

Marriage
I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. States should be free to make their own laws in this area, so long as they reflect the people’s will as expressed through them directly, or as expressed through their elected representatives.

Guess what, Scott? If you are implicitly saying that you disbelieve that marriage is between two people of the same sex, you believe a lie. Because I’m married to a wonderful guy. There are people all over the globe whose spouses are the same sex they are. I really don’t give a flying fart what you believe.

Isn’t it funny how he avoids using the word “gay” or even “same-sex?” His implicit criticism of the judicial rule that denying same-sex partners marriage licenses is unconstitutional (as opposed to putting minority rights to a majority legislative vote) is really hateful too. Scott, you don’t get to reinterpret what our laws say — an accusation leveled at gay marriage supports frequently.

Now, prepare to lose on Tuesday.

posted in Homo, Massachusetts, Mean People, Politics, Quotes | at 11:51 am | 3 Comments
27th July 2009
by Scot

Karaoke Dorkness

Okay, I’m surrendering all pretense that I’m not a dork. A friend of mine from college posted several Facebook status updates to his profile lately that redirected to a site called SingSnap. What is SingSnap, do you ask? It’s online karaoke. No more, no less. But just think about it… we habitual karaoke-ers pick out our songs at home. We rehearse them. We learn every nuance of the original recording. And then after we humiliate ourselves in public, we try to learn the quirks of the karaoke recording track so we can do better next time.

Imagine if you had that power at home. The power to record and re-record at will. The power to add effects to your stage performance. The power of karaoke-social-networking. Mwah-ha-ha-haaaa….

I even bought a gold membership for six months before actually saving any of my recordings because it adds reverb and compression to your voice recording. I’m a sucker, I know. But listen to my first lame attempt. I can do better, I know, but I wanted to get this up for my friends suffering from heat exhaustion at the Library Leadership Institute for Massachusetts. Reports say that they spent the day in a non-air conditioned room all day when it was 90 degrees outside. It may have been upwards of 105 degrees inside!

7th May 2009
by Scot

Visit from the Golden Pony

Last night, the golden pony came to Springfield, MA and pooped out a lovely evening for Michael and  I  me. (Thanks, Max.) We’re here for the Massachusetts Library Association annual conference and Michael, being Michael, lined up a truly stupendous array of guests to speak. So, last night we spent the late night hours closing down the hotel bar with:

I am so lucky that my husband is so fearless and is such a big dreamer. He gave me the wonderful gift of the opportunity to chat with Lynda and Thrity about menopause and to smoke with Talia and Michael Cunningham in the rain. Does that rock or what?

24th January 2009
by Scot

Time is Money

As y’all know, I am the Web Services Manager for the Boston Public Library. I make a decent salary, which is good cause the city is a pretty expensive place to live. And we have to live in the city if we work for the city. Residency requirement.

Y’all also probably know that the whole world is facing a budget crisis. And what gets hit first in governmental belt-tightening? Not the police or fire departments, of course. “Non-essential” services like those the library provides.

So, we’ve been doing a lot of financial naval-gazing of late at work and I was reminded of this Unshelved comic strip by Bill Barnes and “Gene Ambaum” (not his real name).

Unshelved 01-25-2003

Well, I decided to add up just how much my time is worth. I took the Boston city budget for FY 2008 and figured out what percentage went to the library. (That’s 1.6%.) Then I took the state budget, and since I’m generous, figured out how much went to all libraries in the state. (0.1%. I felt okay about using the figure for all librarys because a. It’s a really small amount and b. I wasn’t going to figure out how much sales tax I paid, so I figure it evens out.)

Next, I figured out how much I made from BPL after taxes. I divided that up by the number of hours I’m meant to work in a year to arrive at an hourly monetary value for my expertise. Next, I figured out how much I paid in city property and excise taxes. I also figured out how much I paid in state taxes from both my sources of income in FY 2008. ( I also teach a course at Simmons College.)

Well, what do you know? According to my figures, if we ran things by the amount of money a person puts into “the pot”, I am entitled to 70 minutes of my time a year. I would be entitled to a much smaller portion of the president’s time a year and a bit more of an entry-level librarians’ time. But I think it all evens out to about 70 minutes of staff time overall.

Now, of course, I am not recommending that we cut service off after any period of time per person. That’s crazy talk. But I do hear a lot of unusual, personal suggestions for changes in service from the same few individuals. Ironically, some of those individuals don’t even live in the city. Guess how much time I’d get if I lived in, say, Cambridge? About nine minutes.

What I guess I’m saying is that I hope people are ready to face the fact that their concerns are part of a larger collective. We pay taxes in order to fuel collective goals, not to make sure our tiny piece of ground is cared for according to our specific terms.

Anyway, food for thought.

6th September 2008
by Michael

Cupcake Follow-Up!

I have begun the journey to find the best cupcake in the Commonwealth!  Today I had my first cupcake in the competition, from Blue Frog Bakery in Jamaica Plain.  I’m not going to report on it until I’ve got a handful though, in case I have to make any adjustments in the scoring…

Which leads me to the reason for this post.  I’ve developed the criteria with which I will determine the best of the best in the cupcake world.  This is a very personal criteria, and is geared toward my cupcake pleasures specifically.  I have given each criteria a certain number of points it can earn.  The top score being 100.  Time will tell if any cupcakes can earn that high score.  Anyway, here is my criteria.

  • Moistness of cake (15)
  • Flavor of cake (15)
  • Flavor of frosting (15)
  • Proportion of frosting to cake (15)
  • Sweetness of frosting (10)
  • Overall attractiveness of cupcake (10)
  • Ease of eating (5)
  • Originality of flavor (5)
  • Discretionary points (including special toppings or fillings) (10)

And yes, for me there is quite a difference between the flavor of the frosting and the sweetness of the frosting.  And yes, the moistness of the cake if vitally important.  What do you think?  How would your criteria be different?  And if anyone would like to join me on my sojourn, I would welcome the cupcake-loving company!

posted in Cupcakes, Massachusetts | at 1:40 pm | 2 Comments
31st August 2008
by Michael

A Survey of the Commonwealth’s Cupcakes

A cupcake from Party Favors

A cupcake from Party Favors

So, I’ve made my decision and I’m announcing it here.  I am going to conduct a survey of cupcakes in Massachusetts.  Many people know that I think the cupcake is the perfect desert.  I’ve thought this for quite some time, long before the recent cupcake craze hit the nation.  Long before Carrie made Magnolia’s a cupcake bonanza (although those cupcakes are delicious).  I am quite the fan of the cupcake, and i’ve decided to seek out cupcakes across the Commonwealth and report my findings back on this very blog.  Just Giblets indeed!

This has been at the back of my mind for a while, and Scot has encouraged me to do it as well, but I think it really crystalized for me at BookExpoAmerica in L.A. this past May.  Daniel and Heidi are friends of mine from the Midwest who are in the publshing/bookselling industry.  I get to see them every year at BEA and met up with them for dinner and general running around in L.A. this past May.  What I didn’t get to do, is go with them to Sprinkles Cupcakes in Beverly Hills, which they visited that afternoon mere hours before meeting me, and proceeded to rave about off and on for the rest of the night.  Could they have brought me along?  Sure.  Did they?  I’m guessing you’ve guessed that they did not.  You have guessed correctly.  Am I bitter?  A little, but I still love them and have almost forgiven them.  Had they known about my sheer unadulterated devotion to the cupcake, I’m sure this wouldn’t have happened, hence my public search for the best cupcake in Massachusetts.

Before I begin, I will need to develop a set of criteria, which I will work on soon and post here.  Then I need to find the cupcakes.  Some I already know about, like the divine confections at Brookline’s Party Favors, and the scrumptuous cupcake deserts at Geoffrey’s.  Many I will have to discover along the way.  If you know of anyplace that has a cupcake worth tasting, please let me know.  And for those of you fellow cupcake aficianados, please visit Sprinkle’s Cupcake’s website and vote for their next location to be in Boston!

posted in Cupcakes, Food, Massachusetts | at 9:04 pm | 5 Comments
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