Tuesday, August 27, 2013

What exactly are we upset about? On Miley, Robin, and dancing.

For those of you who haven't seen it, there was a performance on the VMAs last night. Some may deem it racy. Some may deem it sexy. Some may deem it stupid that there were giant teddy bears on the stage in the first place. Some may think that it was two people singing two good songs that happen to deal with sex. It involved some junk touching some other junk. *OMG EWWWWW* Because, you know, people never do that. There is no actual touching involved at any time of life, and all newborn children are a result of immaculate conception. Because people NEVER decide to have consensual sex out of wedlock, OH THE HORROR.

Seriously now, what's the big deal? Miley Cyrus sang a song about doing whatever you want just for the sake of doing it, and her performance emulated that. (And one can argue that a performance should emulate the song. I guess it doesn't have to. But in this case, it did.) I say, good for her. Miley, thank you for being awesome and shoving the foots of all the naysayers into their own asses. Thank you for doing whatever you want just for the sake of doing it. Because Robin Thicke can have a video full of naked women, but Miley Cyrus can't stick out her tongue and dick around with a foam finger? (Pun intended.)

Might I remind you, no one was actually naked. There was no sacrifice to Cthulu. And as Seanan McGuire pointed out, MTV approved this. They did not cut away to the background dancers. They did not zoom in on Robin Thicke singing. And let's not forget that Robin Thicke was a part of this too. He didn't have to stand behind her. He could have stood anywhere. Miley would have just been twerking her little booty to the audience, like she already had several times so far.

When I was in high school, there was a church nearby that hosted weekly dances for kids to have somewhere safe and alcohol free to go every Friday night. It was a great idea. Except the place was rife with drugs, kids arrived already drunk, and there was so much grinding on the dance floor they probably should have been handing out condoms. My point is, nothing kids see in that performance is going to be surprising. They are already having sex. They are allowed to have sex. Their psyches are not poisoned. Get over it. Stop slut shaming. It's a good song, she's a good dancer, and she's laid back enough to be goofy. If you really hate the dancing, at least enjoy the fact that two good singers collaborated a performance between two good songs.

Update: Have since listened to the lyrics, and am realizing that Blurred Lines is actually an awful song all wrapped up in a catchy tune. Which is unfortunate. But this still has no bearing on Miley dancing.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Things to love

So yes, I am in a disgustingly good mood this morning. It is much appreciated after the past few days. The weather is sunny and beautiful and currently 67 degrees, which is just enough to make my knees weak and my eyes teary... because I promise you I actually am that emotional when it comes to my beloved fall weather. I had a dark chocolate brownie for breakfast. I had a very pleasant phone call with one of our authors who is a sweetheart and made me feel very smart and useful and I am currently basking in job love. It is also Wednesday, which means a new Write Space and a new How I Write. I also found this fantastic booklist from Flavorwire, which is basically as good as porn. (It's a bit heavy on the classics for me, as is expected, but I added quite a few things to my TBR list.) Have you all seen this fantastic post on TerribleMinds the other day? (And the follow-up post on editing that appeared yesterday.) I have never read Proust, but this made me smile.

And now, two recipes that I've been really enjoying lately. Neither are gluten free (they are too delicious for us to care), but both are easily adaptable with gluten-replacements.

Spicy Thai Noodles
Modified from here.

1 box spaghetti
3/8 cup olive oil
1/4 cup-plus sesame oil
1-2 tablespoons crushed red pepper
1/4 cup-plus honey
1/4 cup-plus soy sauce
1-2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 small bag matchstick carrots

1. Cook pasta.
2. Make cleanup easy, and use only a spoon and the 1/4 cup measuring cup for everything. In a small saucepan, add olive oil, sesame oil, and red pepper. When I say "1/4 cup-plus," fill the measuring cup to the top, then add some extra so that it flows over the top. Heat on medium-high heat, and flick some water droplets from the cooking pasta into the pot. When the water starts to sizzle (after 2 minutes or so), turn the heat off, but leave on burner.
3. Quickly add honey, soy sauce, and peanut butter, whisk to combine. (If you don't add quickly, the pepper may burn.) Once the peanut butter is melted, transfer to a cool burner until the noodles finish.
4. Drain and transfer noodles to large bowl. Pour sauce over noodles, turn to combine. Let cool on counter, turning occasionally to let noodles soak all the sauce up.
5. Stick in fridge to cool completely and eat cold. (Or hot, whichever. We usually eat them cold.) Top with cilantro and carrots.

This is an easy dinner and super delicious and addicting! We've made it so many times, and I'm craving them all the times in between.

Honeybun Cake
Taken from here. I changed nothing from this glorious recipe.

1 box yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup olive oil
1 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350. You need three big-ish bowls.
       a. In the first, whisk the brown sugar and cinnamon.
       b. In the second, whisk the cake mix, eggs, sour cream, and olive oil until just combined.
       c. In the third, whisk the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. (It's best to do this right before taking the cake out of the oven.)
2. Spray 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray. Layer 1/2 of cake batter, 1/2 of streusel mix, remaining half of batter, and remaining half of streusel, spreading each layer out evenly. Swirl with a butter knife.
3. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Immediately after removing from oven, pour glaze on top of cake and tilt back and forth to cover evenly. Cool cake, but not all the way because eating it warm is a mouth-gasm. Eat and die happy.

This cake is becoming a rainy-day tradition. It's super rich and you won't believe how delicious for being so super easy.