Friday, August 29, 2008


In June I made a shawl for afghans for Afghans and never posted about it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I only got 30...

The Omnivore's Hundred:
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Italicise out any items that you would never consider eating.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari

12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries

23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava

30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float

36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut

50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads

63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox

97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

So I'm not the adventurous eater I thought I was. I italicized items that I found disgusting (usually strange meats), unethical (foi gras), dangerous (fugu), or too spicy (scotch bonnet, phaal). When I googled kaolin it came up as an industrial clay, and clay doesn't sound too appetizing.

Friday, August 15, 2008


It has recently come to my attention that I'm a really shitty writer. Crap.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Do dogs have gender?

I noticed that Franklin's Dogbook page has a 'gender' field. At first I thought that a bit absurd. Franklin is a boy-dog, but that is his sex, not his gender. Sex is biological, gender is an aspect of social identity. Surely Franklin can't have an identity. He doesn't think about what having the vet remove his testicles instead of ovaries means to his relationship with dogs, people, and the rest of the world.

Yet he does have an identity imposed upon him. People define dogs with all kinds of labels: he's a beagle/basset mix, he's a squirrel hunting enthusiast, and he's a boy dog. Just as parents express their child's gender identity by choosing the blue onesie or the pink onesie, Franklin had to have the manly lobster-patterned harness and not the floral one. So must gender be a self-defined category, or can this identity be determined externally?

To further complicate matters, other languages ascribe genders to inanimate objects. In Spanish, plates are male- los platos- while spoons are female- las cucharas. However, it seems the gender applies to the words, not the objects themselves. Spanish-speakers do not think of plates as exhibiting masculne qualities and spoons feminine qualities. Two words that mean the same thing can even have different genders. (A cup can be la tasa or el vaso.)

The difference between animals and tableware is that they have a definable sex, which makes gender assignment seem logical. We use gender to make sense out of the role played by sex, so to make dogs fit into the human world we give them human-like identities. Society gives humans sex-based identities as well. However, when a person's sex and gender are different we must respect that person's self-identification. Dogs cannot form identities, so our conceptions of them are entirely constructed by human society. So, dogs cannot intrinsically have gender, but we can ascribe gender to them and, given our conceptual link between gender and sex, doing so is probably inescapable.