Every Vote Counts, Dammit!

Every Vote Counts, Dammit! Recipes are merely a Suggestion K.C. Shomler

 

I feel bad that I kind of lost it with a friend the other day. He is one who enjoys politics as sport; loves to dissect the minutiae and talk about how idiotic it all is. In the best of times, I merely tolerate politics. I generally find it discouraging and frustrating to follow. But I do so grudgingly, enough to remain reasonably and respectably informed anyway. But currently, this fucking mess refuses to be ignored or kept at any kind of a safe distance to preserve my sanity. It is everywhere! It’s like passing the scene of a horrific accident and being unable to look away. And I am exhausted by it! The worst parts of ourselves and our country are continually on display. All of our country’s dirty laundry is just hanging out there for the world to see. Every. Ugly. Part.

I’m not saying this is necessarily a bad thing. But it is painful and discouraging when these truths come to light. Growth often is painful and discouraging.

My frustration with my friend was about his insistence in repeating “my vote doesn’t matter”. I finally had to ask him to stop saying that (maybe a little firmer than I wanted to), at least around me. I get what he is trying to say – his one vote won’t affect the electoral outcome of our historically blue state, so why bother? The way I see it though, is that the exercise of voting has intrinsic value all by itself. It matters! Not just as a means to an end (impacting the outcome), but as an exercise of a right we enjoy that many around the world do not. Therefore, we need to take it seriously and use it or lose it. Once we allow others to make these important decisions on our behalf, we have ceased to be active engaged members of our society. Then we’ve really lost everything.

I’m not saying that any one of the candidates for president, or for any other office for that matter, will get us exactly where we need to go. But we can at least vote for those that are heading in the right direction, whichever way it is that we think is best. We have an opportunity and a duty to make our voices heard, and that always counts.

Every Vote Counts, Dammit! Recipes are merely a Suggestion K.C. Shomler

Lemony Potato Salad with Fennel

Lemony Potato Salad with Fennel Recipes are Merely a Suggestion KC Shomler

Potato salad has never been beloved by me, though I understand it holds a dear place in many people’s hearts. I’m talking that gloppy, light yellow, faintly eggy mess that my mom, and probably many other moms made in the summertime for barbecues. To me it has always been just ok.

The one I made yesterday though was a game changer.

I guess I’m currently in my lemon period, because I’ve been putting that shit into everything lately. But here, in lowly potato salad, it really shines. Transforming something that is at best mediocre in my mind into a divine dish. Here’s how:

Boil up some potatoes, I used gold ones because that’s what I had, but anything would work. I peel mine before, but the skins do slip off easier after boiling. I guess I just enjoy the meditative ritual of peeling them beforehand. Whatever, you do you. Drain them once they are tender to a fork, but not falling apart. This isn’t a mashed potato recipe. Cool them off while you mix up the dressing in the bottom of a bowl. I made mine with mayonnaise, lemon juice and zest, garlic olive oil, salt and pepper with chopped up fennel fronds. I love roasting fennel bulbs but was stuck about what to do with the leftover beautiful and bountiful fronds – this was my solution! Instantly added color, texture and a faint hint of anise-y flavour (don’t fear the fennel, it is really subtle used in this way). Then I added the potatoes, some red onion (why do we call them red onions when they are really purple??). Mixed it all together and added more salt and pepper to taste. This is destined to become my new signature potluck/BBQ contribution. At least until I enter my next flavor phase.

KC Shomler

Lemony Potato Salad with Fennel Recipes are Merely a Suggestion KC Shomler Lemony Potato Salad with Fennel Recipes are Merely a Suggestion KC Shomler Lemony Potato Salad with Fennel Recipes are Merely a Suggestion KC Shomler Lemony Potato Salad with Fennel Recipes are Merely a Suggestion KC Shomler Lemony Potato Salad with Fennel Recipes are Merely a Suggestion KC Shomler

Lemony Potato Salad with Fennel Recipes are Merely a Suggestion KC Shomler Lemony Potato Salad with Fennel Recipes are Merely a Suggestion KC Shomler Lemony Potato Salad with Fennel Recipes are Merely a Suggestion KC Shomler Lemony Potato Salad with Fennel Recipes are Merely a Suggestion KC Shomler Lemony Potato Salad with Fennel Recipes are Merely a Suggestion KC Shomler Lemony Potato Salad with Fennel Recipes are Merely a Suggestion KC Shomler Lemony Potato Salad with Fennel Recipes are Merely a Suggestion KC Shomler Lemony Potato Salad with Fennel Recipes are Merely a Suggestion KC Shomler Lemony Potato Salad with Fennel Recipes are Merely a Suggestion KC Shomler Lemony Potato Salad with Fennel Recipes are Merely a Suggestion KC Shomler Lemony Potato Salad with Fennel Recipes are Merely a Suggestion KC Shomler Lemony Potato Salad with Fennel Recipes are Merely a Suggestion KC Shomler Lemony Potato Salad with Fennel Recipes are Merely a Suggestion KC Shomler

What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name? by KC Shomler Recipes Are Merely a Suggestion

You know, I’ve never loved my name. It didn’t ever feel like it suited me. I always dreamed about being a Julie when I was a kid (Why this particular name, I have no idea. Possibly the cruise director from The Love Boat?!). In high school my close friends started calling me by my initials, KC. That became a treasured nickname. So I guess even my friends didn’t see me as a Karen. For a while I entertained the idea of having a nom de plume or pen name. The name I came up with? “Serendipity Chance”. Ha! Sounds so cheesy now, but it might have been ok if I was going to write erotica. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Later, a friend and I decided we would each have alter-ego names to suit the non-mom side of our personas. She was Coco and I was Veronica. Sounds more daring and a hint glamorous. We had some good adventures. I still kind of like the idea of Veronica.

There was a story about my name this morning in the New York Times. The goddamned New York Fucking Times! All about how “Karen” has degenerated into shorthand for a middle aged, white racist asshole of a woman. Jesus! My name has morphed from an ill-fitting suit of clothes to something akin to a  Nazi swastika. Before, I just sort of tolerated my name but didn’t ever really identify with it and now…well now I don’t even know what to do with it.

What’s in a Name? by KC Shomler Recipes Are Merely a Suggestion

Changing it seems cowardly and perhaps somehow like I am admitting guilt. I get it that sensible people probably won’t assume that just because I have the name and I am middle aged and white that I embody everything about this particular meme. However, I also know that people are often lazy thinkers. So, there will be plenty of people that will make these assumptions about me based on my name. Nothing I can do about that I guess, but it still irks me. My name has been hijacked.

Fuck it; from now on just call me Veronica.

KC Shomler

What’s in a Name? by KC Shomler Recipes Are Merely a Suggestion

A Grief Explored

A Grief Explored by KC Shomler

I finally realized that I am grieving for my country. Duh. I’m no stranger to grieving, but this is new.

I’m grieving for the loss of any sense of an attitude of cohesiveness, shared burden and basic common decency toward each other. It appears we are increasingly out for our own interests, every man for himself, fuck you I got mine.

I’m grieving for the absence of a presidential president. Someone with class, vision, leadership and, well, couth. Or maybe even someone who at least recognizes the value in appearing this way (I’m not naive).

I’m grieving for our loss of place in the world. We used to be great. Maybe rather brash and crude at times, but still, perhaps arguably, a commanding and inspiring world leader. Now? We are basically the laughingstock of planet Earth. And slowly imploding in a fiery ball of unchecked rampaging virus, civil unrest, racial injustice, economic freefall, and a healthcare system finally unmasked for the total shitshow that it really is. Now is the time for us to come together to fix this. Sadly,  we can’t even to talk to each other when so much needs to be said. I thought we were better than this. My heart is heavy.

 

KC Shomler