He’ll Be Back—To Break Your Back

photo of a tractor that says ARNOLD

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would have given farmworkers a minimal set of protections. According to Politics of the Plate:

SB 1121 was hardly a radical-sounding piece of legislation. Among other things, it would have given California’s 700,000 farm workers the right to take one day off out of every seven. Hourly paid agricultural employees would have received overtime pay after eight hours per day or 40 hours per week.

As the LA Times noted, farmworkers are the only workers in California who are not entitled to these considerations. Hmmm, why would that be, I wonder? Certainly not because lobbying groups like the California Farm Bureau Federation mounted an extraordinary campaign against this bill, as they have against health reform and other attempts to bring the status of farmworkers in line with that of the rest of the state.

It’s  funny, too when you read the CFBF website, where all the farm owners are complaining about the shortage of workers. How could one attract more workers? Maybe pay them more????? Like overtime? Nah, that would never work.

Smooth Moves

photo of display case of brightly packaged dog smoothie boxes

I keep meaning to take a picture of the sign in the pet food store by my house advertising dog smoothies, but then I found them on the internets and here we are. WHAT THE HELL SMOOTHIES FOR DOGS? As my friend Crystal put it, “It’s not like dogs are known for their refined palates. Howard eats garbage and feces.” (She used a dirtier word than feces but I am feeling prissy.) Seriously, though, what the hell?

Mr. Barksmith’s Cool Treats ™ come in Fruit Delight and Peanut Butter flavors and they are dairy, wheat, and gluten free—because so many dogs are vegan and  allergic to wheat. You don’t know how many times the dogs at my anarchist womyn’s reading group can’t eat the scones that a new person  brought because they have wheat and dairy in them. Some people just don’t understand revolution.

And if you are so revolutionary that you want to DIY your dog smoothies, don’t worry because there are, of course, recipes. I can’t wait until there are toppings and stir-ins available, because I think most dogs would want some used cat litter or three-day-old sidewalk pizza in their smoothie to spice it up a little.  Also how many dogs can even use a straw? Good grief.

DIY Prometheus

a "fire" made from pretzels and candy

The Eagle Rock School of Self-Reliance has “Wild Food Outings” where you forage and then make a salad, and classes in survival skills, but I would totally go for the class on fire-making!! It also has a salad so you are getting two for one.

FIRE WORKSHOP, $25. Learn to make fire from bow and drill, hand drill, magnesium, flint and steel, batteries, the sun, etc. We’ll also go for a short walk and collect a salad. Hahamongna Watershed Park, Location 2.

When I was in Girl Scouts (shut up) we learned how to make fire using pretzels. You use the pretzel nuggets to symbolize coals and wadded up newspaper, and the thin sticks for kindling, and the logs for logs. It is amazing I have retained this knowledge, but I could not tell you one thing about the Louisiana Purchase and I have to look up Manifest Destiny on a regular basis.

Say It Ain’t So, Joe

drawing of a refrigerator with a note on itDear Joe:

I hate my job. Do you hate yours? We probably hate ours for a lot of the same reasons–overworked, underpaid, little chance of advancement to anything remotely satisfying, no respect from our peers or superiors, terrible hours, a horrible commute, a dying industry, fluorescent lights, canned air, forced after-hours socializing, privacy-free cubicles, a pathetic health plan, and a constant feeling of despair. But you know what Joe? I think I might hate my job un poquito more than you hate yours. Want to know why?

Because I work with you.

Yes you, Joe. You and your goddamn lunch. Your goddamn lunch that you “cook” at work. Your goddamn lunch that you “cook” at work, but you put quotation marks around it because  “compared with what I usually do at home, this might not exactly be considered cooking.” Shut up, Joe! Shut up, shut up, shut up!

Making your lunch at home and bringing it is one thing. That is smart, healthy, and thrifty. But when I walk into the micro-kitchen we are equipped with here at work, Joe, I don’t want to have to deal with you and your sardines, and your “game” of making pasta with a teakettle. Perhaps you are finding your experiments “pungently satisfying,” but it’s a workplace, Joe. And the one thing a workplace should never be is “pungent.”

So I’ve “cooked” up this letter for you Joe, along with the rest of the office. We made a little game of it, and used the materials at hand–a piece of copy paper and a pen. And we’re putting it on the refrigerator for you to read instead of “cooking” today at lunch.


The rest of the Washington Post

Keep On Truckin’

robert crumb cartoon of a guy with a big foot

Taco trucks are so old-school, you guys. Now I only get my food at the CSA Farm Truck. Technically you have to be a member to shop there but you can sign up for the CSA on the spot and pick up “pickling cucumbers, radishes and yellow squash, along with other regional products from up north, like Walpole Creamery’s raw-milk maple walnut ice cream and Vermont Coffee Company’s fair-trade, organic beans.”

After that, I will wander over to the Marlowe & Sons slaughter truck, where I can kill a chicken or cut off a few ribs from a cow for dinner. Then I’ll stomp some grapes at the wine truck and, if I have time, pick up some bread at the knead truck. What could be more environmentally sound than boutique delivery of authentic food?