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Wed, May. 20th, 2015, 04:53 pm

if i had stayed in grad school it would have been neat to study the psycholinguistics of gendered pronouns, as a category of referring expressions, and how people react to unexpected pronoun genders, and what sorts of things make using an unexpected gender pronoun easier.

Wed, Feb. 20th, 2013, 10:31 pm
Making Mead

Masala Chai Mead
Makes 1 gallon

Ingredients (approximate):
11c unfiltered apple cider
4lbs (5c) wildflower honey
2T PG tips (blend of Assam, Ceylon and Kenyan black tea)
2T cardamom seeds (crushed)
4.5 cinnamon sticks (cracked)
2T star anise (cracked)
2T cloves (crushed)
2T black pepper (crushed)
1/2 a nutmeg (grated)
2 pods vanilla (sliced lengthwise)
1/4lb of fresh ginger (sliced into ⅛” discs)
30 golden raisins
1 packet Fleischmann's Yeast

2 1-gallon glass jugs with caps
1 airlock (a balloon with a pinprick in it will serve)
1 siphoning hose

Combine all ingredients in a one gallon jug. Cap with an airlock and leave in a cool, dark place. After two months, or once fermentation has stopped and sediment has begun to settle to the bottom, replace the airlock with a bottle cap. After another two months, siphon off the mead above the sediment into a clean one gallon jug and cap. Let sit until ready to serve. When bottling for serving, avoiding disturbing any residual sediment and siphon into a clean bottle.

Started 9/6/12
Capped 11/14/12 - at this point clove was the overpoweringly primary flavor, with faint hints of cardamom and cinnamon.
Racked 1/14/13 - at this point the clove flavor had mellowed out, allowing the other spices to come through more strongly.
Bottled 2/20/13 - at this point, the spices blend very nicely, creating a sweet, warm mead with a well-rounded flavor profile.

This is the very first mead I’ve brewed, and I did it with practically no equipment. I brewed in the jug the cider came in and used a balloon for an airlock. I actually did not have a siphon, so I simply poured between containers as slowly and carefully as I could, with the aid of a funnel. While my other supplies served admirably in spite of their humbleness, I do strongly recommend actually siphoning the mead rather than pouring it, as I ended up transferring a fair amount of sediment each time.

This recipe is entirely of my own devising and is not period. With the exception of the vanilla, which is a New World seasoning, I made an effort to mimic a traditional Indian masala chai spice blend. This is why I used spices native to India such as star anise and cassia even though they were not available in Europe during period. Unfortunately, I could not find any pure Assam black tea, so I approximated by using a blend that includes it. Although a mead similar to this one could have theoretically been made in the mid 1600s, by which time vanilla, star anise, cassia, and tea had become available in Europe, it’s unlikely that anyone would have done so; the combination of masala chai with vanilla is a purely modern innovation, and the incorporation of vanilla masala chai into mead likely even more so.

The Masali Chai Mead is in the jug on the right. This is what it looked like the day after I started fermentation - very cloudy with a noticeably inflated balloon.
And here is its appearance after two months of fermentation - clearer, with a layer of sediment settled on the bottom, and a completely deflated balloon. Note how the tea and spices have infused into it, giving it a much darker color than the mead beside it.

Tue, Jan. 18th, 2011, 08:32 pm
gender roles in our society are broken

this entry is still VERY MUCH under construction, but i'd like some commentary on it anyway
it is in many ways a continuation of the thoughts of this rough draft post made a year ago: http://illicitlearning.livejournal.com/56126.html

as this reddit comment illustrates:

there is a process occurring in our society, where the roles of men and women are being redefined. in the past, women were considered very much to be second class citizens, and the woman's sphere was kept very separate from the man's sphere. feminist activism has attempted to merge the male and female spheres, with varying degrees of success. in some ways, it has been extremely successful. in others, it has been less so.

the current problem as i see it is this one: women have increasing (but still limited) access to the men's sphere - it is becoming more and more okay for a woman to do "masculine" things. but less progress has been made on giving men access to the woman's sphere. this is, as far as i can tell, based on the very fundamental idea that femininity is worse than masculinity. it is understandable for women to want to have access to masculine things. it is not understandable for men to want to have access to feminine things. in short, because the female sphere is seen as undesirable and relatively unimportant, less work has been made to grant men access to it than has been done to grant women access to the male sphere.

it seems like most gender stereotypes in our society are two faces of the same bad coin. some examples of how gender role segregation hurts both men and women:

if a man
likes children
can cook
can clean up after himself
knows how to do laundry
doesn't like sports
is unemployed
wears makeup
wears 'feminine' clothing
has long hair
follows fashion
isn't interested in sex
he is treated with surprise and suspicion.

if a woman
doesn't like children
can't cook
doesn't keep a tidy house
can't do laundry
has a demanding job
likes sports
has a high sex drive
doesn't wear makeup
wear 'masculine' clothes
has short hair
doesn't follow fashion
she is treated with disbelief and derision.

women are discouraged from pursuing careers that would make it harder for them to care for their presumed children (even if they would make more money to provide for their children). they are granted extended maternity leave. men are discouraged from pursuing careers that would prevent them from providing for their presumed children (even if they would have more time to spend caring for their children). they are granted no paternity leave.

divorce and single parenting - men are expected to be providers and are not granted time to spend with their children. women are assumed to lack sufficient financial resources to provide for their children, and are granted caretakership over them.

this sort of thing is also related to the concept of chivalry - men would do certain things for women because it was assumed that women were incapable or needed the help. and women were reluctant to give up those benefits because they were nice, even though they were based on negative views of the feminine. in this case, men are reluctant to assume feminine roles, seeing that

when a news article is posted about a man being raped (especially if it was by a woman, ESPECIALLY if it was by a young, thin, conventionally attractive woman), people don't react with horror and sympathy. the overwhelming response is disbelief and patronizing envy - he must have wanted it. it is seen as masculine to want sex with young, thin, conventionally attractive women. thus, those men who don't - those who like older, or fatter, or less attractive women, or men - are seen as less masculine. men who were raped by young, thin, attractive women are seen as crazy or lying. furthermore, masculinity entails strength - it is assumed that a man could physically stop his rape "if he really didn't want it". if he couldn't, he is considered weak and unmasculine.

-since the beginning of the feminist movement, there has been a fear that men will be made to play the woman's role. this fear persists, and it is one of the main problems with the redifinition of the male gender role. men feel like women are taking over their role and making them irrelevant, but men taking on the feminine role is not seen as an option.

when a trans woman is seen as male, she is seen as a threat to other women.

Other reading to do before I write the final version:

THIS IMAGE: http://carovisi.tumblr.com/post/4441982078/the-person-owning-thirdw0rld-tumblr-com-says-this

This post sums up kyriarchy as it applies to self expression pretty well: http://www.reddit.com/r/TwoXChromosomes/comments/gn2sq/this_is_such_a_depressing_social_truth/c1osnpi

Mon, May. 24th, 2010, 04:28 am
Birthday Wishlist

Any of the pre-orders of Family Man volume 1
Gunnerkrigg Court Symbol, Ladies Large
Endorphin Choker Necklace (Prohibitively expensive, but awesome)
Molecule Earrings. I think I'd like Serotonin and Dopamine
Custom bracelet of Oxytocin (amino acid sequence CYIQNCPLG)
With all three, I'd have a complete set of love and happiness molecule jewelry! And it would only cost like a thousand bucks >_>

Starting my wishlist for this year. To be updated as I have more time.

Sun, Nov. 30th, 2008, 06:00 am

things i'd like to have
(to be continued)

kitchenaid mixer
big frying pan with tall sides
one of those nice juicers with the lever
other kitcheny supplies: baking sheet, knives, etc
crafting supplies (for chainmail, or possibly leatherworking)
nice shoes to wear to work
steampunk costume supplies
alchemical supplies, such as any of the components of this.
pretty much anything on my amazon wishlist.
jewelry or other paraphernalia with symbols of hope, joy, love, and so on. things with the brahmaviharas would be very cool.
tee shirts, size ladies large: mc menses, tree of life (the one actually entitled "tree of life", on pine green.). The Peek-a-Boo tshirt from VGcats, except they're sold out.
sims 3
a portable external hard drive (preferable 500g+)

also, see my last wishlist post for further things: http://illicitlearning.livejournal.com/38735.html

Fri, Jan. 25th, 2008, 06:45 pm
mmm, quiche

I made some quiches! Here is the recipe I used; I think it is pretty good.

You'll need:
A large mixing bowl (seriously. pretty big.)
Mixing spoon (for mixing the filling)
Whisk/fork (for beating eggs)
Pie tins (i used two, you don't have to)
Frying pan (for sautéing stuff)
A little butter (unless you wanna sauté using the bacon fat, which may or may not work)

For the crust:
2c flour
3/4c shortening
5tbsp cold water
1tsp salt

Preheat oven to 450. Mix flour and salt. Knead in the shortening. Sprinkle in water, kneading as you go. Once it makes a nice ball, roll the dough into pie crusts (i recommend doing this on wax paper). Put your crusts in pie tins, making sure there are no holes, and the edges are all nice and pretty. Bake at 450 for ~10min (just lightly browned).

For the filling:
6 large eggs
1c (8oz) sour cream
1c (8oz) half&half
1c (8oz) blarney castle gouda style cheese
3/4c (6oz) brie
3/4c (6oz) cheddar
1 can (5oz) canned spinach
1 large sweet onion
8oz button mushrooms
8 strips bacon
4 cloves garlic
1tsp salt
1/2tsp pepper
large dash paprika

Preheat oven to 350. Cook the bacon and crumble it. Grate the cheeses (or kinda mush the cheese, in the case of the brie). Drain the spinach. Dice the onion, slice the mushrooms if they're not already. Mince the garlic. Sauté onion, mushrooms and garlic together. Beat the eggs. Mix in pretty much everything else (ie, sourcream, half&half, all cheese, spinach, onion, mushrooms, garlic, bacon, salt, pepper, paprika). Pour into pie shells. You could probably fit it all into one pie tin, but I split it into two. Bake at 350 for 45min to an hour, until nicely browned and a knife comes out clean-ish. (My quiches stayed in for ~53 minutes, but really could have gone either way; how long you leave them in is up to your preference.) Remove from the oven and let cool for ~10min. Eat hot tasty quiche!

Thoughts: Double the mushrooms, maybe. Perhaps more meat, and possibly use sausage or ham instead of bacon. Probably really good with tomato -- maybe slice some on top after it's baked, or even bake it in?

Wed, Nov. 21st, 2007, 11:17 pm
more musical memery

Okay, everyone. The idea behind this meme is to pick a songwriter (or poet, i suppose) and answer each of these ten questions with quotes from their songs. I picked Suzanne Vega.

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