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Blair Kilpatrick's Blog

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I have never crossed a picket line.  But if the latest threat of a strike shuts down BART, the Bay Area Rapid Transit System, I may have to.  And not just because it's the only way I can get to work.   First, let me make it clear: Unions are in my blood. My Slovenian grandfather, a...
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The headline from a story on Jezebel caught my eye:  “SNL Girls Promo Featured a New, Rubber-Handed Albanian Roommate." That rubber hand was definitely a new twist on the well-worn, offensive stereotype of Eastern Europeans that has been popular in American culture for decades. And why was...
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So let me get this straight. If I don't like the looks of you.  If I think you shouldn't be walking in my neighborhood.  If I don't like kids in hoodies.  If  I forget about the various incarnations my own kids have taken over the years.  If  I don't like the fact that...
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Any self-respecting grammar snob should cringe when their eyes land on a sentence like this one. Do you see the problem?  (Hint: The subject of the sentence is singular.) If you stumble over the word "their" because it is a plural pronoun, you are probably 1) a grammar snob 2) over 40 or 3)...
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Equality is Not Always Justice
I try to be selective about passing along Facebook images. But this graphic, titled Equality is Not Always Justice, caught my eye. Visually appealing. A standard liberal message, delivered simply and well.   More sweet than edgy.  Posted by a Bay Area music acquaintance.  So I...
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"What do you want to do about Hank's ashes?" That was the strange and unsettling message my husband discovered on his cell phone last night. Listening to him react, I shared his shock and confusion.  It took a moment to process. The message was from our vet's office. Hank was a cat.  Part...
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Ghostly hands beneath the strudel
“Don’t be afraid to treat it rough.” Treat me rough, baby. It sounded like a bad country western tune. But it’s not a song. This line appears in an apple strudel recipe in Woman’s Glory: The Kitchen, a 1950s cookbook published by the Slovenian Women’s Union of America. Last December, that yellowing...
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Ocean Park Motel, SF
The FoodBuzz Blogger Festival had given everyone fair warning:  Book hotels early!  Housing would be tight, because a number of big events were scheduled in San Francisco that same weekend in late October.  So I didn’t even bother with downtown San Francisco. I hoped to find...
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FoodBuzz Blogger Festival 2012, Taste Pavilion
It was time for the most popular event at the FoodBuzz Blogger Festival: The Taste Pavilion. When my husband and I headed upstairs to an exhibition hall at the Metreon, people were already lined up to get in.  One line for official convention attendees.  Another for registered guests, and...
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It was a Saturday morning in late October. I was on my way to San Francisco, to attend the annual FoodBuzz Blogger Festival. This would be my first time at the event. It was also my first public step into the world of food writers.  Fortunately, I had convinced my husband to come...
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On Wednesday, the night after President Obama’s re-election, I was watching an analysis of the popular vote—on CNN, I think.  Unlike the electoral vote, it had been close. But an examination through the twin lenses of race and religion told a more complicated story. I watched as figures...
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Last January, my ethnic roots research—and my writing—took a surprising turn. As part of my research into the Slovenian American community, I had collected a handful of vintage ethnic cookbooks.  That gave me the idea for a new project: I would make one Slovenian dinner a week, drawing on...
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  I try to avoid Facebook rants. But this week, for  Rick Santorum, I made an exception.  Here is the polite version.                                            ...
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Prekmurska Gibanica
I was surprised when I learned about the new twist in our annual neighborhood Fourth of July party. Someone had proposed a pie baking contest, of all things. Not what you'd expect in Berkeley, California. But then I had an idea:  Maybe I could bring a Slovenian pastry.   I had been...
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I didn't know I wanted a writing mentor, back in 2000. Actually, I had barely admitted to myself that I wanted to start writing in a serious way. But somehow, writing had slipped back into my life, hitching a ride on my accordion.   It had started out slowly, just letters and e-mails to...
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