Monday, November 30, 2009

Smile

We watched this movie on Saturday. It was really funny, and very 70s. My favorite character was Big Bob (played by Bruce Dern). He plays kind of an asshole, but the kind that you can't help liking. He's annoying but also affable and enthusiastic. I could totally imagine a remake with Will Ferrell in that role.

Melanie Griffith has a small part, as a beauty pageant contestant. She was so sweetly pretty back then:

Smile is a 1975 film directed by American director Michael Ritchie, with a screenplay by Jerry Belson, about a beauty pageant in Santa Rosa, California. It stars Bruce Dern and Barbara Feldon and introduced a number of young actresses who later went on to greater success and recognition, such as Melanie Griffith, Annette O'Toole, Denise Nickerson, and Colleen Camp. The film is a satirical comedy-drama focusing on small-town America and its peculiarities, preoccupations, and hypocrisies. The film was subsequently made into a 1986 Broadway musical with songs by Marvin Hamlisch and Howard Ashman.

The plot revolves around the contestants and people involved with California's Young American Miss Pageant held in Santa Rosa, California. Barbara Feldon starred as Brenda DiCarlo (the pageant's Executive Director), with Nicholas Pryor as Andy DiCarlo (Brenda's husband), Bruce Dern as Big Bob Freelander (the head judge), Geoffrey Lewis as Wilson Shears (pageant producer), and as the contestants, Joan Prather as Robin Gibson, Annette O'Toole as Doria Hudson, and Melanie Griffith as Karen Love. Choreographer Michael Kidd starred as Tommy French, the pageant's stage director. The movie was filmed on location in and around Santa Rosa, with the pageant held at Veteran's Memorial Auditorium.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Book Review: Secret Girl

I bought this book yesterday on impulse and just finished reading it this morning (it's a quick read).

The author, Molly Bruce Jacobs ("Brucie"), tells the story of sobering up at age 38, and meeting her sister Anne for the first time. Anne was born with hydrocephalus and moderate retardation and placed in an institution at birth. Brucie didn't even learn she had another sister until age 13, when her father finally revealed the secret to her and her sister Laura (the "secret girl" was actually Laura's twin).

It continued to remain a shameful family secret, with no family members ever visiting or contacting Anne, even though she lived only a half an hour away. The family had more than enough resources to keep Anne at home, but as the author explains, the parents' seemingly horrifying treatment of their own daughter was actually considered to be a "normal" decision at that time (the 1950s).

As Brucie forges a relationship with her lost sister, she gains startling insight into her own problems, discovering that her own lifelong feelings of inferiority and rejection are what fueled her alcoholism. She realizes that she has a surprisingly strong, natural kinship with this sister that she had always assumed was so completely different from herself.

Brucie is now a painter; I looked her up online and saw some of her paintings, including this one at left (called Oranges).

I liked this paragraph (describing her thoughts at age 13): "I was relieved that Anne would remain a family secret. For I was still wrapped up in the naive belief that I was something of a princess, destined for reward and success, and entitled to glamorous pleasures in a world that did not accept the likes of Anne. A world I now understand as displaying a weakness, or at best an apprehension born from ignorance, in its custom of hiding people like Anne behind institutional walls."

Friday, November 27, 2009

Tamarin

I saw this little guy on Larry King the other night. It was the TINIEST little monkey, with such a strangely human serious-looking little face. Jack Hanna was the guest, and the tamarin monkey was eating meal worms out of Jack Hanna's hand. The tamarin was grabbing the meal worms with its little hands and shoving them into his mouth and chewing. I just cannot explain how weird but cute it was.

Here's some more fun facts about the tamarin monkey:

The tamarins are any of the squirrel-sized New World monkeys from the family Callitrichidae, classified as the genus Saguinus. The closely related lion tamarins are in genus Leontopithecus.

Tamarin habitats range from southern Central America (Costa Rica) through middle South America (Amazon basin and north Bolivia, however not in the mountainous parts).

The various species of tamarins differ considerably according to their appearance, ranging from nearly all black through mixtures of black, brown and white. Many species typically have mustache-like facial hairs. Their body size ranges from 18 to 30 cm (plus a 25 to 44 cm long tail) and they weigh from 220 to 900 grams. Tamarins differ from marmosets primarily in the fact that the lower canine teeth are clearly longer than the incisors.

Tamarins are inhabitants of tropical rain forests and open forest areas. They are diurnal and arboreal, and run and jump quickly through the trees. Tamarins live together in groups of up to 40 members consisting of one or more families. More frequently, though, groups are composed of just three to nine members.

Tamarins are omnivores, eating fruits and other plant parts as well as spiders, insects, small vertebrates and bird eggs.

Gestation is typically 140 days, and births are normally twins. The father primarily cares for the young, bringing them to their mother to nurse. After approximately one month the young begin to eat solid food, although they aren't fully weaned for another two to three months. They reach full maturity in their second year.

In captivity, tamarins live to be 18 years old.

Sharks



This is my desk. I have a shark/Hawaii theme.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

My Walk Home






Here are some things I saw on my walk home from work yesterday. I had to wait for the University Bridge to go up to let a boat through before I could walk over it. I took some pictures of boats, the bridge, and also some of the houseboats--a very Seattle sight. I think it would be really fun to live in one of those houseboats.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Could You Live With That Bath?



This skit is funny if you've watched a lot of home decorating shows. The people on those shows always totally freak out at unconventional color choices, and if you happen to like bold colors (like I do), you're always thinking, "That doesn't look that bad. Is that really such a big deal?"

Martha Stewart's Bath Fizzies

I've made fizzing bath bombs before, but it never occurred to me to use a silicone ice-cube tray to create a uniform shape. That idea is genius! It's a fun gift idea, especially if you want to make your own gifts without everything always being about food:

Ice-cube trays serve as molds, giving the fizzies their shape. Using a flexible silicone model lets you slide the cubes out smoothly without breaking them.

Show off the colors of the bath fizzies in glass jars with screw tops, the kind used for storing sugar and flour. Pack each type of fizzy in a separate jar so the scents won't meld. Write the name of the scent on a vellum tag (choose a shade that matches the fizzies), and punch a hole in the top.

Thread the tag with ribbon, and tie it around the jar.

Citric acid, a common food additive, is available at wine-making-supply stores, some spice shops, and online. [Beebo's note: And also in places like PCC and Whole Foods.] When citric acid is combined with baking soda and placed in water, a chemical reaction creates bubbles.

Makes 1 dozen (use 2 per bath)

Tools and Materials
1/2 cup citric acid
1 cup baking soda
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
About 6 drops food coloring
10 to 15 drops essential oil(s)
Special equipment:
2-ounce travel-size spray bottle, plastic pipette, silicone ice-cube tray, storage jars

Directions
1. Stir together citric acid, baking soda, and cornstarch in a glass measuring cup.
2. Pass mixture through a fine sieve or a flour sifter into a mixing bowl. Stir in sugar.
3. Fill spray bottle with water, and add food coloring. Spritz mixture lightly (it should become damp but not fizzy) until you can pack mixture with your hands.
4. Using pipette, add oil, 1 drop at a time, until strength of scent is to your liking. Using a metal spoon or your hands, mix ingredients until color is even throughout (mixture will begin to dry out; when this happens, spritz until packable again).
5. Spoon into ice-cube tray, pressing firmly. Let dry at room temperature overnight. Pop out of tray gently. Transfer to jars.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Jedward

Are you as chuffed as I am that Jedward may be replacing Jordan on I'm a Celebrity? As you know, they were the quiffed-up two that either you loved or loathed on X Factor.

Oh wait, I just remembered, we're American, so we've never heard of Jedward. Well, apparently, they are the latest media sensation to take Britain by storm. Their tried-and-true angle is: we are laughably talentless but our clueless enthusiasm is adorable! Just like William Hung. As someone who purchased not one, but two William Hung albums, I am clearly exactly the sort of person who would easily fall prey to the wacky charms of Jedward.

They were even spoofed by David Walliams (of Little Britain) which is definitely an indicator of success (of some kind). David said: "I love everything about John & Edward. Except their singing. I felt a strange kind of inner peace being dressed up as them. I now dress up as them all the time and I'm hoping they will ask me to join the band."

In this article from the Sun, the twins explain their rapacious love of all attention, even negative attention (which is the hallmark of fame whores everywhere). Also, I love that they hope to work with "major artists" like "Boyzone":

DUMPED X FACTOR duo Jedward last night revealed they were inspired by the HATRED of music fans. Tone-deaf John and Edward Grimes claimed criticism of their voices drove them on. The Irish twins also believe they will never have a No1 - and may release a classical record.

The 18-year-olds, who are tipped to make millions, finally got the chop on Sunday night. They say the flak they received over their voices actually helped them.

John told TV Biz: "We love the fact people hated us enough to actually, you know... hate us. Deep down the people who hate you do have a soft spot for you somewhere."

The pair said they now hope to work with major artists such as Britney Spears and Boyzone. But John said: "We won't be top of the charts."

Edward added that it didn't matter that they weren't note perfect. He insisted: "A lot of bands aren't great singers. We put on a performance, that's what we do."

John said: "Our voice coach Yvie said we were improving and people couldn't handle that. When we're 20 you're not going to believe it... "

The duo even suggested they may release a classical record.

Edward said: "We're very classical in our approach. We complement each other. We can sing classical music as a bass and tenor."

The pair also thanked mentor Louis Walsh for sticking by them - and said they would miss Simon Cowell, who described them as "vile".

John insisted: "We don't hate him for the things he said."

Each twin is set to pocket £100,000 on next year's X Factor tour.

They have signed to Modest Management which is taking bookings for them to be paid £10,000 PER SONG to perform live.

A show source said: "They're the biggest act in Britain now. The sky's the limit as far as money goes."

Crazy Shit My Boss Has Said Over the Years

My boss is a certified froot loop. Here is a brief list of just a few of the insane assertions she has made over the years:

1. "I have always wondered how the entire population of the world came from just two people, Adam and Eve." (She is not particularly religious, which makes this even weirder.)

2. People from India have good manners because of the British occupation. The British taught them how to be proper and drink tea. (Me: "I think Brazilians are the most polite.") The same is true for the Brazilians.

3. "Other people float in water, but I sink." (Me: "But really, everyone floats.") "No, I sink."

4. Black people have a sense of entitlement.

5. You've Got Mail was a really great movie.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Weird News of the Day

My heart really goes out to this poor guy. If you were searching for your biological father, this would be about the last person in the world you would hope to find:

A man who went in search of his biological father was shocked to learn it was famed serial killer Charles Manson.

Matthew Roberts, a 41-year-old DJ who lives in Los Angeles, said the shock of discovering his father sent him into depression. "I didn't want to believe it. I was frightened and angry. It's like finding out that Adolf Hitler is your father,” Mr Roberts told The Sun.
"I'm a peaceful person - trapped in the face of a monster."

Despite his revulsion Mr Roberts has been exchanging mail with Manson, who is serving life in Corcoran State Prison in California over nine murders committed by his “Family” of followers in 1969. “He sends me weird stuff and always signs it with his swastika,” Mr Roberts said.

“At first I was stunned and depressed. I wasn't able to speak for a day. I remember not being able to eat."

Mr Roberts grew up in Rockford, Illinois but didn’t know he was adopted until his sister told him at age 10. Despite his adoptive father telling him “nothing good” would come of discovering who his real parents were, Mr Roberts used a social services agency to locate his mother, Terry. She confirmed Mr Roberts was adopted and told him his birth name was Lawrence Alexander but would not reveal the last name.

Eventually Terry relented and revealed that Mr Roberts' father was Manson, who she claims raped her in 1967 after she had succumbed to his manic charisma. "She even said, 'You look just like him'," Mr Roberts said recalling the shocking revelation.

Manson has confirmed that he could be Mr Roberts’ father and that he remembers Terry. The former cult leader wrote to Mr Roberts that: "The truth is the truth. The truth hurts."

Mr Roberts fears he may have inherited some of Manson’s characteristics but insists he is a very peaceful person.

"I'm not nuts but I've got a little bit of it,” Mr Roberts said. "It's scary and upsetting. If I get worked up, my eyes get really big and that's really freaked some people out before. I've tried to tone that down quite a bit. I don't like having that effect on people.

"I don't even like the fact that I'm big. It makes me even scarier. My hero is Gandhi. I'm an extremely non-violent, peaceful person and a vegetarian. I don't even kill bugs. I've had long hair all my life. I could make it go away, but I can't let the world and their fears change me."

Mr Roberts has a prison phone number for Manson but says a “subconscious block” stops him from calling." If I did talk to Charlie on the phone, I would say, 'I truly understand what it's like to be you, more than anyone could ever imagine on so many levels,'” Mr Roberts said.

"He's my biological father - I can't help but have some kind of emotional connection. That's the hardest thing of all - feeling love for a monster who raped my mother. I don't want to love him, but I don't want to hate him either."

From: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/2740414/I-traced-my-dad-and-discovered-he-is-Charles-Manson.html

This Time for Sure!

I love it when celebrities marry and divorce a lot, especially when it's the same person over and over again. Pamela Anderson has practically turned this behavior into an art form, having married and divorced Tommy Lee twice, before marrying Kid Rock in about 10 different rapid-fire wedding ceremonies...and then divorcing him too. Actually, Pamela deserves bonus points for marrying either of those guys even once.

In a similar display of spectacularly bad judgement, Amy Winehouse seems poised to re-marry her good-for-nothing ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil, recently released from prison after doing time for assault. He also tried to sue her at one point, demanding money from sales of Back to Black because every song on that record is about him. I don't know whatever happened to that lawsuit, but it was probably laughed out of court. And he's a heroin addict. This guy just gets better and better.

But I say: go for it, Amy! It's true love! What could possibly go wrong?:

Amy Winehouse and Blake Fielder-Civil are reportedly planning to remarry after the troubled singer proposed to her ex-husband.

The 'Back To Black' singer reportedly told Blake Fielder-Civil she was planning to wear her engagement ring again and the reconciled couple are now planning a wedding for three months time.

According to Britain's News of the World newspaper, Blake told a friend: "We both know we have only ever been divorced on paper. This is the right thing to do. We have been talking on the phone five or six times a day. On Friday she told me she was going to put the engagement ring on. It's the engagement ring I gave Amy the first time. I think it cost £2,000 from Tiffany.


"We'd changed our status to married on Facebook a couple of weeks back but that was more of a laugh. This is the real deal. She told me she wanted to get married again. I feel so happy."

The wedding plans are currently on hold as under the terms of his prison release, Blake - who was jailed for attempting to pervert the course of justice and grievous bodily harm - is unable to return to London until February and is currently receiving treatment at a rehabilitation clinic in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England.

Until his return, Blake has pledged to stay faithful to Amy, despite admitting to sleeping with other women in recent months.

He said: "I'm not going to go near anyone else. I have discussed it with Amy. She understood we both had to try and move on. But I think deep down she always knew we'd tie the knot again." Blake, 27, divorced Amy, 25, in July on the grounds of her infidelity. They first married in May 2007.

Jordan Exodus

In a parallel universe, a former Big Brother contestant named Katie Price is a huge star, selling thousands of books and doing countless celebrity endorsements, while 2 unattractive little men nicknamed "Ant and Dec" are extremely famous TV hosts.

This parallel universe is called "England," and Katie Price (also known as "Jordan") has just made headlines in British celebrity news by quitting the reality show I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!:

Katie Price broke her silence on why she walked out of the I'm A Celebrity jungle after being asked to do yet another bushtucker trial.

Speaking soon after her overnight exit from the jungle she said: ''I'm not in it to win it, it makes no odds to me.

'I've done my challenges, people can see I'm genuine. I just don't want to be here any more. It's not about the money. I didn't come back here for that. I really miss my kids.'

And it seems she feels that she had achieved her aim in turning round the tide of negative public support she has suffered in recent months.

Confirming her exit on her Twitter micro-blogging page around 6am UK time this morning, she said: 'Hey thank you for all your support!! I tried my best.'

During her brief stay, the public has voted for her to take part in for every single trial, with varying degrees of success, but she cracked after being told she faced a seventh, along with the former boxer Joe Bugner.

The glamour model has been doused in 60,000 cockroaches, made to crawl through rat-infested tunnels and eaten all sorts of creepy-crawlies during her week in camp.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fluffy Dinner Rolls

I made these dinner rolls for Thanksgiving a few years back and they turned out great. The dough hook on my Kitchen-Aid mixer perfectly kneaded the dough, but this Cook's Country recipe includes instructions for how to make them without a mixer too:

Fluffy Make-Ahead Dinner Rolls

Makes 15 large rolls

Don't get the milk mixture too hot, or the dough won't rise.

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons for bowl and baking dish

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1/3 cup honey

4 tablespoons vegetable shortening

5-5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon yeast (rapid rise or instant)

2 teaspoons salt

1 large egg, plus 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. When oven reaches 200 degrees, shut oven off. Grease large bowl with 1 tablespoon butter. Line 13 by 9-inch baking dish with foil, leaving overhang on all sides. Grease foil with 1 tablespoon butter.

2. Place milk, honey, shortening, and remaining 3 tablespoons butter in large measuring cup. Microwave on high power until milk is warm (110 degrees) and butter and shortening begin to melt, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir well.

3. Mix 4 1/2 cups flour, yeast, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Turn mixer to low and slowly add milk mixture. After dough comes together, increase speed to medium, add 1 egg, and mix until dough is smooth, about 2 minutes. Add another 1/2 cup flour and knead until dough is shiny and smooth and comes away from sides of mixing bowl, 6 to 7 minutes (add up to 1/2 cup more flour if dough is too sticky). Turn dough onto unfloured surface and knead briefly to form smooth, cohesive ball. Transfer dough to buttered bowl and turn to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in turned-off oven until dough has doubled in size, 50 to 60 minutes.

4. Punch down dough on floured surface and divide into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into thick cylinder and cut each cylinder into 5 equal pieces. Working one piece at a time (keep remaining pieces covered with plastic wrap) and following photos, form dough pieces into smooth, taut rounds and arrange in prepared baking dish. Lightly press on dough rounds so they just touch each other. Cover baking dish with plastic wrap and return to turned-off oven until dough rounds have doubled in size, 50 to 60 minutes.

5. Remove dish from oven and heat oven to 375 degrees. Unwrap baking dish and brush rolls with egg-water mixture. Bake until rolls are deep golden brown, 25 to 27 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Using handles of foil sling, remove rolls from baking dish and cool on wire rack for 1 hour. Remove foil from rolls, return to rack, and cool completely, about 2 hours longer. Keeping rolls together, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then in foil; freeze for up to 1 month.

6. To serve: Remove plastic wrap and foil (reserve foil) from rolls, wrap in reserved foil, and defrost at room temperature for 2 hours. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake foil-wrapped rolls on baking sheet until heated through, about 30 minutes. Serve.

Rolls without a Mixer In step 3, mix 4 1/2 cups flour, yeast, and salt in large bowl. Make well in flour, then add milk mixture and egg to well. Stir with wooden spoon until dough becomes shaggy and difficult to stir. Turn dough out onto floured work surface and knead, adding remaining 1/2 cup flour (or more as needed), until dough forms smooth, cohesive ball, about 10 minutes. Proceed as directed.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

I'm lucky enough to work in a really healthy office environment, with a boss who is communicative, mature, logical, and just an all-around great gal. I would not like to strangle her until her eyes bleed, so this illustration is in no way relevant to my personal experience.

However, if you (unlike me) happen to have an ogre-like disgusting excuse for a human being for a boss, someone with the emotional maturity of a 3-year-old who possesses absolutely no social skills, and who sows negativity and hate wherever she goes...then you might appreciate the following list.

Apropos of nothing, my thoughts turned to sabotage yesterday, and I recalled this little list that I thought would be fun to post here. It's from issue 11 of Temp Slave, a zine I bought back in the 90s, published by Garrret County Press in Madison, WI.

This fun little article is by a contributor named "John C." and it's entitled 23 Ways. Some of the suggestions may no longer be relevant, since computers have changed a lot since the 90s. The suggestions are intended for revenge-minded temps, on their way out the door:

23 Ways
Computer vandalism just for the fun of it. The next time you run into a hell office temp job, here are 23 ways to add a little chaos to your surroundings.

1. Add common misspellings to spell check. This way the bad spellings won't be corrected in the future.

2. If using a word processor with autocorrect; create embarrassing autocorrect words--six to sex, luck to fuck, etc. Every time the next poor sap types the incorrect word, it will change on them.

3. Make the default printer a printer in another building--set the default page, set up to landscape, margins of about 4 inches.

4. Set up the desktop display so all the colors are black. This one can be a real hassle to troubleshoot.

5. Change the existing templates so they have the wrong address info on them.

6. in the web browser, change the URL on bookmarks.

7. Download porno to directories that hold clip art, delete all other clip art.

8. If 2 computers are next to each other, switch the cables so the keyboard controls what happens on the wrong computer.

9. Switch the mouse to left-handed mode, but leave it on the right side of the computer.

10. Change the hard drive's name to something stupid.

11. Add annoying sounds to every desktop function that you can.

12. Change pointers for desktop icons, so the Microsoft Excel icon opens solitaire, etc.

13. You stuck in a clip art folder. A malicious version of this would be to make the desktop icon point to a batch program that reformats the computer's hard drive.

14. Set default fonts to Wingdings everywhere you can.

15. Most web browsers have a setting for how much hard drive space the cache is allowed to take up, change this setting to 99%. The hard drive will fill up completely with useless info.

16. Send obnoxious spam out using the company email account--change the reply address to someone you don't like.

17. Company vehicles--always turn the radio on full blast, the heater on full blast, the windshield wipers on, and one of the blinkers on after you turn off the vehicle.

18. If the computer has a scheduler, schedule obnoxious pop up messages to appear months in the future.

19. Unplug random cables in the office.

20. On the phone, reprogram autodial numbers to inappropriate places.

21. Change the data type for fields in spreadsheet templates, change the number formats for fields with large numbers to take out commas, double the font size.

22. Stick chewing gum under as many desks as possible, right where people's knees are most likely to come in contact with it later.

23. Take apart the phones, printers, whatever will come apart, and stick some raw shrimp inside on your last day.

Drawing by Guy. I asked him to draw an illustration of a loving employee grasping her boss in a warm hug, in a moment of caring support and appreciation. I don't know why it came out like this; as so often happens in offices, there must have been some kind of "miscommunication."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Turkey Cupcakes

From Sarah Rae Trover:

"These cupcakes can be made from any cupcake or cake recipe you so desire. Try out a red velvet if you're going for gruesome or maybe add in a filling (nothing says Happy Thanksgiving like a stuffed turkey right?) a plain white or chocolate recipe will suffice. You'll need a chocolate frosting, a very small amount of white (we hit up the grocery store and bought a mini tube of already prepared), candy corn and chocolate sprinkles.

"Although they look time consuming, we made over 50 of them in just under a half hour (not including bake time), just do 1 step to all the cupcakes before moving on. You can check out the application process in our amazing illustration to see how they all came together. Enjoy!"

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pink Rain Boots

I just saw two sorority girls (I'm guessing) walking past my office, both wearing adorable pale pink rain boots! So cute! I want 'em!

But they probably paid more money for them than I would be willing to spend on rain boots. I did a search online and found these even cooler hot pink DKNY rain boots. Even marked way down to $99, that's still more than I would pay. (For regular boots, yes, but not for galoshes).

If I did own these boots, I'd be tempted to wear them all the time, not just in the rain.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How Is Cheese Made?



This is a really funny short skit from the second season of That Mitchell and Webb Look. It's Rob and David, basically just being themselves, having a very heated argument about how cheese is made. Eventually, it devolves into them screaming and cursing at each other.

It made me laugh so much because "how cheese is made" is one of those things you assume you know, until you try to explain it out loud...and then you realize you actually have no idea!

Unfriend

The OED 2009 Word of the Year is: Unfriend.

Unfriend – verb – To remove someone as a ‘friend’ on a social networking site such as Facebook.

As in, “I decided to unfriend my roommate on Facebook after we had a fight.”

“It has both currency and potential longevity,” notes Christine Lindberg, Senior Lexicographer for Oxford’s US dictionary program. “In the online social networking context, its meaning is understood, so its adoption as a modern verb form makes this an interesting choice for Word of the Year. Most “un-” prefixed words are adjectives (unacceptable, unpleasant), and there are certainly some familiar “un-” verbs (uncap, unpack), but “unfriend” is different from the norm. It assumes a verb sense of “friend” that is really not used (at least not since maybe the 17th century!). Unfriend has real lex-appeal.”

Other new words *that were considered but not included:

freemium – a business model in which some basic services are provided for free, with the aim of enticing users to pay for additional, premium features or content

funemployed – taking advantage of one’s newly unemployed status to have fun or pursue other interests

zombie bank – a financial institution whose liabilities are greater than its assets, but which continues to operate because of government support

deleb – a dead celebrity

tramp stamp – a tattoo on the lower back, usually on a woman

* Eagle-eyed reader Stephanie brought this error to my attention. Correction: these words were not added to the OED! Just--allegedly--"considered." Thanks, Stef!

From:
http://blog.oup.com/2009/11/unfriend

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Black Hair Is "In"



Word on the streets has it that black hair is now "in." Apparently, Marc Jacobs is asking models to dye their hair for his Spring 2010 collection, and previously platinum models such as Agyness Deyn have already complied.


In related news, Robin Wright, ex-wife of Sean Penn, has dropped the "Penn" part of her name and dyed her hair black. Typical break-up hair gambit. But I think she looks stunning as a brunette.



And finally, Ashlee Simpson is now back to black, following her sudden firing from Melrose Place (rumored to be engineered by returning cast member Heather Locklear, who did not appreciate Ashlee's diva attitude and jokes about Heather's age). Team Heather!

In conclusion, there are three reasons for a person to dye her hair black. These are: random dictate of fashion as decided by Marc Jacobs; divorce from Sean Penn; and being suddenly fired from a television show because Heather Locklear hates you.

Which reason will you choose?

"Ding!"

Monday, November 16, 2009

Giant Jellyfish

Today's Japanese are soft. Giant jellyfish, oooooh, I'm so scared. You know, I remember a time when gigantic monsters emerged from Tokyo Harbor and ripped up skyscrapers with their bare hands, and did those Japanese citizens complain? They did not. They did what needed to be done, and got on with their lives. Get back to me when you have something real to complain about!

From AP News, November 16, 2009:
KOKONOGI, Japan - A blood-orange blob the size of a small refrigerator emerged from the dark waters, its venomous tentacles trapped in a fishing net. Within minutes, hundreds more were being hauled up, a pulsating mass crowding out the catch of mackerel and sea bass.

The fishermen leaned into the nets, grunting and grumbling as they tossed the translucent jellyfish back into the bay, giants weighing up to 450 pounds, marine invaders that are putting the men's livelihoods at risk.

The venom of the Nomura, the world's largest jellyfish, a creature up to 6 feet in diameter, can ruin a whole day's catch by tainting or killing fish stung when ensnared with them in the maze of nets here in northwest Japan's Wakasa Bay.

This year's jellyfish swarm is one of the worst he has seen, Hamano said. Once considered a rarity occurring every 40 years, they are now an almost annual occurrence along several thousand miles of Japanese coast, and far beyond Japan.

The gelatinous seaborne creatures are blamed for decimating fishing industries in the Bering and Black seas, forcing the shutdown of seaside power and desalination plants in Japan, the Middle East and Africa, and terrorizing beachgoers worldwide, the U.S. National Science Foundation says.

In 2007, a salmon farm in Northern Ireland lost its more than 100,000 fish to an attack by the mauve stinger, a jellyfish normally known for stinging bathers in warm Mediterranean waters. Scientists cite its migration to colder Irish seas as evidence of global warming.
Increasingly polluted waters — off China, for example — boost growth of the microscopic plankton that "jellies" feed upon, while overfishing has eliminated many of the jellyfish's predators and cut down on competitors for plankton feed.

Here on the rocky Echizen coast, amid floodlights and the roar of generators, fishermen at Kokonogi's bustling port made quick work of the day's catch — packaging glistening fish and squid in Styrofoam boxes for shipment to market.

Two nets in Echizen burst last month during a typhoon because of the sheer weight of the jellyfish, and off the east coast jelly-filled nets capsized a 10-ton trawler as its crew tried to pull them up. The three fishermen were rescued.

"We have been getting rid of jellyfish. But no matter how hard we try, the jellyfish keep coming and coming," said Fumio Oma, whose crew is out of work after their net broke under the weight of thousands of jellyfish. "We need the government's help to get rid of the jellyfish."

The invasions cost the industry up to 30 billion yen ($332 million) a year, and tens of thousands of fishermen have sought government compensation, said scientist Shin-ichi Uye, Japan's leading expert on the problem.

Hearing fishermen's pleas, Uye, who had been studying zooplankton, became obsessed with the little-studied Nomura's jellyfish, scientifically known as Nemopilema nomurai, which at its biggest looks like a giant mushroom trailing dozens of noodle-like tentacles.

"No one knew their life cycle, where they came from, where they reproduced," said Uye, 59. "This jellyfish was like an alien."

He artificially bred Nomura's jellyfish in his Hiroshima University lab, learning about their life cycle, growth rates and feeding habits. He traveled by ferry between China to Japan this year to confirm they were riding currents to Japanese waters.

He concluded China's coastal waters offered a perfect breeding ground: Agricultural and sewage runoff are spurring plankton growth, and fish catches are declining. The waters of the Yellow Sea, meanwhile, have warmed as much as 3 degrees Fahrenheight over the past quarter-century.

"The jellyfish are becoming more and more dominant," said Uye, as he sliced off samples of dead jellyfish on the deck of an Echizen fishing boat. "Their growth rates are quite amazing."

The slight, bespectacled scientist is unafraid of controversy, having lobbied his government tirelessly to help the fishermen, and angered Chinese colleagues by arguing their government must help solve the problem, comparing it to the effects of acid rain that reaches Japan from China.

In the short term, governments are left with few options other than warning bathers or bailing out cash-strapped fishermen. In Japan, the government is helping finance the purchase of newly designed nets, a layered system that snares jellyfish with one kind of net, allowing fish through to be caught in another.

Some entrepreneurs, meanwhile, are trying to cash in. One Japanese company is selling giant jellyfish ice cream, and another plans a pickled plum dip with chunks of giant jellyfish. But, though a popular delicacy, jellyfish isn't likely to replace sushi or other fish dishes on Asian menus anytime soon, in view of its time-consuming processing, heavy sodium overload and unappealing image.

Weird Freaky Guy Defends Carrie Prejean



Regular Beebo reader Stephanie alerted me to this strange YouTube video of some mustachioed redneck defending our girl Carrie. He does make some cogent points, such as characterizing Larry King as a "creepy, old, disgusting person" which...okay. I agree that Larry can be a bit creepy. I remember when he was interviewing Joey "Fat One" Fatone about Dancing with the Stars, along with Joey's dancing instructor, the Australian blonde with the obviously fake boobs and fake tan. Larry was totally ogling her, and asking Joey a bit too repeatedly "Don't you find her attractive?" and poor Joey Fatone kept saying, "Well, Larry, I'm happily married, so no, I didn't think about that" and Larry kept insisting, "But look at her! Look at her!" which I'm sure Shawn King watching at home was really happy about.

So this weird guy does have a point, about that at least. But I think the argument that conservative women get criticized more than liberal women is funny because...Hillary Clinton, anyone?? No female public figure has ever gotten kicked around more than Hillary!

Note: I guess there's a chance this is a parody..? Sometimes it's hard to tell.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Numberwang Code



From
That Mitchell and Webb Look

Fudgy Pinwheel Cookies

This is a recipe from Taste of Home magazine's Christmas Cookies & Candies issue. I'm really looking forward to making Christmas cookies. One year I made peppermint pinwheel cookies which looked beautiful, but weren't totally delicious because peppermint is not my favorite flavor. These look slightly less pretty but more yummy:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder

Filling:
1 cup (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon shortening
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla. Combine the flour, salt and baking powder; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

Roll out dough into a 12 inch by 10 inch rectangle between 2 sheets of waxed paper.; transfer to a baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Melt chocolate chips and shortening. Stir in the walnuts, milk and vanilla. Remove waxed paper from dough; spread with filling. Tightly roll up jelly-roll style, starting with the long side. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.

Unwrap and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Place 2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks. Store in an airtight container.

Makes about 30 cookies.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Merry Christmas




Yes, Christmas has come early for those of us who love watching weird, uncomfortable moments on TV because, as Guy pointed out, Carrie Prejean is the gift that keeps on giving.

Not only is she a little crazy--and clearly a huge bitch--but she is also truly, deeply dumb. She actually makes Sarah Palin look smart, which is a little scary. The only celebrity I can think of who is dumber is Britney Spears, because poor Britney is literally dumber than a sack of rocks. But at least Brits is sweet. Carrie lacks Britney's I'm-dumb-but-sweet charm.

I find this clip interesting because Carrie is too bone stupid to think of anything to say but, "Larry, you are being inappropriate" and no matter how many different ways Larry explains why his question is actually reasonable, she can't vary from the script. All she can do is nod at him condescendingly and repeat that he is being inappropriate, again and again, in exactly the same words, like a malfunctioning femme-bot. And then she strangely "storms off," sort of, except that she apparently has nowhere to storm off to, so she just sits with her mic off, smiling angrily. It is truly enjoyable television.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Macaroni & Penguin

I found this low-calorie macaroni and cheese recipe online today and thought maybe I would give it a whirl. Mac & cheese is one of my favorite meals, but obviously terrible if you're trying to lose weight. This recipe isn't super low calorie, but it's less insanely fattening than the one I usually use:

Baked Macaroni and Cheese (serves 6)
1 egg
1 cup low fat cottage cheese
3/4 cup low fat sour cream
1/2 cup non fat or low fat milk
2 TBS grated onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
2 cups (8 oz) grated cheese- you can use all cheddar or your favorite cheese or a combination whatever you have on hand
4 cups elbow noodles cooked (8oz uncooked)
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tbs olive oil
Pinch of salt, pepper, and paprika

Pre-heat the oven to 350. In a bowl, mix the egg, cheeses, milk, sour cream, onion, and ground pepper until mixed. Fold in the cooked noodles. (And meat of some kind, ham or sausage, if desired.) Spread into a greased 2 quart casserole pan and pat down to evenly fill the pan. In a small bowl, mix the bread crumbs, olive oil and salt, pepper, and paprika. Sprinkle over the pasta and cover the pan with foil. Bake for 30 minutes and uncover and bake another five minutes or until the bread crumbs brown.

Verdict: It turned out okay, but not as good (to me) as regular basic super-cheesy full-fat mac & cheese. Guy liked it because I put prosciutto in it. I forgot to add the milk and the onion, which probably would have helped it taste better.

Note: I couldn't find any interesting photographs of macaroni so I posted this one of macaroni penguins instead. And in researching these little guys on Wikipedia, I finally understood that weird line in Yankee Doodle about "...and called him macaroni!" That line always baffled me:

"The Macaroni Penguin was described from the Falkland Islands in 1837 by German naturalist Johann Friedrich von Brandt. It is one of six or so species in the genus Eudyptes, collectively known as crested penguins.

"The common name was recorded from the early 19th century in the Falkland Islands. English sailors apparently named the species for its conspicuous yellow crest; Maccaronism was a term for a particular style in 18th-century England marked by flamboyant or excessive ornamentation. A person who adopted this fashion was labelled a maccaroni or macaroni, as in the song Yankee Doodle."

Obama Cake

This cake was originally posted on Cake Wrecks due to the slightly dubious placement of the ersatz Obama's hand...But I think it's a pretty amazing cake nevertheless!

Mmm, the delicious taste of national healthcare.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Winehouse Curve

British tabloids are fun. I found this article about Amy Winehouse in some online British publication called Holy Moly that I've never heard of before. If I've never heard of it, how do I know it's British? For one thing, because of reader comments like these:

"Look everybody....I'VE GOT TITS !! (definitely not fakies either, honest guv)."

"Her Eartha Kitts look like the M3 extension through Twyford Down. I expect Swampy and his crusty friends to pop out of her bra-top at any moment."

"Last time I saw jezzies like that, Cristiano Ronaldo had just scored from a 30 yard free kick with them."

Ha ha ha ha...wait, what?? I'm sure I would agree with those commenters if I had any idea what they are talking about.

Personally, I think our girl Ames should be graded on "the Winehouse Curve." As long as she's not 1) doing drugs, 2) assaulting innocent bystanders, or 3) getting back together with Blake Incarcerated, I think we should all give her a break. Drinking a few pints at a pub and parading around in a pink bra flaunting her new fake boobs and collagen-inflated lips....that is to Amy what a quiet night at home cooking dinner and watching Animal Planet is to a normal person. It's all relative.

Here is the Holy Moly article, chock-full of cultural references that are incomprehensible to Americans:

Amy Winehouse shows off bra and boobs outside the Hawley Arms

Amy Winehouse looked completely spangled as she left the pub in north London with the help of three minders who bundled her into the back of a car. And she's obviously still opting for the Lindsay Lohan level of collagen injections and accidentally applied her eye-liner and drawn on those freckles in the dark. It's like when someone plucks their eyebrows off only to draw them back on again in an attempt to fool us into believing that they are real.

It's great to see that she's beaten one addiction only to replace it with another just as healthy one. Apparently the 26-year-old is now keen to get bum implants (also seen on Mutya Buena), with a source saying:

"Amy loves her boobs. She can’t stop touching them and showing them off to friends"

Or pretty much anyone passing, as so gracefully displayed after the Q Awards last month...

"She says she feels womanly again and wants to be more curvy like she used to be.She thinks by having another operation and bum implants that she will achieve her dream pin-up look."

A cleavage is one thing, but could we ever prepare ourselves for months of staring at Amy's arse cheeks? Find out next month!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dark


It's not even 4:30 yet and it's already pitch black out and raining. Oh, Seattle. I kind of like it, though. But I wish we would end Daylight Savings, I would rather have dark mornings and have it stay a little lighter at night.


And just for fun, here's some bats. Enjoy!

More Fun With Imaginary Titles

Professional moron Carrie Prejean has a new book out. In bookstores now--ask for it by name!


Meanwhile, this little news item from last Friday made me giggle:

"A legal standoff between Carrie Prejean and Miss California USA officials reportedly ended when a pageant lawyer played his trump card: a sex tape far more hard-core than the nude pictures which had previously scandalized her -- and in which she had the starring role. After being shown the hardcore home video -- in which she apparently engages in a solo sex act -- Prejean dropped her million-dollar-plus demands, TMZ.com reports, and bolted from the negotiating table."

Corky's Big Score

I was excited when Guy alerted me to this cork-unloading opportunity that he read about online, because I have a giant glass jar full of corks that I've been trying to figure out what to do with. At first, I thought I could use them for an art project, but I never seemed to find one that intrigued me. However, a $25 restaurant discount sounds intriguing!:

From November 1-December 31, pack your pockets and purses with corks to dine at any Ethan Stowell restaurant and receive one dollar off your check for every cork, up to 25.

Your corks will be contributed to the Cork Re-Harvest program, a cork recycling effort organized by Willamette Valley Vineyards, Whole Foods Market, WVV's Oregon and Washington distributors, the Rainforest Alliance, and Western Pulp Products.

Willamette Valley Vineyards is a pioneer in cork recycling. As the first winery in the world to be certified by the Rainforest Alliance for using 100 percent Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified cork, WVV is also the first winery to launch a cork recycling program of this kind--one with zero increase to its carbon footprint.

Cork is a renewable, biodegradable, and environmentally-conscious resource. It has the potential to completely disappear, as winemakers are increasingly turning to aluminum screw caps and plastic bottle stoppers while recycling cork is commonly neglected at the cost of preserving cork forestlands. Do your part and recycle your corks with the Cork Re-Harvest program, where donated corks will be transported to Western Pulp in Corvallis,Oregon and made into wine shipping containers.

Drink up, donate and dine with your corks at any Ethan Stowell restaurant: Tavolata, Union, How to Cook a Wolf and Anchovies & Olives. The discount honors up to 25 corks per table, now thru December 31, 2009. Valid on both drinks and food.

Thank you, Guy, for the title!

Just To Be Fair...



...and because I like to do things in three's.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Alternate Cover


Hubbard's Creek


Damn, I wish I didn't have to wait until 2018 to read this!!

Blown for Good

Ooooh, an insider formerly employed at my favorite wacky cult is publishing a tell-all exposé! This isn't as juicy as the Scientology exposé that I hope will eventually exist one day so that I can read it. (This imaginary book is/will be Katie Holmes' account of her enslavement to and eventual harrowing escape from her insane Scientologist husband. Just for fun, let's call it Hubbard's Creek.)

But, anyway, this book sounds promising too:

"Blown for Good tells the story of one man’s journey growing up inside Scientology and ultimately escaping from the Scientology International Headquarters he worked at for 15 years."

Here are some highlights (according to Radar Magazine):

Scientology employees are forced to watch video montages of Tom Cruise as part of their training.

According to a former member of the church, the eccentric star is used as inspiration to those working at the sprawling compound in Gilman Hot Springs California.

And, while they are banned from reading newspapers or watching regular television, they are gathered at random times to view Cruise' appearances.

"Everyone there thought Tom Cruise was just brilliant," said Headley, who left nearly five years ago. "Absolutely all the employees looked up to him. They think he is an exhilaration, which is very high up on what they call the 'tone scale'. People who work within the organization were not given access to newspapers or television shows. The only thing we knew was what we were told or shown.

"At the International Headquarters they would record any appearances on TV shows or even mentions of Tom Cruise, or little stories they heard about him. Then they would re-edit them and cut them together into a five or ten minute video of all the snippets of him on TV. But it was never the full interview or story.

"For example the actual footage might have said; 'Scientologist Tom Cruise, the biggest movie star in the world, acts like a crazy person on Oprah.' But what we saw was 'Tom Cruise, the biggest movie star in the world.' Then it would cut to the next thing."

It wasn't until just weeks before he left that he realized the truth. "I just knew he was a superstar who talked about Scientology everywhere he went and encouraged people to join. I thought everyone was embracing Scientology and that millions of people were joining because of him.

"But somehow just before I got out I happened to see a few episodes of Conan O'Brien and he was making fun of Tom Cruise and the church. I had only been shown the good. I had never been exposed to anything else. But it got me thinking that if jokes are being made and people are laughing at them then not everyone thinks Scientology is so great. They don't think Tom Cruise is awesome, they think he is a freak show."

He also revealed how Cruise' ex-wife, Nicole Kidman, could be banned from seeing their adopted children, Connor and Isabelle if she speaks out about her experiences with Scientology. "If you want to leave Scientology and publicly announce it, then you run a high risk of being branded a suppressant person," he said. "You will not be able to speak to your mother or your children or you family members again if they are still part of Scientology."

"If Connor or Isabella said, 'I don't want to do anything in Scientology anymore' and didn't speak out or say its crazy then they would be fine. But as soon as they say 'I don't want to do it anymore and I don't believe in it' and they make that fact known publicly then they stand a strong chance of being branded a suppressant person. If that were to happen, then they are living with Nicole."

Headley also claims that Cruise' current wife, Katie Holmes is now a Scientologist.

"Katie has had to do stuff for Scientology too," he said. "Scientology will say, 'you don't have to be with a Scientologist'. But you have to remember that their goal is to clear the planet. The underlying theme in Scientology is an effort to clear the planet and make a new civilization of all Scientologists."

Indian Red Lentil Soup

I attempted this soup last night, inspired mostly by the fact that the recipe looked easy and nutritious. I was hoping it would taste good too. I'm trying to diet (by eating in a South Beach way) until Thanksgiving...at which time, all bets are off!

Anyway, it was delicious! It's from the Williams-Sonoma book Soup for Supper. I'll definitely be adding this recipe to my repertoire of easy-to-make, low-cal meals:

Indian Red Lentil Soup
SERVES 6
1 1/2 cups red lentils
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 pinch cayenne pepper
6 cups water or vegetable stock or chicken stock
1 1/2 cups peeled seeded and diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
2 tablespoons lemon juice (to taste)
salt & fresh ground pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or fresh cilantro

Pick over the red lentils and discard any misshapen lentils or stones. Rinse lentils and drain. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and saute, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent (8 to 10 minutes). Add the coriander, cumin, ginger, turmeric, and cayenne and stir to mix well. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, to release the flavors of the spices (2 to 3 minutes).

Add the lentils and then gradually add the water or stock, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low, cover partially, and simmer until the lentils are very soft (30 to 40 minutes). Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Return the soup to a clean saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir in the tomatoes and lemon juice and cook until heated through. Season with salt and black pepper.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Day Like This



I watched the SpongeBob SquarePants movie Truth or Square yesterday and it did not disappoint! The writers came up with the very cute and clever idea of having the movie consist mostly of flashbacks--but instead of lazily using clips from old episodes, like most TV movies do, these flashbacks all consisted of entirely new material, with the characters "remembering" things we'd never seen or even heard of on the show before (like SpongeBob and Sandy's wedding). It was a fresh and inventive approach.

The celebrity guests appeared within the framing device of Patchy the Pirate trying to entice them to appear on his own SpongeBob tribute show. The crappy expense-was-spared quality of the Patchy segments always make me laugh, and this was no exception. I love the concept of Patchy, the one-eyed, peg-legged, hook-handed pirate who inexplicably lives in a suburban house in Encino with his parrot, Polly, a marionette puppet with clunky movements and extremely visible strings. Patchy is an obsessive SpongeBob fan who has plastered his home with SpongeBob merchandise. Existing in his own weird reality, halfway between live-action and cartoonland (similar to the Pee-Wee Herman universe), he cannot grasp that SpongeBob is "not real." As most viewers know, Patchy is played by the actor who also does the voice of SpongeBob, Tom Kenny, adding an extra layer of silliness and irony to Patchy's desperate fan worship.

There were a few musical numbers throughout the movie, and those were fun too. Pink performed one, and hers was cute, but I think the song I've posted here ("A Day Like This") was my favorite. It's very sing-along-able.

Two (yellow) thumbs up!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Scott Thompson's Hair Does the Talking



This is one of those Kids In the Hall skits that totally makes you laugh...even though you're not even sure what the joke is!

James Bond and the Overpriced Moisturizer of Doom

Lancôme's official description of their new moisturizer is grandiose, no? It sounds more like a plot of a movie to me, with a supervillain gleefully boasting to 007 that, with his discovery of the "secret of rebirth," he will now rule the world.

"Shrink in terror, Mr. Bond. With Sucre Vital, a magical nutrient that fuels life in a hostile undersea world, no one can stop me!"

"Think again, Dr. Nightshade. For now I have the powerful concentrate right here in my hands!"

"Nooooooo! Foiled again!" [Escapes in his submarine, etc.]

Secret De Vie
Ultimate Cellular Reviving Crème
YOUR SKIN REBORN. DISCOVER THE SECRET. It started in the Lancôme Laboratories with the urge to achieve “skin rebirth.” Then came an awesome discovery: Sucre Vital™, a magical nutrient that fuels life in a hostile undersea world. Recreated by Lancôme scientists, this fuel and five other life-sustaining ingredients form Extrait de Vie™, a powerful concentrate that provides the skin with virtually everything it needs to thrive. This exceptional skin reviving cream indulges your senses while it pampers your skin with instant softness and visible radiance. Your skin appears re-invigorated, visibly smoother, firmer and more even-toned.


Here's the thing: this moisturizer is insanely priced. At $240 for the small size (1.7 oz), and 400 bucks for 3.4 ounces, it better sound like something out of the movie James Bond and the Secret of Life. The packaging enhances this concept too, with its unnecessarily complicated spherical container abstractly evoking some kind of high-tech radioactive nuclear battery.

I actually received a good-sized sample of this product with my last Lancôme purchase. It's a very, very nice moisturizer. But not 240 bucks worth of nice!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Not Particularly Religious

Since I'm somehow on a religious kick this week on my blog, I thought I'd include this little news item. My favorite part about this story is the blasé attitude of the truck owner:

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Jim Stevens said he's not particularly religious and is clueless about why an image resembling Jesus Christ keeps appearing on his pickup. Stevens, of Jonesborough, said nearly every morning, an image that looks to him like the face of Jesus Christ has appeared in the condensation on the driver's side window of his Isuzu truck. A Johnson City Press photo of the truck showed a facial image.

Stevens said when he first saw the image, he figured it would evaporate and not return. But it kept reappearing for two weeks now.

Stevens said folks at the grocery store he goes to were amazed to see the image. He said he isn't going to wash the truck for a while.