Friday, August 31, 2012

fun things on friday

I've been saving up all of the interesting stuff I stumble across on the 'net, in case you're in need of amusement over the long weekend.

First up is this video called "Oh My Dayum." This dude really likes his hamburger, and someone went ahead and songified it, and it's pretty much the best. After listening to it I sometimes catch myself fist-pumping and singing, "Dayum!"

Next up is Gangnam Style, in case you're one of the last people on Earth to have seen it. It's catchy and the video is hilarious.

When you're done watching that, here's any interesting article about how this video is actually kind of a political/social statement about a certain class in South Korea.

Next up, a really interesting excerpt from a book I plan to eventually read, Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion. It answers the question: Where does all that cheap shit I buy from Target and Old Navy go after I donate it to Goodwill? Just reading this excerpt makes me want to only buy investment pieces when necessary, and never buy cheap crap. I cleaned out my closet a couple weekends ago and got rid of more than half the crap I own. I'm ashamed to say most of it was just cheap crap. I felt very wasteful.

And lastly, an article titled: Humans Have Finally Ruined the Ocean. This is the kind of stuff I sort of obsess about. I've been reading lots of articles about climate change and pollution and such, and the most strongly worded of them say we are headed toward a sudden shift in climate this century. The most paranoid part of me believes my ovaries already know this, and that's why I can't have kids. Anyway, all that has little to do with this article, which is about the ocean and how there's lottttts and lots of garbage in it, and how the garbage breaks down into teensy tiny pieces and then little fish eat it and bigger fish eat the little fish and so on, and then we eat the fish and then we've successfully poisoned ourselves and our children. Hurrah!

Ok, that was kind of heavy. Let's loosen up a bit.

Having people over this weekend? Here's some stuff you could make.

Strawberry cupcakes. These are SO GOOD. My family and neighbors devoured them and there was high praise all around. Recipe here.

This salsa. I've made several batches. It's the best homemade salsa I've ever had, and my picky husband even likes it! Recipe here.

Ina Garten's tequila lime chicken. You use skin-on chicken, marinate it in tequila, lime juice, orange juice, and a bunch of spices, then grill it ... the skin gets crispy and it's just delicious. Rave reviews at my house. Recipe here.

Now I'm hungry. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 30, 2012


A few books I read recently. I'll start with my favorite and work my way down.

How can you not read a book called John Dies at the End? Basically, you have to read it just to find out who John is, if he really dies, and how. 

This book was on a list of science-fiction books that are being made into movies, which is why I read it. My understanding is this will be released in early 2013 now that they've found a distributor for it (here's a link to the trailer). It's considered "comedic horror," I think, and it does a good job of being both funny and scary. It preys upon your own paranoia, mentioning things you may have only mentioned to yourself, like how scary you look in the bathroom mirror in the middle of the night. 

I found it downright entertaining, if not a little goofy, and maybe a teensy bit amateurish. I'm OK with that, though, because I'm an amateur, too. The author, David Wong, wrote this in his spare time while doing data entry during the daytime for an insurance company or something ridiculous like that. Which I love, because this was obviously a passion-project. I recommend it if you like science fiction/horror/monster stories, especially if you're into reading the book before seeing the movie.

Also, there's apparently a sequel I've yet to read called This Book is Full of Spiders. Ha! 

So, Warm Bodies is basically the zombie version of Twilight. The writing is better, but the author seems to have written it with the idea of it being made into a movie, because it's got some very cliche movie-type moments. 

Still, it's a slightly new take on zombies, written from the point of view of our main character, who is himself a zombie named "R," because he can't remember his full name. He falls in love with a human girl, which is an issue because she's, like, food and stuff. And this is being made into a movie, set to be released in February 2013 (because it's a romance, kind of, I guess?). The casting is a little odd to me -- "R" is played by relative unknown Nicholas Hoult, which is fine. Other actors are James Franco's little brother Dave, John Malkovich, and Rob Corddry (as R's zombie buddy, "M.") The girl, Julie, is being played by another low-profile Australian actress, Teresa Palmer. There's no trailer yet.

Overall I'd say it probably wasn't worth the $9.99 I paid to download it on my kindle, although it kept me mostly entertained, save a few eye-rolling "seriously?" moments. If you can get it cheaper or from a library, I'd say go for it. 

So finally, a book that's not being made into a movie! (as far as I know, anyway) 

What I really liked about Revolution was that I actually learned something about the French Revolution. There are a lot of little details that never make it to the history books, so if you're into history, or France, or you're a teenage girl, this book might be right up your alley. 

I mainly didn't fully appreciate this book because it was soooooo angsty. The main character is a teenage girl who's had a tragedy in her family, so you'd think I could forgive her the angst, but I just couldn't. She simply wouldn't shut up about how depressed she was. In real life I have all the sympathy in the world for people suffering from depression, but this character just got on my damn nerves. 

Thankfully by the end of the book she pulls her head out of her ass. She embarks on a sweet adventure and learns some shit and it's all good. But I never quite escaped the feeling of reading a book meant to appeal to teens while also shoving a little knowledge in their brains. Which: This actually is a book for young readers. 

All that said, everyone else I know who has read this book REALLY liked it, and it has great reviews on goodreads, so please take my review with a grain of salt.

That's all for now! Right now I'm reading Oryx & Crake and really liking it. I'm open to more suggestions, too!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

bachelor pad: i are good at spelleengh

This week each and every contestant helps perpetuate the stereotype that you can either be good-looking, or smart, but not both.

Perhaps they think that because they are good-looking, things like high school diplomas and college are unimportant. They're like Liz Lemon's dumbass boyfriend Drew, played by Jon Hamm, who's so beautiful he receives preferential treatment everywhere he goes, yet is so stupid he loses his right hand waving from a helicopter and the left playing with fireworks.

Before we discuss why these people are idiots, just a reminder that Rachel has become So Awful. She is mourning Michael's departure as though she isn't going to see him in three days. GET A GRIP DUDE.

Now. Our competition this week is a spelling bee. Oh, yes. The first words they are asked to spell are "love," "rose," "kiss," and "heart."

You've got to be fucking kidding me. Koko the gorilla knows how to spell that shit. In fact, Koko probably knows how to spell the more "difficult" words, too. But guess who doesn't?

 Definitely not these fools. 

 Before the competition, Kalon was like: FINALLY something I can win at! 
But he forgot he is a total blockhead.

 These two dunces were eliminated first. 

If you can move your lips to form words in the English language, you should be able to spell these words. 
There is no excuse. 

 N? Seriously? 

Ed is 100% unaware of the word "cockamamie" or what it means. 
Which is ironic.

After many extraordinarily embarrassing misspellings, Chris and Sarah win. They are, of course, the last people anyone WANTED to win, because everyone hates them.

Anyway, they went on a date.

 Chris says he's still getting over Emily, blah blah. 

 Then Ed and Jaclyn go on a date and he tells her he's seeing someone back home. He says it would be "childish" for he and Jaclyn to "put a label" on their relationship. 
Personally I think it's childish for a 33-year-old man to stick his dick in every willing vagina, but that's just me, probably.
 Jaclyn is disturbed but still climbs into bed with him later. Self esteem! You don't gotz it.

 We think Blakeley is gonna dump Tony's ass so fast once this show is over.

 First of all, Nick is wearing one of those awful tank tops. Where are these guys getting these things?

Remember these?

Anyway, Nick is complaining about Rachel because she's all boo-hoo I want to go home and see Michael and Jaclyn's like That girl is a Stage 7 earthquake, whatever the hell that means.

Long story short, Kalon and Lindzi are eliminated. They drive off together.


When is the finale of this stupid show?

Monday, August 27, 2012

(mostly) win at life by following one key rule

I developed a belief some years ago, following a stint in low-level corporate management and a couple of deaths in my family. Over time this belief has become a mantra. A commandment. A deeply-held conviction that if everyone did one simple thing, all of the time, they would (mostly) win at life.

I'm gonna tell you what it is.

Here it is.

You've got to show up. 

It's as simple as that one sentence, and yet apparently so much more complicated when it comes to actually putting it into practice. Which is why I'm going to explain how to do it.

There are three key areas of life in which you need to show up. Now I'm gonna tell you what they are.

Here I go.

1. At work.

2. For your friends.

3. For your family.

I know that sounds easy. But believe me, it's not. Because I'll tell you what. Lots of people can't or won't do it. And it destroys everything. I'm gonna elaborate now.

1. When you are employed, you want to show up for your job on the days you are expected, and at the approximate time you're expected to be there. If you can do this in addition to imitating what you believe a normal person's behavior to be like, you will probably be promoted to president of the company.

2. When you tell your friends you will be somewhere, at a certain time, on a certain day, you do it. This is especially important for weddings, funerals, births, and all events surrounding those occasions. If you can do this in addition to at least pretending to have enthusiasm for said event, you are a good friend.

3. When you are in a family, you show up for family stuff. This includes aforementioned events in the "friends" category, in addition to birthdays, holidays, and other times in-between when families like to get together, eat food, and stare at each other. If you can't show up, you acknowledge the event in some other manner, like a card or a gift or a phone call. This category may be the most important, because we hold our family members to near-impossible standards, forgetting they are humans and likely to disappoint us a number of times over the years.

You might think you already show up, everywhere, all the time. But you probably don't. Because I am the Queen of Showing Up For Shit, and even I fail at this from time to time. Now I'm gonna tell you what happens when you fail to show up when you're expected.

1. Someone is gonna want to fire you, and if they're you're boss, you're probably gonna get shit-canned.

2. Your friends will be deeply hurt, and in some cases may no longer be your friends.

3. Your family members will be heartbroken and angry and will need therapy.

So that's it. Show up, mostly sober, in mostly appropriate clothing, smelling all right, and you'll mostly win at life. You don't need to smile or cry or even stay awake the whole time, but you need to be there.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


A reader suggested I move on to "Luther" after I finished "The Wire" and was feeling a bit of separation anxiety. So I did.

I admit I was largely motivated by the fact that the lead character is played by Idris Elba, who is basically walking sex. I mean, come on. Did you see the scene in "The Wire" where he seduces D'Angelo's girlfriend? Hot.

In Luther, he's a harried, rule-bending detective, and he gets to speak with his native English accent (I die). The show is sort of England's answer to Dexter, and I admit it presses the limits of believability, but then, doesn't Dexter, too? Although Dexter kind of wins because 1) it takes place in Florida and I think Florida is basically old people and mass-murderers mixed with a few unsuspecting normal folks and 2) there's only one or two Big Bads per season, whereas Luther has a new Big Bad every episode.

But, like Dexter, Luther isn't afraid to get quite dirty, and it's funny at times, too.

And it's got Ruth Wilson playing a sociopath. She's great, and she kind of looks to me like what a Simpson's character would look like in real life.

I'd say it's worth a watch if you're looking for something new ...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

bachelor pad: "a domesticated man"

So a refresher:

Last week Chris' plan to get Blakeley voted out (even though she was his former teammate and in his alliance) backfired because -- go figure -- the other people in his alliance didn't want to vote out one of their members. So, key members of Chris' alliance -- Ed and Kalon -- lied and said they'd vote for Blakeley, but they ended up voting for Jamie.

Now Blakeley wants Chris and Sarah out this week, and Chris knows it, and that makes him mad so he does what he does best and throws a big man-baby tantrum.

First he confronts Kalon. Kalon admits later: "Really, I'm a liar."

Then he confronts Ed, and it soon becomes apparent that Chris and Ed's love affair is ending. 

 I love Tony's face in the middle. :)
And oh yeah, Chris is like, I'm a bitchy little baby, you lied to me, wah!

Then they have a competition called "The Great Fall of China." Har, har.

 Lindzi did not win this competition. Blakeley did, because Blakeley worked at Hooters for 13 years. I kid you not. 

 And then Blakeley coaches Tony and he wins, too. 
And Blakeley decides to take Tony on her date. 
So Tony gives his date-rose to Kalon.
So Kalon takes Lindzi on a date. 

 Come along, Buffy. 
I really wish Kalon was wearing an ascot here.

 Their date involves jewelry, a Bentley, and dinner on a bridge. 
"I don't know how I'm going to compete with this if I ever get to take you out on a date in real life," Kalon says to Lindzi. Awwwwwwwwwwww. 
And then he tells her he's "possibly, maybe" in love with her. Huh!
She calls him "funny, genuine, and kind."

 And then this happened. Ewww. 

 Chris believes Lindzi is trapped in Kalon's "spell." And then he begins to hatch an evil plan to vote Lindzi off as Kalon's punishment for disobeying his orders about voting Blakeley out. Got all that?

 Also still hooking up in the house are Michael and Rachel. 
They both say they are falling in love. Aww.
FYI the only ones not getting any play are Erica Rose and Nick. 
They should just hook up for the hell of it.

So now it's time for Tony and Blakeley's overnight date. Tony is stoked because he's into Blakeley, which is WEIRD. He says she's the hottest girl in the house. Kalon earns the Funniest Quote of the Episode award with: "I'm afraid she's just going to fuck him and bite his head off" like a preying mantis. 

Well, Blakeley is a leeeeetle bit intense.

 But BAM. Tony goes in for the kill and it's a great success.
She's all worried about her Lady Feelings, and he says: "I think you've been with the wrong dudes."
I totally love Tony this time around.

 Reminder: Chris is still half-heartedly hooking up with Sarah. 

 And Jaclyn is still way more into Ed than he is into her. 

Now it's time for Tony to become Blakeley's automaton (she calls him her domesticated man -- second-best Quote of the Episode Award), so he gives a rose to Jaclyn to save her from elimination. 

And then Chris Harrison waltzes in and is like Hey Jaclyn, Ed's totes not into you.

And Ed's like Yeah I'm not here for romance.

 Which is confusing, because she and Ed sleep in the same bed every night. 
So they sort of have a thing going on. 
But it's definitely NOT romance. 
Her feelings are justifiably hurt.
"I just feel, like, used. I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing if I didn't have some sort of feelings for you," she tells Ed.

And then Chris H is like Oh yeah and by the way you are all voting out one woman and that woman will pick which dude goes home. Toodles!

So they can't vote out Lindzi because I dunno why. And they can't vote out Sarah because she'll take out Michael. So they move in on Erica Rose.

Big mistake.

Erica Rose goes down kicking and screaming.

She takes Michael with her, telling him she now understands why his ex-fiance left him and got with a "real man" on the previous "Bachelor Pad," and she's glad he'll be out of the house because now everyone will be able to make their own decisions without "a tiny little man telling them what to do."

 Rachel is all butt-hurt that Michael is leaving. 
"There were a lot of things that were unsaid between us."
Um. He left the game show. He did not die. Say your unsaid things later. 

 Erica Rose. Is that botox or are you just apathetic to see me?

 Rachel, being a leeeeetle bit dramatic. 

Ed, hella drunk and about to light an oven mitt on fire. 

And now, because you've been so patient, here are some photos of Kalon and Lindzi that I stole off Kalon's instagram. Enjoy!

in santa barbara together

BTW in my internet travels I accidentally learned Lindzi is a size 2. I felt this was pertinent information.

Next week:

- Ed and Jac go on a date, he tells her he's pursuing some other chick at home. Whom I'm sure is totally cool with him hooking up with hella chicks on this show.

- Nick has to partner with "the widow," Rachel, whose dramatic antics are apparently going to continue. Joy!

til then ...

Monday, August 20, 2012

the pits

So, I don't wear deodorant.

I know.

But smell my pits. Seriously. I tend not to stink. It's one of my few good attributes.

But anyway, just because I don't wear it/need it doesn't mean you don't. And by the way, wouldn't you say you're doing a person a favor if you let them know they have B.O.? Maybe a good way of telling someone they're rank in a polite way is to gift them this deodorant.

My mother tells me Lavanila is the best natural deodorant out there, and she's tried them all. She feels so passionately about it, she wants to be their PR person.

Mom's main concern with non-natural deodorants is that they contain aluminum. Remember all the hullabaloo about how people with Alzheimer's have high levels of aluminum in their brains? Well ... if it runs in your family, why add more aluminum to the body than absolutely necessary?

Besides which, non-natural deodorants have shitty chemicals and hormones (like parabens) in them and that stuff is bad for you, dudes. Last thing you need is to be smearing something weird right near your boobs every day.

Anyway, long story short, if you have smelly pits and you'd like not to while also not possibly giving yourself cancer or Alzheimer's, maybe give this stuff a shot. It's $18 (I know. But not stinking is priceless) and can be purchased on Amazon or from Sephora. Godspeed!

(No one paid me for this or knows I'm writing this. My mom simply seemed so passionate about it, I felt it'd be negligent not to share.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

cloud atlas

I've begun to wonder if I simply lack creativity. This would be a major problem, since I consider myself a creative person. I spent my entire childhood daydreaming about god-knows-what, barely got through college, wrote a book of questionable quality, and to date I still hold entire fictional conversations with myself in the bathroom mirror. Out loud. That's what creative types do, right?

By the way, I apologize for the above paragraph. It has no right to exist. It's a really poorly written paragraph.

Anyway, I'll tell you where my concern stems from. I just finished David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas and I loved it. And I'm wondering: Do I just love it because I know it's going to be a movie and I can picture all the characters since all the actors have been chosen?

Because when I read Mitchell's other book, Ghostwritten, which has a really similar style, I didn't really like it. So I began to second-guess my vivid imagination. And my taste.

But all that aside, I believe Cloud Atlas is practically a work of genius. Mitchell gives his characters such distinct voices -- that alone would be brilliant. I mean, he practically invents another language for one character. But the subject matter is visionary. He goes hundreds, maybe thousands of years into the future, showing us a couple of possibilities for the human race that I think are dangerously accurate. He makes reincarnation a reality. He made me wish it was a reality. He jumps around in time and ties each story up in a neat package; each story itself could be its own book. It's simply lovely.

So obviously, I recommend it.

And I will be at the theater on opening weekend.

I get chills every time I watch the trailer...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

bachelor pad: wherein jamie sets the feminist movement back at least 40 years

All right.

Before we get to Jamie and the train-wreck that is her brain, let's start with Jaclyn. She's very proud of getting Reid voted out last week, since Reid was trying to get Ed out, and as we can all see quite clearly, she has it bad for Ed, and Ed does not have it bad for her.

She says Reid's last name should be Dummerstein. His real last name is Rosenthal. I try to decide if she is being anti-semitic. 

 "What what." 
I blame Jay-Z for trashy white chicks everywhere who say "what what."

They have a competition and it's one of those "who said your breath stinks" kind of competitions. As it happens, Jamie called Jaclyn manipulative. Yawn.

Jaclyn and Ed win, probably because no hot-fudge mountains were involved. David and Rachel came in last and each get one vote against them.

 Meanwhile Jamie's upset because neither she nor Chris won the competition?  I think that's what she's upset about here but who really knows. 
Kalon says Jamie is next on his hit list and compares consoling her after her loss to petting a dog's head when you're having it put down. Youch.

 Predictably, Jaclyn takes Ed on her date and predictably, they drink. 

 Meanwhile Chris is trying to force himself to be into Jamie. She's twirling in her bikini in the kitchen and saying high-schooly things about him liking her and I die a little bit inside for women everywhere. 

Let's recap why Jamie should not be into Chris at this point.

1) He sleeps with Blakeley at night.
2) She sleeps on the top bunk, over Blakeley, and there has been at least one instance of Chris making out with Blakeley while Jamie needs to climb into bed over them.
3) Last week she threw herself at him and he was like: I'm not in the mood.

But tonight he changes his tune and they go lie down somewhere ....

 "So were you really into me from the very very beginning?"
Jamie, for the love of god. You are not this dumb. You can't be.
Chris complains later that she's a "yakker."
He tells her "I do like you." She asks: "A lot?" He answers: "Maybe." 
Later she says to the camera: I love a guy who's not too easy to catch. 
Well, sweetheart. In the words of that bald quack Dr. Phil: How's that workin' for ya?

Chris is about to give her Reason No. 4 to stay away from him.

Jaclyn returns from her date with Ed, and they bestow a date rose upon Chris, who then turns around and invites Sarah on a date.

 This is Jamie's face when that happens. She knows she's being dissed in this moment. 
However, later Chris tells her he can't take her on the date because Blakeley (his partner) wouldn't like it. 
And she buys this crap hook, line, and sinker. 
 Also, I have no idea what's happening with her eye makeup this week.

 Meanwhile, Blakeley is just pissed. 

 So Sarah and Chris go on their date. She kicks him in the face by accident (YES MORE OF THAT PLEASE) and says he looks like Gerard Butler (?!?!?!?!!). Do we need a refresher on what Gerard Butler looks like? Yes, I think we do. 

Do not mistake that impostor Chris for the real thing, people.

 Chris and Sarah make out at dinner. 

Kalon and Lindzi. This has yet to be addressed. 
Although I admit they look cute together. 
I kind of think they should be in a Ralph Lauren ad together.

 And then Ed gives Granny Rachel the rose. I kid. She's not a granny, she's just dressed like one.

 And Chris seems not to mind that Sarah slept with Ed like three days ago, and they get a hotel room for the night. I really hope this show still tests for STDs. 

 And then Jamie finally gets the boot, after Kalon lies to everyone and their mother and Ed is confused and Chris is overly confident (he wanted Blakeley out) and Michael is like um no we are voting out Jamie you dumbass. Michael is the boss of this show, pretty much.
Anyway, Jamie -- Please stop going for guys who are unavailable. Please stop buying their bull shit stories just because it's what you want to hear. You are smarter than that. I think.

 And also, David got kicked out. He calls his time in the house "the greatest four weeks of my life." I feel very sorry for him if that is truly the case. 


Til then.