Friday, June 29, 2012

Carb off-loading

A doctor told me earlier this week that I should be eating the following things: fruit, vegetables, lean meats, and eggs. That's it, dudes. No bread, no rice, no pasta, no cheese, no chocolate, no cereal, no fun, no sin.

There's a good reason for it, and I could tell you a long story about my ovaries, but let's save the vagina-speak for another time, eh?

So this is essentially a low-carb diet, but I can eat fruit, so thank goodness for that. Anyone who's ever tried this type of diet knows two things: 1. It works really, really well. 2. It's really, really hard.

Because: bread, beer, wine, cake, pie, chocolate, cookies, ice cream, bacon .... Adieu, my old friends.

But thankfully, the universe has been affirming my doctor's command in the following ways:

1. At least one friend is joining me in this here dieting adventure. There's nothing quite like the support of likewise miserable dieting friends!

2. A news report this morning stating that this type of diet is the best diet for kicking metabolism into gear. Done and done.

3. Yet another news report I heard today stating that over-consumption of sugar can lead to memory loss and possible brain damage. The study focused specifically on high fructose corn syrup. And by the way, to the corn syrup defenders: The issue is not that corn syrup is that much different from sugar, the issue is that it's in almost every packaged food out there, resulting in the average American eating about 40 pounds of the stuff every year. This is one of the reasons we are a fat nation, and arguments against that fact are lies.

Anyway, misery does love company, so you've probably not heard the last of this from me. I'll be back with a mean ice-cream craving in tow.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Instagramming

There are so, so, so, so, so many apps for the iphone camera out there. And I have downloaded maybe six of them. I believe I am hooked. If you're on Instagram, I am zeromusings.

 Murray in the window. 


 Probably the best photo that's been taken of me in 15 years. God bless camera apps. 
Two hours later all my makeup had melted off and my hair looked like I'd been in a windstorm/been slept on. There is a very small window of "lookin' good" time with my head. I'm like Cinderella, except at the stroke of midnight my face turns into a pumpkin.


 Sunset at Spanish Bay. It could not have been a more beautiful day. 
We met friends at Pebble Beach to celebrate our friend Mike's 30th birthday (he's the baby of the crew) and eat/drink way, way too much.


 The next morning I sent my husband to the store to pick up some of those cinnamon rolls. 
You know, the ones you pop out of a tube and bake for 15 minutes and smear with icing and cram in your mouth-hole? I had a craving and these hit the spot. 


This is sunset in the backyard. 
The sprinklers are on and my neighbor's dead tree is hanging over the fence. I just read in the paper today about a Marin County couple who purchased their neighbor's foreclosed home for $4.2 million and then DEMOLISHED IT so they could have a better view. My point is, if I were a high roller, I would have this tree chopped down and a new one planted in its place. Also: I would have a new fence built for them; their side fence blew down in a storm over a year ago and they've yet to fix it. It makes me absolutely insane. Don't buy a house; it will just give you a heart attack.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Bachelorette, Ep. 7: Big Boys Don't Cry

That headline is for my husband, who feels that men should not cry on television. Personally I think that Emily is so hot, they can't help themselves.

This week they are in Prague, with three one-on-one dates, and one group date.

We begin with the woefully anticlimactic "confrontation" of Arie, who had a relationship with one of the producers ten years ago. Emily knows what's up because the producer told her. Now she wants Arie to tell her.

So she takes him to some statue where you rub a golden dog to be imbued with loyalty. 

 This is Emily's face when she tells Arie, "You should do it twice -- extra." Arie just laughs. 


 Then she spends a while dancing around the issue, asking Arie if there's anything he wants to tell her, and he's like, Yeah. I had my ex-girlfriend's name tattooed on my arm. 

Then Arie, the producer, and Emily have some kind of off-camera chat (LAME!!) and suddenly Emily is once again putty in Arie's hands. He is purported to have said he didn't think his relationship with the producer was a big deal, and Emily says: "I should have given you the benefit of the doubt."

I'm disappointed. I still find him creepy.

Anyway, Arie says he loves her, and she says that makes her happy.

The next one-on-one date is with Wolfie.


 Wolfie wore khaki pants and this godawful sweater on their date. Dude. At least wear a jacket. 

As my husband would say, Wolfie has the personality of a piece of wood. I think we all see his imminent demise, although he amusingly does not.

Meanwhile we cut to Chris, who's been bitching and moaning and driving all the other dudes nuts about how he hasn't had a one-on-one since Charlotte. Dude. Shut Up.


 Wolfie finally gets a kiss, and now he thinks he's in it to win it. 

After Wolfie comes home from his date, Sean runs off, literally running through the streets of Prague, shouting Emily's name. He finally "finds" her (suuure, Emily was just out for a walk, alone, in Prague) and looks so damn pleased with himself.

 For the entire time they are together they are either grinning hugely or making out. 
I suddenly feel nervous. Sean could be the one. 


Now it's time for the group date. Oh, lordy. Here we go.

Emily finally realizes Doug is never gonna make a move. We see clips of Doug saying he's waiting for her to literally tell him to kiss her. DOUG. I love you but sheezus, man. You need to make the first move, always. Always. Always. (This is in case Doug ever reads my blog)

So Emily's like I'mma send Doug home. And she's explaining to him why, telling him he's never tried to kiss her ...

 And then he kisses her while she's trying to give him the boot. This is the look of terror on her face when she realizes what's about to happen. I screamed, "NOOOOOOOO! Douglas!!!! NOOOOO!" and my husband had to turn away; he was so embarrassed for the guy. 


 And Doug cried. Poor Doug. 


And then Emily gives Sean the date rose, and Chris throws a fit. "I am pissed off. It's insulting." Dude. You are on THE BACHELORETTE. It's obvious to everyone except you that you are not even in the top THREE.

 Chris: "If I don't get a hometown date, I'll be sorry for anyone around me."
1. This smacks of Brad Womack temperament. 
2. He's too young and can't control his emotional reactions. 
3. Dude needs to go.


Now it's time for Jef's one-on-one! You all know this was my favorite part. I am a die-hard Jef fan.

He says: "I think I'd be the luckiest guy in the world to be with Emily." Awwwww.

They go to a creepy marionette store and buy marionettes, and Jef picks up an extra one for Ricky (Awwwwwwwwwwwww!) and then .... And then they have a really bizarre conversation via their marionettes. It makes me really uncomfortable. But I got over it.



"I am one million percent in love with you," Jef's marionette says to Emily's. Awwwwwwww.

And then they laid on the floor and kissed and he said "I wanna date you so hard and marry the shit out of you," and then I died. 

Other important parts of their date: 
- They've decided they do not want to live together before marriage. 
- They both want children immediately. 
- He is apparently some kind of non-practicing Mormon. She is Christian. I don't know ... I think both religions are equally nuts, so maybe they can make it work. 

Meanwhile, Chris continues to torture himself. He's crying for some reason. He realizes he may have blown it with Emily. So, because she canceled the cocktail party, he interrupts the rose ceremony to tell her he should have been more respectful. And then her choices are: 

Jef, Arie, and Chris. Sean already has a rose from the group date. 

Noooooooooo! Wolfie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My husband approves of Wolfie's dry-eyed exit. 

Next week is the hometown dates. Oh, boy. We see a clip of Arie driving his race car (WHATEVER), Chris talking about his "crazy good feeling," and Jef running toward Emily. We hear her crying and saying she doesn't want to hurt anyone. 

Oh please. Just ditch Chris! Heh.

Til then!

 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Review: Ghostwritten






This is a debut novel (from 1999) that the author received a lot of accolades for. He's amassed a dedicated following, and I understand why. But his stuff isn't my style, and I don't particularly care for it.

What I'm mainly searching for when reading fiction is a character I can identify and empathize with; someone I hope doesn't get killed off; someone I'm hoping the best for. I didn't get that from this novel because there are nine main characters, some of whom aren't human.

Each character gets his or her own chapter, and all of their stories are cleverly interwoven. I can appreciate the research that must have been involved in writing about a number of characters who live in different parts of the world, like Tokyo, Ireland, Mongolia, Russia, and London, and then delicately weaving their stories together. And I think I get what Mitchell was after: Do we deserve to survive? My answer is: Probably not. But then I have a question: Why should I care about this book? Because I don't. I mean, I start to care about each character, but then they're gone when their chapter is up. It's actually kind of annoying.

Also, I feel like I've been reading book after book that involves real or fictional Japanese cults. Which is fine. But I think I'd like to move on to new material. Of course, it's really my own fault if the books I read include Japanese cults. And actually, interestingly, a man believed to be involved with the nerve-gas attacks on the Japanese subway in 1995 was just arrested a few weeks ago after years on the lam. It was actually fortuitous timing on my part to have just read this novel and this guy to have been arrested. I will say: I certainly learned something as a result of reading this book. The problem was I wasn't entirely entertained.

Now that I've panned it, I want to reiterate that tons of people really love this book. Also, as I always say when I've read a book I didn't particularly care for, this author deserves credit just for writing this damn thing. It is blessedly coherent and logical and doesn't seem to have any loose threads, and as someone who's just written a novel with about 2 million loose threads, I say kudos to Mitchell.

Have you read this novel? If so, what'd you think? What are you reading right now? I'm reading "Under the Banner of Heaven" by Jon Krakauer, and "Awaken the Giant Within," by Anthony Robbins.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Bachelorette, Ep. 6: Time to pluck that finger hair for good

This week we are in Croatia. 

Emily says she wants to use this week as an opportunity to weed out men she's unsure of. She may have phrased it differently. I think it's a great idea.

Therefore, it's time for Travis (ostrich egg guy) to go on a one-on-one. We all hear his death knell, don't we? My husband quips (using Bill Compton's accent): "I sentence you to the true death." That's for True Blood fans.

Travis was too dumb to take his shirt off while standing on the balancing stone (it's a long, boring story), but I was smart enough to take his picture here. 
This is basically his most impressive moment on The Bachelorette

They have an OK date, but there's no spark, so it's seeya later, Travis.


Meanwhile, the men are discussing what may be happening on Emily and Travis' date .... 

 ... and Ryan is wearing the douchiest tank top we've ever seen. Ever.

Ryan finds out he's going to have the next one-on-one date, to which he says: "I know how to manipulate the situation ... I can go get the girl." Yes, I still hate him, but this week it's more in a bored, creeped-out way. His carefully cropped facial hair gives me the willies.

Anyway, it's time for the group date, which takes a decidedly Scottish turn. They watch the movie, "Brave," and then it's time for the men to don kilts and play in their own Highland Games.

Even though ...

... I checked to make sure. Croatia and Scotland = not close to each other at all.


Still, I'm not going to turn down the opportunity to see men in skirts. Even though they wore their kilts improperly; true Scots go commando. True story.


 ThankyousirmayIhaveanother


 I don't know why I like men in skirts ... I just do. 


 Emily tells them it's customary in Croatia to ride donkeys into battle. 
But something tells me the Croats didn't ride into battle in kilts. Youch.


 Chris gets the date rose for being "brave," aka dumb. Here, he'd chosen Doug to go up against in the ... stick-pulling contest? For Doug it was like taking candy from a baby. 


 Jef, who is still my favorite, tells Emily "you give me that type of feeling that, like, people write novels about." Still saying "like" too much, but oh well. And then he whispers to her: "Can I tell you a secret? I'm freaking crazy about you." And then I die. 

And Arie made out with her a little, too, and it grossed me out.

 Here Arie and Jef are watching Emily give Chris the date rose. She says Chris gave her butterflies. 
I dunno. I don't see Chris being a frontrunner.


Now it's time for Ryan's one-on-one date. This is his second one-on-one with Emily. In an interview he's heard saying: "I know that I am a very good looking guy who can get women." I vurp my dinner a little.

The men discuss Ryan after he leaves for his date. Chris says Ryan shaves his legs and plucks his finger hairs and "it's weird." Arie says, "Ryan is a dick." Jef makes fun of Ryan saying, "The world is our oyster and you're the pearl," concluding with the declaration that Ryan makes his skin crawl. Ditto. 

They go catch oysters. Emily tries one.

 This is the look of panic in her eyes when she tries an oyster. I love it; I'd be the same way. 
That shiz got spit back into the ocean.

Ryan cannot stop talking about wanting a trophy wife, so Emily decides to dress up like one.


 And Ryan wears hella ugly shoes. 

At dinner he busts out a list of 12 qualities he's looking for in a wife. What a douche. 

Qualities include: loyalty, logical, encouraging, faithful, nurturing, confident, magnetic, loves to laugh, servant (I know, dudes), selfless, beautiful (obvs), sexy personality (who the fuck knows), bold, catches his eye. 

I really, really hate him. 

Emily's no dummy. She tells him: "I don't want to be someone's mold." She is who she is; she doesn't need Ryan telling her who to be. "On the top of my list would be a loving family, not a perfect one." BAM. 

So she tells him to get the fuck out (sort of).


 And he's like: "That is very shocking. I would not have seen that coming. ... I think that I'm probably just the right guy for you." This is literally the look on his face while he's saying that.

He tries pretty hard to keep her from eliminating him, probably because he realizes that not being in the top 3 is going to prevent him from being the next Bachelor. Emily sticks to her guns and sends him away.

Someone comes to collect Ryan's bag, and the men erupt into high-fives.

And then Arie creeps over to Emily's room and puts his hand on her butt.

So here's my thing with Arie. He's probably a perfectly nice guy, except ... he looks a little sickly to me, or something. Like if John Travolta was younger, thinner, and very ill. And his fingers really, really creep me out. I can't explain it better than that. 


 Sometimes high-def is so disturbing. 


Now it's time for the rose ceremony. Emily says Wolfie and Doug are "on the bubble."

 Wolfie shows Emily his grandparents' funeral cards, and it's very touching. 
I like him much more immediately. 


And Doug still remains completely clueless and refuses to make a move on Emily, even though she practically is telling him to tongue her. 
Doug -- ye are doomed. Eventually. 

She decides not to eliminate anyone that night. The order names are called: Sean, Jef, Arie, Wolfie, Doug.

Next time they are going to Prague ... AND THEN..... At some point we find out Arie had a relationship with a producer! That he failed to mention!! Whatever. Let's eliminate his creepy ass.

Til then ...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Things

  • I only wish I'd watched "The Wire" as it was released, in real time. But then I wonder if I would have appreciated it the way I should have. Ten years ago I was 23, and ten years ago, the first season of "The Wire" premiered on HBO. I was going into debt to pay for groceries, so understandably did not have HBO.
  • Ava is 6 months old today. Here's a reminder of how much she's changed...
 

  • I slept through the night without coughing. It was a Christmas miracle in June. 
  •  I never did make it to the grocery store yesterday. I slipped into a Robitussin-induced coma and had dreams about walking on the moon.
  • Guess what this is. 
 


  •   They teach classes on "The Wire" at Duke and Harvard universities. And I totally get that. 

  • Cats






  •  Fortune






  
 
  • Arachnoquake. Of course.
 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

*cough*

I got a cold and then another cold and then I went camping and my colds got worse and I got this cough that won't let up and then I figured out I could get three minutes of peace if I take cough syrup, except I have to be willing to have dreams about dudes stabbing me repeatedly.

So I was coughing coughing coughing last night between about 4 and 5 a.m. and then I finally cried a little because I was really tired and fucking hell with the coughing already. Honestly I will cry at anything. I have been crying my way through a re-watch of the Sex and the City seasons and I'm on Season 4, I think? And if I were one character on that show, I would be Big's first wife -- what's her name? Played by Bridgette what's her face? She falls down the stairs and knocks out her tooth and I was like: That would so happen to me. Even though I don't know why I think that.

So today is my last official day of babysitting my niece; her mom decided she'd take some time off work for a while, which I think is a great decision, and not just because my corduroys are like baby barf magnets. Anyway today is the last day and I was coughing coughing coughing and then I was like fuck it, I am taking the syrup and then I took it and then I fell asleep while I was feeding the baby and now I am writing this post.

And all I really know right this moment is that there will be a nap at some point today but that I really really really need groceries in the worst way because all I have is about four pounds of bacon and 73 pounds of cheese in my fridge and suffice to say we are all baconed and cheesed out round here. Somehow I managed to pull a curried lentils recipe out of my ass last night and I was like I cannot believe I own the ingredients to place a meal that does not contain bacon or cheese in front of my husband tonight. It will be difficult to go to the grocery store today ya'll. What if I cough cough cough? This cough is like one of those where you think you might barf cause you're coughing so hard. Thankfully the cough syrup has drained my inhibitions and I care about approximately two things right now: that the baby is breathing and I will nap at some point.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Bachelorette, Ep. 5: Hood rat

Ok -- I won't bury the lede.

My opinion is it's Jef all the way. I said it from Day 1, and Imma keep saying it. I'm calling Final 2: Arie and Jef. No. 3 will probably be Sean.

(BTW I'm not reading spoilers and if you are, keep your lip zipped)

Let's get down to business. There are 10 men left at the beginning of the episode.

Sean gets the first one-on-one.

 Despite sounding ill, Emily shows up with a smile and these hot platform heels. 
I wish I was skinny so I could wear heels without crippling myself.


 They go on a hugely boring tour of London (not because London's boring, but because their chemistry is so white-bread). Emily tells Sean that usually guys who look like him are boring, but he's not. Um, yeah he kinda is. He gets up at Speakers' Corner and gives some embarrassing-ass speech about love and I want to die for him. Like, he should want to die of embarrassment right now. 

They have dinner in the Tower of London and are altogether way too unimpressed with their surroundings. I would be having major nerd-gasms all over London. Her voice sounds like she's dying. Someone send this woman to bed with some tea. Sean says he's open to lots of kids. 

And his kisses finally start to look a little less sterile. 



 Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Jef wants a one-on-one date because he's only been on group dates. Kalon says if Jef is the last man standing, every day will be like a group date because her daughter Ricky will always be there. Oh, no he di'-nt. Anyway, Jef finds out via his exclusion from the group date that he will be having a one-on-one, finally.


 Time for the group date at Stratford-upon-Avon. The significance of this place is lost on all these morons. Emily sounds like death but is wearing some kick ass shoes. 

The men find out they're going to perform scenes from Romeo & Juliet. Arie proceeds to freak the hell out. He acts like he's never even heard of Romeo & Juliet, much less the words "poultice," and "jaunt." These are not fictional words, my friend. Read a book sometime.

 Here, Kalon is telling Emily to "run along" because he needs to practice. 


 She thinks Kalon needs to lighten up. Ya think? 


 Arie calls this his "worst nightmare," and says "fuck my life." Seriously? Your worst nightmare is acting in a play? My worst nightmare is being dropped out of an airplane while scorpions swarm over my body, but that's just me. 


 Doug is a hella good sport. He says "I am going to be the best damn woman I can be." 


 Arie is one ugly woman. He finally shuts up and gets it done. And for the record, I sort of hate him now. Or still. More on that later. 


 Ryan finally gets a kiss. Barf. He kisses her twice. Travis (ostrich egg guy) says he doesn't think Shakespeare would have liked that, and he doesn't think Emily liked it, either. 


Then they head out for beers at Cox's Yard. Heh.

Ryan gives her a necklace and she's shocked as hell.

Kalon's getting impatient as he waits "to talk to an exhausted, sick mother who has a child waiting for her." Kalon's been talking crap about Ricky all week. He says something directly to Arie, and since Arie is a giant pussy, instead of handling it like a man he goes and tells Doug. Doug rolls up his sleeves and takes care of business. He confronts Kalon and then tells Emily. And Emily goes all "West Virginia, back-woods, hood-rat on his ass" and tells him to ....

 Get the fuck out. 


OH. And as he's trying to explain himself, she tells him: "I love to hear you talk, but not until I'm done." Oh, girl. You are sort of my hero right now. Way to use that dickhead's words against him.

 Kalon's mom was a single mom when she raised him, so his aversion to single mothers is a little odd. Unless you consider the fact that he's gay, in which case then it makes total sense. 

And then, boosting my opinion of her even more, Emily tells the guys she's disappointed in them for not having her back (ARIE) and she refuses to give out a date rose.

Then, finally, Emily and Jef get a one-on-one date. Except it's the most irritating one-on-one date on the face of the planet, with some etiquette expert named Jean yapping at them about how to properly consume a scone.

 "Jean ... I ... just have ... Jean. I just have Jean."
I about died laughing at this point.
Please, someone, for the love of god, autotune this.

Emily says she's ready to "get the hell out of here," so they do. They grab a beer at a pub and Jef says if Ricky is baggage, then she's a designer handbag that should be kept forever. Awwwwww. Then they head off for dessert in the London Eye. And I am pretty sure I see sparks fly when their eyes meet. I see chemistry here, dudes. Like a lot.


 And then he FINALLY kisses her. Sheesh. 
He calls it "definitely, definitely the most anticipated kiss of my life." I die.


Then it's time for the cocktail party. Emily grills the men about having her back. Arie is shaking in his boots, and rightly so.

 Emily says of Ryan: "He's so smooth, he thinks he can get any girl, and here I am falling for it." Which: barf.


And then Alejandro gets sent home. Noooooooooooo! I really like this kid, but yeah. He needed to make a move. 

Here's the order names were called at the rose ceremony:

Doug (for stepping up like a man), Ryan (gross), Chris, John (Wolfie!), Travis, and Arie (for being a pussy).

Next time, we go to Croatia, and someone who's "just in it for the competition" is gonna get smoked. Ryan? Ya think?

Til then.