Archive for the ‘Sheer entertainment’ Category

Yesterday, thanks to Twitter, I discovered an article in The Daily titled, Paula’s big fat secret.   The article claims the following:

  • Paula Deen, US Southern-style cook and cooking show host, has Type 2 diabetes.
  • Paula Deen hasn’t exactly shared that information with the public.  And she can’t eat her own meals anymore.
  • She is going to make millions as a spokesperson for a diabetes medication, probably for drugmaker Novartis. Novo Nordisk, according to the LATimes.

Here’s the thing that kills me:  Paula Deen’s cooking has always seemed, to me anyway, to be a lesson in how to give yourself diabetes! Or coronary disease.  Or other obesity-related illnesses, like colon cancer.

So she wins by teaching us to eat irresponsibly, and profits from it through her cookbooks and restaurant and Food Network show.  Now she’s going to profit by telling us to take a pill that treats the resulting illness.  Win-win for Paula.  And frankly, a smart move on Novartis’ part too.  Because most people aren’t going to care.  They think she’s nice.  They’re fans.  She makes food they enjoy eating.  And the poor woman was unfortunate enough to get diabetes, which really nobody can blame her for.  It’s an illness.


Paula Deen has long been criticized for irresponsibility when it comes to food.  Here are a few examples:

Normally, I wouldn’t criticize the woman so much myself.  Maybe she’s just ignorant about healthy diets and the implications of unhealthy ones.  But she responded to Mr. Bourdain’s criticism last year by saying,

“You know, not everybody can afford to pay $58 for prime rib or $650 for a bottle of wine. My friends and I cook for regular families who worry about feeding their kids and paying the bills … It wasn’t that long ago that I was struggling to feed my family, too.”

I’m calling bullshit here.  I grew up in the South, and I know how fond they are of their diets.  Fried mac and cheese, fried green beans, fried donuts, fried Twinkies, chicken fried steak, etc.  At no time have I ever thought that I couldn’t eat healthy because I couldn’t afford a $58 prime rib or a $650 bottle of wine.  This is a false argument, and she’s catering to those Southerners who don’t like the prissy, elitist, crunchy granola vegan intellectuals who criticize the Southern diet.

Ever heard of quinoa?  Or cous cous and grilled asparagus?  Black beans and brown rice with a little sour cream & salsa?   Or fish?  There are some fantastic ways to make fish yummy. Here are some of my favorite healthy recipes:

I’ll stop here.  You get the point.  Most of these meals can feed four folks for $20 or less.

I’m not saying you should never ever ever eat a pepperoni pizzza or a bacon cheeseburger.  I love both of those things, and had pizza just last night.  But I can minimize their negative health impacts by choosing slightly healthier options (grass feed beef, or less cheese, or turkey burger etc).  Or, you can go ahead and eat that really terrible-for-you comfort food… but rarely, instead of regularly.

It’s not that hard to eat better.   Last year, I started making a few substitutions, stopped eating out as much, limited table salt, and added fresh fruits and veggies as sides or “dessert” to most meals.  That, and a little time at the gym, and I’m 35 pounds lighter.  My cholesterol is finally good.  I’m no longer “obese” and I’m about to fall out of the “overweight” category too.  My blood sugar and metabolism and blood pressure are “optimal”… and I feel great.

I hope Paula Deen can, too.

And I hope all of us can begin to support a new health care paradigm, one that focuses on creating wellness rather than treating disease.  But that’s another blog post for another time.


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Most of the time, movie/book/restaurant reviews are simply utilitarian.  They give you just enough information to ascertain whether said movie, book or restaurant is worth the investment of your time and money.   In some rare and rather enjoyable cases, we’re also treated to an interesting history lesson or a good story that allows us to feel superior and cultured for having read it.  

Finding reviews that are entertaining in & of themselves is harder.  But this month’s Sex and the City 2 reviews are rising to the challenge.  Below are some of my faves, with quotes from each review.

Burkas and Birkins by Lindy West in The Stranger (Seattle’s only newspaper):

  • …essentially a home video of gay men playing with giant Barbie dolls.
  • Charlotte Goldsteinjewyjewsomethingsomethingblatt
  • In fact, Abu Dhabi is crawling with Muslim women—and not one of them is dressed like a super-liberated diamond-encrusted fucking clown!!! Oppression! OPPRESSION!!!
  • If this is what modern womanhood means, then just fucking veil me and sew up all my holes.

Capone Jumps on the Love Train for the awful, awful, awful Sex And the City 2 at Aint It Cool News:

  • No, this film is has no heart, no brain, and an empty soul.
  • …the portrait that SEX AND THE CITY 2 …paints of Western women makes them appear to be the most appalling, whiny, vapid, materialistic creatures on the face of the earth.
  • And Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) is afraid she and her jockey, I mean husband…

Sex and the City 2 review, by Sukhdev Sandhu at the Telegraph writes:

  • In one scene where the gang appears coming over a dune in the Arabian desert, they resemble a karaoke tribute act to the Village People.
  • Is it because they’re so much older and still carrying on like members of an Imelda Marcos-organised hen party?
  • Sex and the City 2 goes on for half a lifetime, brandishes enough product placements to embarrass a Formula One driver, and contains approximately three good one-liners…

How Sex and the City Sold Its Soul: Since Carrie & Co hit the big screen they’ve turned into man-obsessed morons, by Hadley Freeman at  Mail Online:

  • I just don’t want to leave the cinema feeling like I’ve paid £7.50 to be mocked, patronised, and kicked in the face.
  • It’s like being lobotomised with a pink teaspoon.
  • Sorry, I think I just burned my fingers while retrieving my bra from the fire.

As for me, I think I need to go see the movie, then re-read these reviews outloud while sipping froofy cosmos at an overpriced bar.  THAT’s entertainment!

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Most of us were using pots in the kichen long before we knew the utility of using pot in the kitchen. 

Recently, though, the New York Times’ Kim Severson published one of the more enjoyable NY Times articles I’ve seen in a long time, “Marijuana Fuels A New Kitchen Culture.”  While the article talks up a new pot-fueled kitchen culture, I’m not convinced there’s much “new” here beyond the fact that the NYTimes is willing to write about it.

True, Anthony Bourdain allows himself to be quoted saying “Everybody smokes dope after work.”  And some chefs openly discuss mary jane’s influence on their kitchens & restaurants.  Some people are using water pipes to add smoky flavors to delicate fare.  And even though we’re now talking about eating healthier more (see Michelle Obama or Jamie Oliver), cooks are continuing to put together menu items rich in both flavor and texture. 

But do we really need a poutine of foie gras, or a breakfast burrito pizza, or a bowl of cereal-milk flavored ice cream, to suddenly realize that there’s some really good food out there for your munchies?  Let’s review what we’ve already got, much of it on the cheap:

… you get the idea.  So while I totally support hemp-inspired cooking, I don’t think Anthony Bourdain’s got a corner on the munchies market.  Just a little more pricey, and a little more hip.

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Catherine E. Mosher, a post-doc at New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has published a paper demonstrating the addictive nature of tanning.  Which isn’t surprising really, if you’ve ever witnessed the behavior of pretty gay boys in early spring and in summertime… they’re jonesing & it’s obvious.

What is surprising, though, is how tanning can actually be a gateway drug.   Follow along with the LA Times:

  • Of 229 people surveyed who used indoor tanning, 69% showed signs of addiction on one of two addiction scales
  • Tanners knew the dangerous health effects of tanning, including skin cancer.  But they tan anyway.
  • Tanning behavior disrupted tanners’ lives.
  • Many admitted trying to “cut back.”
  • 78% admitted guilty feelings about tanning.
  • UV light triggers production of endorphins that boost mood.

Hmmmm.  So let’s see.  Gateway drug theory supposes that nicotine and alcohol are gateways to marijuana use.  Marijuana is believed (by some) to be a gateway drug to harder illicit substances such as heroin.  So if tanning is a gateway drug, too, it naturally follows that your tanning teen could easily become a chain-smoking drunk-assed, stoned-out-of-their-mind heroin user.

Where’s the 1982 Helen Hunt after school special about where tanning could lead?

Found it!  Start viewing at 1:57!

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A while back I noticed how totally hip it was becoming to forego traditional wedding cakes in favor of fancy little cupcakes.  Then suddenly, cupcakes were everywhere. 

Atlantic Magazine published a piece called “Not So Guilty Pleasure” about cupcakes last year.   And recently the Seattle PI’s Reader Blog, BoomerBlix, published “The Cupcake Craze.”   Trophy Cupcakes served Guinness beer flavored cupcakes in 2009.  Now they’ve got “chai cardamom.” 

The point I’m making is that you can spot a full blown craze when everyone begins re-inventing something we are already familiar with — and love.   That’s why I predict a milkshake craze any day now:

  • Seattle’s Blue Moon Burgers spent the past few months selling a “Cake and Shake” where you could pick a shake flavor, AND a cake flavor.  They put real chunks of cake & icing into the milkshake and hit “whir” on the blender.  Vanilla vanilla, peanutbutter chocolate, german chocolate chocolate, etc.   Yum!
  • Blue Moon is also testing out an Irish Creme shake right now.  Which reminds me…
  • Last week I went to a meeting where someone brought Dick’s vanilla shakes & contreau.  It was like a drunken dreamsicle!  Or is it creamsicle?  Anyway.  Dick’s shakes are really yummy but not very thick, so they are perfect for adding a spash of liquor.  Next time, I plan to try a chocolate shake with amaretto.
  • Epicurious has a recipe for a coffee avocado milkshake.
  • Look up Victor Idaho’s “Victor Emporium” on Yelp, and 2 out of 2 reviewers are bragging about the world famous huckleberry milkshakes.
  • You can order the following milkshake mixes from The Gourmet Coffee Shoppe online: banana nut bread, cherry cola, and even strawberry shortcake.

And now I”m just waiting for the bacon chocolate craze to hit the ice cream stores & malt shops…

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Death and Taxes Magazine pointed out recently that after NBC’s relatively new program, “Parenthood,” the term “Assburgers” appeared atop the Google Trends list.

If you’re not familiar… the Google Trends list is a list of things people are searching for on Google.   Wanna know what people are looking for at any given moment?  Go to Google Trends.  It rocks. 

Parenthood is a new series produced by Ron Howard & others, starring one of my favorite actors (Peter Krauss, “Nate” from Six Feet Under).  Krauss’ young son on the program was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome in last week’s episode.  And then Google Trends went wild with people trying to figure out what “Assburgers” is.  Sigh.

Thus inspired, I looked up some old Google Trends pages to see what I could find.  Check it out:

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Oh boy, they sure got me today!  Got me ROFL, actually.

The Associated Press reports that Sarah Palin will become a regular Fox News contributor.

“It’s wonderful to be part of a place that so values fair and balanced news,” Palin said today.

Kent Jones explained it this way on the 1/11/10 Rachel Maddow Show:

Thanks to Sarah Palin, we now have a whole new game book for how to get to the top of the Republican Party… #5. Embrace the Media.  Then, and this is key, claim to HATE it.  Here’s how it works.  You give interviews to the media, so you can criticize the media, so you can give interviews to the media, so you can criticize the media, so you can give interviews to the media, so you can criticize the media so much you end up AS the media.  And then, everybody wins!

Oh yes, everybody wins.  First, I’ll have to remove Fox from my list of available cable channels.  I don’t watch Fox anyway, but as my partner said to me today, “As long as I don’t have to hear THAT VOICE.”  (Hey, wasn’t Owen Meany known as THAT VOICE too?  Poor kid.)  So no chance I’ll accidentally stumble upon any Fox programming.  That’s a plus.


Second, there will be plenty of opportunities to get great hits on this blog as I pull future Palin quotes & enter them here under the “sheer entertainment category.” 

And finally — best of all — she’s going to talk her way right out of American politics.  I mean, unless she’s learned a hell of a lot… this is going to be the end of her.  Ding dong the witch is dead.  So as one of Palin’s Twitter followers purportedly said today, “You go girl.”

Yeah, you go girl.  Bring it!  She’s a goin’ to get up in there and gotcha herself out of politics.

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