As stated before, I have a fondness for infomercials and those $19.99 + S&H commercials. Parodies of them are even better — if done well, like this one:
Or does the editor of Paris Vogue look a lot like “The Grinch”?
While I love a magazine that features fabulous frocks on six foot models and the current “It Girl” – editor Anna Wintour has managed to make Vogue so much more, without being celeb-obsessed (InStyle), preachy and desperate (Marie Claire), out of touch (Harper’s Bazaar), or vulgar (W). From books to body talk, from cinema to the stage, here are the top ten highlights of “my” October Vogue.
#10 Ivanka Trump’s new book, “The Trump Card.” Page 197. I like Ivanka Trump. Brains, beauty and now a book of career tips. Even though I read somewhere that she hunts foreign pheasants for fun, I still think she’s rather classy and does her mother proud. Book available at Amazon.com.
#9 Knits from lutzandpatmos.com. Page 178. Modeled by the exquisite Charlize Theron, the hand-made knits of Lutz & Patmos are made of environmentally friendly yarns and produced in environmentally friendly production facilities. If I were rich, I’d buy the Gauze Knit Poncho. http://www.lutzandpatmos.com/.
#8“Screen Test” article. Page 194. Concise article about the debate on when to start getting mammograms. Breast cancer articles are so frightening that I usually don’t read them; this piece, however, provides information in a level-headed way that makes you feel like you’re in the driver’s seat.
#7 Actress profile: Carey Mulligan. Page 196. A small feature on the up-and-coming actress who was so charming in “Bleak House.” Can’t wait to see her in “Never Let Me Go” – see #5 below, due in 2010, and this month’s “An Education,” with Peter Sarsgaard.
#6 Michelle Williams Interview. Page 204. Michelle Williams has been a favorite since “Brokeback Mountain.” This interview is a sensitive look into the private life of a very talented actress, and manages to entirely avoid being crass about her connection to the late Heath Ledger.
#5 Ishiguro’s 2005 novel “Never Let Me Go” – mentioned in the article about Carey Mulligan, who will star in the film version scheduled for 2010 release. I bought this book about a year ago and hadn’t gotten around to reading it; now that I know that the book’s narrator is a (?!) (don’t want to spoil it for you) (oh my god how weird) I’ve picked it up again – and it’s fantastic!
#4 Photo of Karlie Kloss. Page 216. The 15-year-old, 5-foot-11-inch model of the moment in a truly wonderful shot (not the photo above). See a video of the very charming Kloss demonstrating her “death stare” at: http://vainandvapid.blogspot.com/2008/05/modeling-talk-with-karlie-kloss.html.
#3 Excerpt from the new book, The Queen Mother: The Official Biography by William Shawcross. Page 214. A sneak peak at what looks to be a revelatory royal biography. Available on Amazon.com.
#2 Profile of Actor Jude Law. Page 250. Law is set to star on Broadway as Hamlet. With Photo of Law – need I say more. Different pic above for your amusement.
#1 Jeffrey Steingarten’s article about candy. Yum! The persnickety and fab Mr. Steingarten has whipped up a delicious piece about candy stores in New York City. Being a candy freak and a huge fan of Manhattan, I can guarantee you that the next time I’m in NYC, I will be visiting Dylan’s Candy Bar, three floors of every imaginable sweet. See a video at http://www.dylanscandybar.com/store-locator/.
boots’ Top Ten Texas Foods
Not exclusively limited to Texas, of course — but no self-respecting native Texan would pass up the opportunity to partake of these delicacies at their next family gathering. (Families do a lot of “gathering” in Texas). WARNING: Nothing on this list will work with any “diet”, so don’t even go there.
Number 10 — Whataburger Hamburgers
They don’t make ‘em til you get there. Whataburgers are fairly big hamburgers. If you find it’s too big for you, there’s always a Whataburger Jr. One of the few hamburgers I can eat without tasting it the rest of the day (if you know what I mean). BONUS: Make sure you order ketchup with your fries. They come in little “tubs”, so there’s none of that tearing-and-squirting nonsense. Plus, it’s really good ketchup.
Number 9 — Fried Okra
In Texas, we do two things with our vegetables: Cook them to death, or cover them in cornmeal batter and fry them. This is the latter. Native Texans do NOT dip their fried okra in ketchup (unless they’re 12 years old or younger). Offer us a plate of steamed okra and we’ll look at you like you’ve lost your mind.
Number 8 — Chicken Fried Steak
(with cream gravy)
You can find this delicacy all over Texas. DO NOT make the mistake of ordering it with brown gravy, that’s just sinful. You’ll need extra rolls or biscuits for sopping up the leftover gravy. Typically served with mashed potatoes (more cream gravy!) and — what else?! — fried okra.
Alternatively, there is the “Chicken Fried Steak Finger Basket”, which is the finger-food version of the above. Served with fries and Texas Toast.
Number 7 — Fried Catfish
Cornmeal rules everything! Farm-raised catfish, hushpuppies, fries and coleslaw — Mmmmmm, that’s good eatin’! Just about every Texan has their favorite “catfish place”. Mine is “Crazy Catfish”, but in a pinch, I’ll go to “Catfish King” out by the lake.
Number 6 — Pinto Beans and Cornbread
You’ll have to be patient for this meal. It starts the night before, as you’ll want to soak a pound of pinto beans in water overnight. After a good 8-10 hours in the crockpot (no Texas kitchen is without one), your beans are ready for seasoning. That would be salt. Some people toss in a ham hock or salt pork; that’s cool, too. If you’ve unexpectedly been bombarded with company, simply cook up some Minute Rice, and voila! you now have enough beans & rice for a small army. Best served with cornbread — make that jalapeno cornbread for the more daring.
Number 5 — Chili
This is where the men come into the kitchen. I’ve yet to meet a Texas man that didn’t have his own Chili recipe. I’m not a man, but I have my favorite chili recipe. It features ground beef, ranch-style beans and rotel tomatoes. Mama had a recipe that used a couple of packages of taco seasoning. They’re all good. We DO NOT put vegetables in our chili. Chili is no place for carrots and celery. Meat is not mandatory, but is preferred. I take that back; meat IS mandatory.
Number 4 — Tacos (homemade)
Pass by the “taco kits” with those preformed taco shells. Grab a pound of ground beef, a package of corn tortillas, and a package of taco seasoning. Go way over to the other side of the store and get some lettuce, tomatoes and grated yellow cheese (cheddar, american, monteray jack, whatever). You’ll need some good salsa, but since you’re in Texas, you already have a couple of jars in the fridge, so you can skip that item.
After you have your taco meat ready, toss a couple of the tortillas on a hot skillet to heat them properly. This is going to be messy… put a spoonful of the taco meat in the tortilla, add a pinch of lettuce, tomatoes and cheese and hold carefully as you eat it. Taco grease will drip down the side of your hand, but that’s part of the experience. You’ve never had better tacos.
Number 3 — Tamales (homemade)
This is a special treat, and sometimes hard to find. It helps if you know someone who knows someone who cooks tamales by hand. You place your order by proxy, and it’s delivered to you in a brown paper sack, by the dozen. It’s usually around $8-$10 a dozen. If you don’t get sick — then you’ve found your tamale connection!
Number 2 — Sweet Iced Tea
Traditionally, it’s Lipton (family-size teabags). We make it by the pitcher (2 quarts or more). Sun tea is for hippies. You add 1 cup of sugar to 2 quarts of tea to get the perfect sweetness. We put the teabag in the water before boiling (not after). We steep it for a good 5 minutes before mixing. Serve over ice, and store the pitcher in the fridge. Sweet iced tea goes with everything from scrambled eggs to steak to sock-it-to-me cake.
Number 1 — BBQ
Brisket, ribs, chicken, burgers, franks, sausage, hotlinks… We love our BBQ! Men dominate this field, though I’ve met several women who have perfected this art. Whether it’s cooked on a small hibachi, a Webber grill, or one one of those gigantic propane-powered monstrosities, your neighbors will be salivating and climbing the back fence to get to your cookout. It isn’t officially Summer until you’ve smelled the first BBQ of the season cooking on your block. Some people make their own BBQ sauce, but if you don’t have your own recipe, don’t fret. Every grocery store in Texas offers no fewer than 20 varieties of BBQ sauce. You can choose spicy, sweet, spicy & sweet, maple, honey, jalapeno… Known brands like Kraft, unknown names like “Peggy Jean’s Authentic Texas Boot-stompin’ BBQ Sauce”. Serve with a vat (yes, a vat) of potato salad. And maybe a loaf of Sunbeam bread… or Mrs. Baird’s. Sweet Iced Tea and Dr. Pepper should be available for all guests.
BBC News online is reporting that two Bangladeshi newspapers have had to apologize after running an article taken from The Onion (a satirical US “news” website) claiming that the 1969 Apollo 11 Moon Landing was faked.
Apparently, the two newspapers, The Daily Manab Zamin and the New Nation were unaware that The Onion is not a genuine news website. The Daily Manab Zamin ran the story first, and it was later picked up by the New Nation.
Bless their hearts. I’m sure we’ve all either been in their shoes, or known someone who has. The Onion has a knack for creating “news” stories that often sound very plausible.
Most people have their usual “Lucky” number (mine is 8, but I’ll go with 4 or 9 in a pinch). Your average Bingo player usually has a few of their own. Some players might consider B-11 or O-69 their “Lucky” number, and will try to find bingo cards that have them — even better if that number is in a corner! Other bingo players might use their date of birth as their “Lucky” numbers. However chosen, I’m pretty sure that most of us do have our “Lucky” numbers.
I also have what I consider my “Unlucky” numbers. I don’t care for the number 6 (though I won’t go out of my way to avoid it) and after one ill-fated bingo game, I have a small measure of disdain for G-55.
Let’s look at some “Unlucky” numbers and see how they came to be…
I think we’re all familiar with the “Unlucky” number 13. Did you know there is a big, fancy-schmancy word for people who are afraid of the number 13? It’s called Triskaidekaphobia. Now, if you’re only afraid of Friday the 13th, then you get two whoppin’ big word choices: paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia. I can’t pronounce them, but any of those three words will certainly get ya a bucketload of Scrabble points.
In several Asian countries, the number 4 is considered unlucky. This is called tetraphobia. It’s not unusual to find a building that doesn’t have a 4th floor, so to speak (they skip from 3 to 5). The reason for this is that in certain Asian dialects, the pronunciation of the number 4 is phonetically similar to the word for “death”. Okay, if our numbers sounded like “one, two, three, DEATH, five…”, I could totally get behind some tetraphobia myself.
In Italy, number 17 wins the unlucky number lotto. If you write out number 17 in Roman numerals, it reads as XVII. After a quick rearrangement, a la Soul Train, you get “VIXI”. Vixi in Latin means “I have lived” (past tense), which also translates as “I’m dead”.
Number 3 gets a bit of the good luck, and a bit of the bad luck vibes. In some Asian countries, the word for 3 sounds remarkably similar to the word for “alive”, and is therefore considered a LUCKY number. However, in Vietnam it’s considered BAD luck to have a photo taken with 3 people in it. Also, I’m sure most of us are familiar with the negative stigma placed on the number 3, such as “bad things come in threes” and “deaths come in threes”.
Number 5: In Cantonese, the word for 5 sounds like the word for “not”. When a 5 appears in front of another number (such as 57 or 543), that number becomes an “unlucky” number. So, I guess my G-55 gets a double-whammy there.
In Japan, the number 9 sounds like the word for “pain” or “distress”, and is often considered unlucky. It’s funny… if you go by that sort of logic, you would think our number 1 would be a lucky number since it sounds like “won”, or maybe 8 would be lucky if you’re hungry… but I digress.
Whether silly or sensible, lucky numbers and unlucky numbers have been around a long time — and I don’t see that trend changing anytime soon. Afterall, if we didn’t have “lucky” numbers, how would we choose our lottery numbers? The folks who type on those tiny strips of paper inside fortune cookies would have to put something else on the reverse side. If we didn’t have “unlucky” numbers, who would we blame when Friday the 13th rolls around and it turns out to be a bad hair day? And it can’t be MY fault when I lose a bingo game after the lady next to me wins on G-55.
Dang G-55! I was set, too.
If the Emmys are any indicator, the fashion must have for this season is a pickled pussy cat. Stacy Haiduk sashayed down the awards show’s red carpet with this fabulous feline fashion accessory, which she rented from the prop shop of The Young & The Restless. (No you can’t put your lipstick in it.) On the hit daytime show, Stacy plays a mentally unstable character, Mary Jane Benson (a.k.a. Patty Williams), who is known for sharing secrets with her stuffed cat. According to Stacy, quoted on peoplepets.com, the cat gets tons of fan mail. Now, is it just me, or does sending a fan letter to a taxidermic cat seem like a strange thing to do?
I’ve never heard of her before, but according to Wikipedia, Sally Eilers was an American actress whose film career spanned from 1927 – 1935.
Maybe if she had used something besides “toilet soap” as the focal point of her beauty regimen, she would have been more popular.
I suppose Pears Soap was trying to illustrate the well-known phrase “throwing the baby out with the bathwater”. But, does this ad entice you to buy Pears Soap?
I’m getting more of a Pears-Killer-Soap-on-the-Loose vibe from this:
“Help me, Mommy! Why did you buy Pears’ Soap? Why??!!”
Just for the record, I have used LYSOL® for myriad of cleaning/disinfecting duties. I find it to be a most excellent product, and have never been disappointed with its effectiveness.
However, I would never, ever, never, ever, never, ever, never, ever use it for what this ad is promoting. No way, no how, not in a gazillion years.
Seriously. I mop my bathroom tiles with this stuff. Who wants to smell like a mop?
Lip gloss that matches your nail polish is so in right now.
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