Wednesday, June 30, 2010

BP, putting America back to work

I caught this video clip from Jimmy Kimmel Live, titled "BP Keeps Focusing on the Positive," this morning while watching Morning Joe* at the gym. And it is too brilliant not to share.

Btw, re the statistic Jimmy Kimmel quotes at the beginning, that 6% of Americans have a favorable rating of BP (or at least not a negative one), I believe it. Every time I pass a BP gas station (there are two close to where we live), there are always plenty of cars getting or waiting to get gas, though I no longer will get my gas from either one (though I realize Mobil and Shell and Sunoco aren't really any better).

While the video is funny, the oil leak is no laughing matter, and I get sick every time I see/hear about the damage it is doing to the environment, to nature, and to the livelihoods of the people who live in and around the Gulf of Mexico. But in many ways, we only have our oil-loving selves to blame. 9/11 didn't get us to reduce our dependence on oil. And it looks like the BP leak won't either. Which is a shame (though it should be a crime).

*Yea, I watch Morning Joe. You got a problem with that? Hey, it's way more informative and entertaining than the farce The TODAY Show has become.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

No bull

Holy cow, have you ever seen a lovelier heifer? And those yellow ear tags totally set off her bovine brown eyes, don't you think?

Back in the States, sigh, but wishing we were still in Ireland with its breathtaking scenery...

where the only "bull" I encountered was on a field of grass.

Indeed, not watching or reading the "bull" that often passes news these days -- for a whole week! -- was a breath of fresh (Irish) air in itself. As was trading Facebook time for actual face time with friends. (I wish we all lived closer together!)

All the above pictures, btw, were taken from the Silver Strand House, our friends' self-catering establishment on the West Coast of Ireland, near Westport. Though the cow we found just down the road, near the entrance to the beach. (Note: If or when you go to Ireland, make sure you get to the often overlooked West Coast, and climb or at least lay eyes on Croagh Patrick, where St. Patrick reportedly drove the snakes from Ireland, and tour the Connemara. And spend a night or two at the Silver Strand House, which is located in one of the most breathtaking spots the spouse and I have ever been to, with miles of ocean right outside your window.)

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


I feel a little sheepish about posting these pictures...

Especially after having leg of lamb two nights in a row. But after spending six days in Ireland I've grown very fond of my furry friends. And, hey, the pictures are waaay better than our lame lamb jokes....

Q: What was the lamb's favorite Lady Gaga song?
A: "Baad Romaance"

(Hey, we spent a lot of time in the car -- and saw a lot of sheep.)

Q: Where do sheep like to go on vacation?
A: The Baahaamaas

(And I mean a LOT of sheep.)

Q: What fruit do sheep like to eat?
A: Baanaanaas

(And it passed the time. And, okay, we totally cracked ourselves up.)

Isle of Ewe all...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bath time

Millions of gallons of oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico... Images of pelicans covered in brown goo, unable to fly or move... Politicians too busy campaigning or sniping at each other day and night to actually get anything done... Unemployment still too high and the housing market still at an all-time low... Bieber Fever raging out of control... Calgon, take me away! (I wanted to embed this classic 1970s ad for Calgon, which is a must see, but the embedding was disabled. Boo. Instead, click on the link.)

Don't know about you, but I could use a break from the 24/7 news cycle (nearly all of it depressing) -- and the stresses of everyday life. (Question: Why does everything decide to break down at the same time? Do appliances talk to each other and say "Let's stick it to the humans"? And what is with the cat puking all over the place just before you go away?) So I am taking a few days off to recharge my batteries, get a new lattitude, and celebrate the 10th Wedding Anniversary of two very dear friends.

Hopefully, I will return in a better mood (though flying through Newark Liberty and driving on the New Jersey Turnpike during rush hour is enough to challenge -- or crush -- even the best of moods).

In the meantime, consider this an open thread -- your invitation to discuss whatever you like in my absence (though I will be checking email periodically and will delete any inappropriate comments -- so in the words of Austin Powers, behave).

Thursday, June 17, 2010

It must be the diaper!

When did babies in diapers become all the rage? They are EVERYWHERE -- on YouTube, The Today Show... I can barely turn on the TV without seeing some babe in a diaper (whether it's a toddler or a senior citizen)!

First we had those talking E*TRADE babies. Now we have dancing babies...

(Only slightly less creepy than the Ally McBeal dancing baby, which had similar moves. Hmmm...)

and babies strutting their stuff...

all in their diapers! And just their diapers -- no pants or shorts on top, just the occasional shirt.

All my kid did when she wore diapers was crawl (or walk) and fuss. Clearly, these new diapers are made with some superior top-secret technology that makes the wearer super smart, or super cool, or a super suave dancer. What will those diaper companies think up next?!

[Btw, I thought about blogging about something more heavy duty today. But I'm pooped, so just settled for the doody. ;-0]

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tiger Woods the father of Al Gore's love child

Oh wait. That's not right. Tiger Woods is -- allegedly -- the father of porn star -- I mean adult film actress -- Devon James' nine-year-old son, Austin T. James. (Guess what the "T." stands for!) Per the story that has been making the rounds in the tabloids, James had an affair with Woods (though really, who hasn't?) back in 2000, got preggers, and decided not to tell Woods until the kid (who bares a striking resemblance to Tiger Woods) was six. For those interested, you can read more about the story here.

Al Gore, on the other hand, has allegedly been having a two or three-year affair with Laurie David, the mother of his Oscar-winning baby, An Inconvenient Truth. David, the now ex-wife of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm producer Larry David, however, denies the "rumor," which was first "reported" by Star Magazine (and quickly spread by the likes of The New York Daily News -- and everyone else). Because she was actually having an affair with Tiger Woods. (Okay, I made that one up. Though you never know.)

In other hot (totally meaningless) gossip, Bristol Palin, daughter of former half-term governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, is supposedly getting it on again with her baby daddy Levi Johnston, per Us Magazine. If it's true, I say "Good for them!"

Phew. I think that's enough hot gossip for one blog post, my 500th!

I now return you to your life...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Trying to get excited about the 2010 FIFA World Cup...

and failing.

Sure, sure, the 2010 FIFA World Cup (currently taking place in South Africa) has a catchy song (Shakira's "Waka Waka")...

And some of those soccer -- excuse me, football -- players, or "footballers," are kind of cute...

But I find it very hard to get excited about a sport where you can actually have a 90- or 120-minute game (if there are extra periods) end with a score of 0-0. You call that exciting? Also, those vuvuzelas, which sound like a swarm of angry hornets, are not helping my appreciation for the game, or concentration -- or ESPN's ratings.

Seriously, I have tried to become a World Cup football/soccer fan. (Watched most of USA versus England, or tried to.) But the sport just leaves me bored. (And this is from someone who has no problem watching three hours of baseball -- GO METS!!!)

Maybe if each goal was worth 5 points and the field -- excuse me, pitch -- was a bit smaller and there were cheerleaders or something, we Americans would get more excited about non-American football (aka soccer). But I'm not so sure.

Do any of you have any ideas re how to make soccer/football more appealing/exciting to us uncouth Americans -- to watch, that is? (Plenty of Americans play soccer. We just don't like to watch other people playing it.) If so, leave me a comment.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

You know you're getting old(er) when...

You begin sentences with "Hey, you kids!" or "Back when I was a kid...."

You realize mom/dad may have had a point/been right.

The music you listened to growing up can only be found on "oldies" or "classic rock" stations -- or in an episode of Glee.

You ask the cashier at the liquor store, "Aren't you going to card me?"

Staying up late means making it past 9 o'clock.

Your kids stay up/out later than you do.

You find yourself eying an attractive male/female at the gym and suddenly realize he/she's young enough to be your son/daughter.

You find yourself reading with your arms held straight out in front of you.

You don't make fun of those Grecian Formula (or Just for Men) and/or Rogaine or frequent urination or diaper or ED ads anymore.

You receive a thick envelope from AARP and realize it's not junk mail.

[Got an item you want to add to the list? Leave a Comment.]

Thursday, June 10, 2010

BEST news of the week: DEVO is back -- and better than ever!

OMG, I am so EXCITED, people! Why? Because DEVO has a new album, called "Something for Everyone," dropping on June 15!!! And at some point today, through the rest of the week, you can hear it (supposedly) on (Yet another reason to love Stephen Colbert and The Colbert Report, where DEVO will be performing live on June 16.)

In the meantime, you can listen to the first single, "Fresh," which is AWESOME, at (look in the right-hand column). I am so excited I am practically GIDDY. I LOVE DEVO.

To learn more about DEVO's new album, "Something for Everyone," for which DEVO fans helped select the songs, and how and where you can watch DEVO perform live on TV, click here.

In the meantime, let us bop down memory lane with two of my favorite DEVO songs, "Whip It" and "Girl U Want."

UPDATED 6/16/10
: Here's a clip of DEVO performing their new song "Fresh" on Late Night with David Letterman:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Elvis Mr. Potato Head: Just a hunk, a hunk of plastic spud

Elvis Presley and Mr. Potato Head fans rejoice! Thanks to a recently signed deal between the Estate of Elvis Presley, Hasbro, and PPW Toys, this August, for just $20, you will be able to own a piece of history!

I am, of course, referring to the Elvis Mr. Potato Head, which comes complete with sideburns, signature white jumpsuit, guitar, and a microphone -- so he can sing such classic Elvis tunes as "Spud Me Tender," "(You're a) Potato in Disguise," and "T-U-B-E-R"!

And if that wasn't exciting enough, Elvis fans, Hasbro, PPW Toys, and the Elvis Presley Estate will be releasing a second Elvis Mr. Potato Head doll (because you can never have too much Elvis), dressed in black leather, later in the year (in time for the holiday season).

I know what you're thinking: Thank you, thank you very much.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Fun Father's Day Gift Ideas (for the dad with a sense of humor)

Wondering what to get dear old lovable dad this Father's Day (June 20)? Well, look no further! These fun-tastic Father's Day gifts are sure to please any dad -- or, that is, any dad with a sense of humor.

First up... for those of you who have always had trouble talking with your dad, or ever felt he just didn't understand you, there's Communicate Effectively with Your Father Breath Spray. Which, at $5.99 (plus shipping and handling), is quite a bargain for a product that gives you the ability to suddenly converse with your old man. (Hey, it's cheaper than a round of golf and a couple of beers.)

Is your dad (or the father of your child/ren) the "thrifty" type? Then consider getting him the Men's Underwear Repair Kit. Complete with needle and thread, patches, and duct tape -- and a 32-page instruction man-u-al -- the Men's Underwear Repair Kit can save his drawers as well as his dignity. (Of course, you could just get him some new underwear. But what fun is that?)

For the hands-on dad who is always on the floor or in the basement doing or looking for projects to do with the kids, I recommend GeekDad: Awesomely Geeky Projects and Activities for Dads and Kids to Share. (Note to dads of young children who may be reading this: Taking apart -- and trying to put back together-- the vacuum cleaner or the TV or mommy's new iPhone are strictly off limits.)

Or you could get him Star Trek Monopoly. (As a Star Trek fan, I would buy this for the playing pieces and kitsch value alone. Dibs on the phaser!)

And for the dad who likes to garden and glug, there is the Grow Your Own Beer Garden. (I just love the description on ThinkGeek: "Everything you need to grow barley, hops, and wheat. These are the three magic plants that make up BEER! A great family plant activity that ends in adult beverages. Win/win!")

Or you could just get him a membership to the Beer of the Month Club.

Lastly, for a Father's Day gift that's literally out of this world, why not buy dad an acre of real estate on Mars?

Per, "the Earth's oldest, most recognized celestial real estate agency," "250 very well known celebrities, over 30 former and current members of NASA, [and] 2 former US Presidents*" already have, as has Marriott. (Note: Offer does not include Mars Rover.)

Wishing all the dads out there a very happy Father's Day...

*Any guesses as to which two? (I have no clue.)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I love New York

Actually, I don't love New York (or, more specifically, New York City). I used to love the City, when I was growing up there. Now? Not so much.

While I still love the restaurants, and going to the theatre, and Central Park, and the architecture (or what's left of New York City's once beautiful, majestic buildings) and colorful shop windows, I don't love the crowds and the traffic and the grime and the noise. But I did love getting to spend a few hours with my cousin (aka "Another David S."), a very talented photographer and film maker, wandering around the Flatiron District and Chelsea and High Line Park yesterday, taking pictures, some of which I've included here.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Summer Reading

Yeah, yeah, I know summer doesn't "officially" begin until June 21, but I consider Memorial Day Weekend the unofficial start of summer -- and no time like the present to start stocking up on summer reading material. (FYI: By "summer reading" I mean books that can easily be read in one or two -- or, if you have young children, six or 10 -- leisurely sessions on a beach or by a pool, in a hammock, or under a tree.)

While I have provided lists of some (make that many) of my favorite books already on the blog, in my "Book Nook" posts (click the link to see a list of all my book-related posts and readers' comments), I have some more books to add to the list, including these recent reads (listed in the order I read them), all of which you should be able to breeze through in the shade of an umbrella or tree:

52 Loaves
by William Alexander ("One Man's Relentless Pursuit of Truth, Meaning, and a Perfect Crust")

Luncheon of the Boating Party
by Susan Vreeland (The story of how Pierre-Auguste Renoir came to paint his famous painting and the people featured. A MUST READ for those who love Impressionism, all things French, or a beautifully crafted story.)

Mistress of the Sun by Sandra Gulland (More historical fiction, this time about Louis XIV's first mistress, Louise La Valliere.)

Secrets to Happiness by Sarah Dunn (A well written modern day tale of a thirtysomething writer looking for love in NYC. Some may call this "chick lit." I found it a great, fast, poignant read -- perfect for summertime.)

Moonlight in Odessa by Janet Skeslien Charles (If Carrie, a much younger Carrie, from Sex and the City lived in Odessa, Ukraine, sort of, complete with a Mr. Big and a trip to an exotic land. A fascinating read, especially for anyone who has spent time in the former Soviet Union and/or who ever felt trapped and conflicted.)

I also highly recommend:

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
by John Berendt

Beach Music
by Pat Conroy

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquirel

by Jeffrey Eugenides

Anything by Carrie Fisher

Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man
by Fannie Flagg

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler

Le Divorce
by Diane Johnson

A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

Note: To learn more about any of these books, just click on the link (to

Have any favorite summer reads you'd like to recommend/share with the group? Let me know via the Comments.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Take care of your ta-tas!

This morning I went for my annual mammogram -- and, as a bonus, got a breast ultrasound. That's two -- two -- two boob jobs in one! (I also just discovered that there is actually a product called "Boob Lube." Who knew?)

The whole process was painless, and covered by insurance. Which is why I don't understand why so many women put off or don't get annual or semi-annual mammograms, especially if there is a history of breast cancer in their family or they have risk factors (like smoking).

FYI: Per the Centers for Disease Control: "Aside from non-melanoma skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women. Breast cancer is the number one cause of cancer death in Hispanic women. It is the second most common cause of cancer death in white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native women."

So ladies, especially those of you over 35 and/or have someone in your family who has or had breast cancer, if you have not already done so this year, make an appointment with your OB/GYN or family practitioner to get a mammogram and, if you have "dense" breasts, a breast ultrasound. (Seriously, if you have ever had a pap smear, which you probably get every year, you can handle a mammogram and breast ultrasound, which is basically a breast massage.)

And guys, that is those of you who are married or in a serious relationship with a woman, make sure your partner checks her breasts regularly -- or volunteer to help her out.

Thank you.

(Btw, I won't find out the results of my tests until at least midday tomorrow, and while I doubt -- hope -- the girls are normal, I must confess I am a wee bit nervous.)

UPDATED 6/3/10: And the results are in! And I am breathing a HUGE sigh of relief. (The assistant gave me a bit of a scare there when she took a dramatic pause before giving me the results of my breast ultrasound. But both the mammogram and ultrasound were negative. Yea!) Until next year...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Al Gore, Tipper Gore split

Alternate title: Tipper Tells Al to Kiss Off. (Or maybe it was vice president versa.)

I wonder what the Vegas odds were on Al Gore and Tipper Gore splitting before Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton? Pretty high, I imagine.

Seriously, who would have ever guessed (well, besides maybe their close friends and the woman we will probably find out Al Gore has been having an affair with) that Al and Tipper Gore would officially separate before Bill and Hillary Clinton, especially after that infamous kiss? (Though that seems like an eternity ago now.) Anyone? Anyone?

And Al and Tipper just celebrated (?) their 40th wedding anniversary.

Sigh. Yet another seemingly "perfect" couple bites the dust. Or was it all just a facade?

Guess this means Al Gore won't be running for President again.

More on Al Gore and Tipper Gore's split here and here.

UPDATED: No sooner did the news hit than comedians started in with Al Gore pickup lines over on Twitter. If you think of one, leave it as a Comment here.

UPDATED 6/2/10: Apparently, there are a lot of people wanting to know if Al Gore is having an affair -- and coming to J-TWO-O to find out. (If you type into Google "Al Gore having an affair," no quotes, this blog post shows up on the first page as the seventh entry -- or it did when I just typed it in.) As I wrote above, it wouldn't surprise me if Al "I've got the key to your lockbox" Gore was having an affair, but I think we should all give him the benefit of the doubt... for now.