Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Giants vs. Patriots: Which team has the better moves?

And by "moves," I am, of course, referring to touchdown moves.

Going head to head this Super Bowl Sunday are...

New York Giants' wide receiver Victor Cruz, he of the hip-swiveling "Touchdown Salsa" dance:

and fellow wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, aka Mr. "Dirty Bird":

vs. New England Patriots' tight end Rob Gronkowski, with his special brand of spiking the football now known as "Gronking":

Personally, my money is on future Dancing with the Stars disco ball trophy winner Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks -- and the Giants.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Matthew Broderick's Day Off (Honda 2012 Super Bowl ad)

Oh yeah.

Honda's 2012 Super Bowl ad for it's "all new" CR-V, featuring Matthew Broderick as a grown-up Ferris Bueller, is brilliant.

What do you all think? Anyone...? Anyone...?

(I haven't counted all the Ferris Bueller's Day Off references and quotes, but there have got to be at least a dozen. I personally like when the valet calls out "Broderick...? Broderick...? Though it would have been funnier if Honda had gotten Ben Stein to play the valet.)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

If you give a kid a tablet...

You want to know why Americans today feel poorer than their parents? It's because there is so much more crap we feel compelled to buy, which is putting us in debt and/or making us feel poor.

Just think about the number of gadgets the average family (two adults, two kids) feels it is "necessary" to have these days -- vs. our parents' generation (for those of us over 35):

Satellite radioTransistor radio (AM, FM)
A television in every roomA television in every home
Cable (or satellite or "phone company" TV)Rabbit ears
Premium channels (HBO, Showtime, etc.)ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS
DVRSh*t out of luck
Computers (typically two or more)The library, an encyclopedia, a calculator (or pencil and paper)
Smart phones -- and texting and data plansParty lines -- and yelling out the window
Wii/Xbox 360 + gamesStickball, riding your bike up and down the street
iPadsDrawing pads, board games

You add up all those things and that's thousands of dollars we are spending, each year. (The spouse and I did the math.) And all so we can, what? Watch the Super Bowl on a 60-inch plasma HDTV? Buy sh*t on eBay we don't really need? Play games at work? Drunk text semi-nude pictures of ourselves? Brag about where we are having dinner or are staying on vacation on Facebook?

And does your 3-year-old really need her own special kid-friendly $479 tablet?! (Apparently the people at VINCI think so.)

At some point, you gotta stop the madness -- or stop whining about how broke you are.

Btw, lest my Republican friends start reading me the riot act about free-market capitalism, I'm not advocating Communism, just a little (or a lot) less Consumerism.

That said, if one of you does have a 60-inch plasma HDTV and is planning on watching the Super Bowl on it, can we come over and watch with you?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Remind you of anyone?

Listen carefully, now. Sound familiar, ladies?

Just curious: Why is it we find a hairy, slightly rotund dormouse snoring cute but a hairy, slightly rotund guy snoring not so much?

[H/T CuteOverload]

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

That's a funny looking dog you got there, lady

As some of you know, I am a big fan of the blog Disapproving Rabbits. And this (short) video of the folks who run Disapproving Rabbits trying to harness train their new rabbit, Dougal, cracks me up every time I watch it.

I am also seriously impressed, having never seen a trained rabbit before. (Just try getting a cat to stand on its hind legs, or give you its paw, or wear a harness.)

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Early Deer Special

Oh deer. I knew we should have taken down the All You Can Eat Salad Bar sign....


Deer family, party of three? Right this way.

(The third deer was grazing out of frame.)

Would you like to see a fawn's menu?

No, that's okay. I'll just have what mom's having.

Hey, don't like it? Don't eat it!

(Click on the photo below to get a closer view of Bambi here sticking out his/her tongue.)

[Note: I took these shots on Friday (before it snowed) through our family room window, so as not to scare off the deer. Hence the slightly blurry/stripey/reflective quality of the photos.]

Saturday, January 21, 2012

You might be an old fart if...

* You keep people's names, phone numbers, and addresses in a Rolodex

* You use a paper engagement calendar

* You still pay bills using checks

* You listen to music on a turntable (or a CD player)

* Your camera requires film

* Your phone has a cord, which curls

* You have used the phrases "Kids these days!" or "Back when I was a kid/growing up..." in the last 72 hours

* Drinking alcohol gives you an immediate headache

* You fall asleep before your kids

* You prefer your movies in 2D

* Your idea of "doing drugs" involves taking two Aleve (or antacids or heartburn medicine)

* You quote lines from The Flintstones and/or The Brady Bunch (or pick your 1960s or 1970s sitcom)

* Your email address contains the letters "aol"

* You still refer to Russia as The Soviet Union

* You own a leisure suit

* When it snows your first thought is "my back already hurts at thought of shoveling all that"

Friday, January 20, 2012

Would you pay $400K for this t-shirt?

That's K, as in $1,000. As in $400,000. You could buy a house with that. Or an Aston Martin V12 Vantage -- with enough leftover to buy a year's supply of regular t-shirts for you and your friends.

But J., you say, this t-shirt is made from 100% organic cotton!

Fie, I say. There are plenty of other t-shirts made from organic cotton that don't cost $400,000.

But J., you say, this t-shirt was made using only renewable energy sources (i.e., wind, solar) "and represents a C02 reduction of 90% compared to traditional t-shirt production."

That's very nice, I say, but $400,000... for a t-shirt?! Puh-lease.

But J., you say, the t-shirt has 16 diamonds, each weighing over a carat!

To which I would reply, well, that explains why it's the world's most expensive t-shirt, but WTF would anyone put 16 diamonds on a t-shirt?! Are you effing crazy? The first time you washed that sucker, at least one of those diamonds is going to come off -- and no way am I entrusting that baby to a dry cleaner. (Also, I bet it loses its shape in the wash and/or shrinks.)

But what really bugs me? For $400,000, you'd think they could have designed a more attractive, flattering t-shirt.

Btw, the t-shirt is for real -- and you can find out more about it, and order one, by clicking the link above.

On a related note, if this t-shirt had been around 26 years ago, do you think Paul Simon would have changed the name of the song to "Diamonds on the Front of her T"?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The heart of rock 'n' roll is still beating

I don't know why, but I've been thinking a lot about Huey Lewis (and the News) lately. (Midlife crisis/1980s nostalgia? Or perhaps it was seeing him on Hot in Cleveland the other day, if only for a minute.) Anyway, do you really need a reason to listen to Huey Lewis and the News?

[One of my favorite 1980s memories is going to see/hear Huey Lewis and the News in concert, outside, on the Miller High Life pier, one summer. I don't remember much about the concert as I probably had one Miller High Life too many, and I have a vague memory of having to go see a doctor the next day as I couldn't hear anything, having sat way too close to the speakers or something. Anyway...]

Following are video clips of some of my Huey Lewis and the News favorites (presented in no particular order).

First up, "I Want a New Drug." Words to live by.

Next up, "If This Is It."

[Seriously, what is with all the chicks in skimpy swimsuits in these videos? Though at least they don't look like they've had liposuction, breast enlargements, and Botox.]

And last, but in no way least, "The Heart of Rock & Roll."

[Sigh, remember when videos actually had something to do with the lyrics?]

So what was (or is) your favorite Huey Lewis and the News song?

On a (somewhat) related note, against my better judgement, I'm going to attempt to watch American Idol tonight. Here's hoping they finally "discover" an actual rock/pop star.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Why some women remain single + how to fake French!

In today's blog post, we reveal the reason why some women, despite being successful and attractive and seemingly doing all the right things, remain single -- and provide helpful tips on how to speak French (without actually speaking French).

First up, why some women remain single. (Hint: It's the cat!)

[H/T to friend of the blog Another David S.]

All I can say is, it's a good thing I didn't have the cats when I was dating the spouse. (Though I have had a strong suspicion for a while now that the cats, who spend most of the day on my lap or on my desk while I type, have something to do with the mysterious disappearance of job offers that would take me out of my home office and away from them -- which that video did nothing to allay.)

Next, how to fake French (when you don't know how to speak it).

Merde. Wish I had known about this one before we went to Paris.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A brief Valentine's Day gift guide

Only one month until Valentine's Day, people! Though I apparently missed the memo announcing that Valentine's Day had been renamed Make a Porno Day. For what other explanation could there be for giving gifts like this "Sexy Little Valentine" from Victoria's Secret:

I don't even know what this is or where one is supposed to where this -- maybe Halloween? (In case you were wondering, the lower bit is actually a thong -- ouch -- and the heart wand comes with.)

Or this little (and I mean little) number from 2(x)ist's Love Me line? (Also, what is it with heart-shaped balloons in strategic places?)

Full disclaimer: I saw the Love Me briefs and trunks on the TODAY Show and was "this close" to buying the spouse a few pairs, until I visited 2(x)ist's website. I love the spouse dearly, and think he's in pretty good shape, but I don't think I could have kept a straight face seeing him parade around in a bright red banana hammock with the words "Love Me" printed across them.

What happened to giving the one you love flowers, or chocolates, or jewelry -- or a vacuum cleaner -- for Valentine's Day?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Obama should hire this Gingrich guy to help run his reelection campaign

With GOP attack ads like these, who needs to spend money on their own ads, eh, Mr. President?

So much for Newt Gingrich not going negative! (Though I am not complaining.)

On a related note, if you all haven't seen Jon Stewart's commentary on the pack of GOP presidential candidates rabidly attacking one of their own -- Mitt Romney -- after proclaiming the need to stick together, take a gander.

I love when Stewart says "You're mad at Mitt Romney? For God sakes, it's like Mitt Romney answered the Republicans' eHarmony ad and now you're saying it's unfair, that it's not what you meant." Yup.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Super Bowl XLVI prediction: Giants-Patriots rematch

I realize that the chances of the New York Giants making it past the Green Bay Packers and then the New Orleans Saints (or the San Francisco 49ers) are slim, but hey, a lot of us (me included) didn't think the G-Men would get this far.

And dang if the Giants didn't look good against the Atlanta Falcons yesterday -- beating the birds 24-2! (Here at J-TWO-O Central we now refer to Mario Manningham as Super Mario.)

As for the New England Patriots, while we know their recent playoff (and Super Bowl) record is not the best, I've got a feeling about this one. And not just because the Patriots destroyed the Broncos last time they met.

(In the words of Jesus Sudeikis, from one of my favorite recent Saturday Night Live skits, "If I'm the son of God, Tom Brady's got to be the guy's nephew.")

So who do you all think is going to Super Bowl XLVI? Leave your prediction in the Comments section.

Go Giants!

UPDATED 1/15/12: Giants beat the Packers! Giants beat the Packers -- 37-20! We are one step closer to the dream, Giants fans. (Though, of course, I have probably just jinxed the G-Men.) See you in San Francisco, Giants fans!

UPDATED 1/22/12: OMG, the Giants beat the 49ers 20-17 in overtime! The Giants are going to the Super Bowl -- as are the Patriots, who beat the Ravens earlier today. OMG!!! It's the Giants versus the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI! We may win the football pool yet!


Saturday, January 7, 2012

And that's why you shouldn't tattoo your private bits, boys

Some blog posts just can't be improved upon. So instead of me explaining why tattooing one's penis* is a bad idea, I will let MSNBC.com's Brian Alexander explain it to you. (Just click on the hyperlinked text to read the post.)

*with the phrase "good luck on your journeys" and your girlfriend's initial(s)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Whatever happened to 7UP?

So the other day, the spouse turns to me and says, "Whatever happened to 7UP? Does it still exist?" After all, you never see commercials for 7UP (or at least we don't), though I'm pretty sure I've seen cans of 7UP at the supermarket. (Which makes me wonder, if a product doesn't have a commercial, does it really exist? I know, too deep for early in the morning, but still.)

So, I Googled "7UP" and discovered that 7UP not only still exists but has its own website, 7up.com. And there's a new commercial with Cee Lo Green.

Which made me pine (or lemon and lime) for the old Geoffrey Holder 7UP ads.

Brings back memories it does.

Indeed, back in the 1970s and 1980s, it seemed 7UP was everywhere (or at least their commercials were). And, indeed, back in the 1940s, 7UP was the third most popular soft drink. But in our highly caffeinated world, where soft-drink makers are constantly manipulating their formulas to add even more caffeine (yes, I'm talking to you, Mountain Dew), maybe an un-cola, like 7UP, has no place.

So any of you drink 7UP? Were you "feelin' 7UP" as a kid? (I did, though I preferred Fresca.) Let me know via the Comments.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Books to warm your imagination on a cold winter's night

Time flies when your nose is constantly in a book. Between losing power for six days (twice), long plane rides, and being on bed rest for two weeks (due to unplanned surgery), I had a lot of time to read the past few months -- and wanted to share some of my favorite books with all of you.

As per usual, I have included links to Amazon.com (which totally owes me a cut), where you can learn more about each title (and purchase it, if you like). I have also separated the books into fiction and nonfiction, and listed books alphabetically by author.

Read a book this fall or winter you think others would enjoy? Please mention it in the Comments.

File under "fiction":

Death Comes to Pemberley by P. D. James. Jane Austen meets Agatha Christie (sort of) in this genteel murder mystery/sequel to Pride and Prejudice. I didn't love it, but I admired the effort. If you enjoyed Pride and Prejudice and always wondered what happened after, definitely check out Death Comes to Pemberley.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. The semi-fictional biography of Ernest Hemingway's first wife, Hadley Richardson, and their life and times in 1920s Paris. Another case of I didn't love it, but I found it interesting -- and seemed an appropriate book to read while in Paris. (Next trip will definitely have to check out the various Hemingway haunts mentioned in the book.) Thought The Paris Wife was well written, just tooo looong and depressing. And Hemingway was a total prick.

Stealing Mona Lisa by Carson Morton. A delightful mystery based on the actual theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre in 1911. Filled with interesting characters and images of a bygone Paris. (Was named one of the best works of fiction and one of the best mysteries of 2011.) If you love Paris, art, and/or a well-told tale, Stealing Mona Lisa is a must read.

The Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. As a fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Edith Wharton, I devoured and appreciated this book, which is beautifully written in the style of those two acclaimed authors. Set in the late 1930s in the jazz joints and upper-class apartments of New York City, it tells the not quite/accidental "rags to riches" story of twentysomething Katey Kontent (pronounced con-TENT), a hard-working, intelligent young woman of limited means and undistinguished background who happens to fall in with "the right crowd."

File under "nonfiction":

Just My Type: A Book about Fonts by Simon Garfield. Having spent the majority of my career in publishing and marketing (and having always had a thing about fonts), I LOVED this book. While a book about fonts could be quite pedantic or boring, Just My Type is anything but (unlike the puffed up, overwritten, eye-glazing The Language Wars by Henry Hitchings, which I cannot believe the New York Times listed as one of the best books of the year -- and I stupidly bought).

Then Again by Diane Keaton. If you love Diane Keaton, chances are you will like her memoir. If you find Keaton a bit too ditzy and rambling, chances are you will find her memoir to be the same. While I did not dislike Then Again, I was frustrated and disappointed that Keaton focused mainly on her (rather ordinary) mother (and to a somewhat lesser extent her unexceptional family and her battle with bulimia) and barely discussed her fascinating film career. Indeed, as Keaton has admitted, if she wasn't a big movie star, this book would probably not have been green lighted by a major publisher. But, all that said, the sections about Woody Allen, Warren Beatty, and Al Pacino are enlightening and worth picking up the book from your local library.

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon. I love a good, explanatory subtitle, don't you? Amazing, inspiring account of women and survival under Taliban rule in Afghanistan. Makes you glad to live in the ole U.S. of A.

And Nothing But the Truthiness: The Rise (and Further Rise) of Stephen Colbert
by Lisa Rogak. Interesting, well-written biography of Stephen Colbert, which made me appreciate and admire Colbert all the more.

The Sex Lives of Cannibals
by J. Maarten Troost. As the friend who recommended this explained to me, there is no sex or cannibals in this book, but it's still a good, fun read. Basically the life and times of a twentysomething slacker (and his non-slacker, NGO-employed girlfriend) on Tarawa, a remote South Pacific island in the Republic of Kiribati. Think Paul Theroux with a sense of humor.

File under "romance":

I have been trying to wean myself from romance novels, or at least cut down, but they're like potato chips (can't stop at just one). So if you, like me, could use a little escapist literature, I recommend the authors Lisa Kleypas, Johanna Lindsey, Elizabeth Boyle, and Eloisa James.

Happy Reading!

P.S. For additional/past book recommendations, click here.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Bear!

Ring in the new year with a new bear!

Meet Siku*, the unbearably cute baby polar bear....

May your year be filled with things that make you smile.

Still need help coming up with new year's resolutions? Here are some suggestions.

*More about Siku here.