Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Monkees' Davy Jones dead at 66...

according to TMZ.

To all the daydream believers and homecoming queens, this is a very sad day.

For those of you unfamiliar with Davy Jones, he was the Justin Bieber of his day.

RIP Davy Jones.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Jimmy Fallon, Brian Williams doin' the nasty with Super PACs

You gotta love Jimmy Fallon's "Slow Jammin' the News with Brian Williams," or Bri Bri Will Wills, as he's known in hep cat circles. And last night Jimmy and Brian Will.I.Ams slow jammed 'bout Super PACs -- awwww yeah -- and got nasty. Yeah, that's right.

It's Super PACkin'.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Who says money can't buy happiness?

Clearly, whoever said "money can't buy happiness" didn't know about The Happy Shop.

Note: for those expecting others to provide their happiness, be forewarned, The Happy Shop is strictly self service.

Monday, February 20, 2012

How you know it's almost spring

Forget that stupid groundhog. Or the unseasonable warm weather we've been having.

You know how you can tell it's almost spring? Four words: pitchers and catchers report.

[For those of you who are now scratching your heads as to what the heck I am referring to (i.e., most of my readers), I'm talking baseball.]

Ah spring training, when a young woman's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of baseball. Even if she is a Mets fan -- and the Knicks are on a hot streak.

While I am awfully fond of football, baseball was my first love -- and I seriously thought of flying to Florida to observe spring training. But it was not to be this year. Instead, I will simply blog about it.

Btw, for those of my readers, especially the international ones (hi Ange and Anon from Across the Pond!) who may be unfamiliar with baseball, here is a helpful video that explains how the game is played.

Play ball!

(And all you naysayers who say the Mets don't stand a chance of making it into the playoffs this season, that's what they said about the New York Giants.)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Life with Teenage Girl

After last year's boy fiasco, we (okay I) banned our daughter from going out with a boy until she is at least 16. (If I could, I'd make her wait until college. But good luck with that.) That, however, has not stopped her (and her many friends) from talking about boys.

Rather than describe what these conversations sound like (after all, many if not most of them are carried out via text, IM, and email), though, I thought I would provide this handy visual:

For those of you who think scenes like the "Telephone Hour" from Bye Bye Birdie only happen in movies, or the 1960s, think again, my friends. (Also, you clearly do not have a teenage daughter -- or a woodpecker*.)

After yakking at length with one friend (who called her to discuss their upcoming sleepover, and "other things"), our little reporter turned around and called another girlfriend (whom she had just seen at school a few hours before). I will not relate the subject of these conversations (I tried very hard to ignore what was being said even though you could hear her down the hall and two floors away). But I guarantee that boys were somehow involved.

I can only imagine the frequency and duration of calls when junior and her friends actually start dating in a few years. Shudder.

I wish scientists would hurry and come up with that Teenager Vaccine.

*Though I haven't seen him in a while, we have a woodpecker that looks just like the one in the video clip, who pecks on our telephone pole, when he's not pecking on the copper siding on our chimney or on one of our trees.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Which bitch has the real...

(rhymes with "bits")?

I'm pretty sure it's not the one in the bikini...

Btw, for those of you who do not regularly drool over "read" Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Edition, that would be Kate Upton, a surgically enhanced* 19-year-old from Florida. And for those of you who do not regularly watch the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, that other picture would be Ch Protocol's Veni Vidi Vici, aka Fifi or the Fifinator, the bitch who won the Working Group (and a champion Doberman Pinscher). I will leave you all to figure out which bitch is which -- and who has the real tits.

[A quick aside re last night's Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show finale. I cannot believe the Pekingese, Malachy, won Best in Show. Best in Show? More like Best in Mop. Sheesh.]

*Can someone please explain what could compel a beautiful teenage girl to have totally unnecessary elective surgery? I find this trend very disturbing.

Monday, February 13, 2012

I can't give you anything but L-O-V-E, baby

You know what love is? Love is spending the evening playing Scrabble with your wife when you don't like board games -- and there are a half-dozen things you'd rather be doing.

Btw, that is a photo of the aforementioned Scrabble game, and my last four tiles, which spelled out L-O-V-E. (And because I am sure you all want to know, I won, by over 100 points.)

I L-O-V-E you, honey (even if you won't clean your office and the spare room as my Valentine's Day gift). Happy Valentine's Day.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

February is for book lovers

I am truly blessed to live near four excellent libraries. An embarrassment of literary riches. And as my daughter is also a voracious reader, hardly a weekend goes by when we don't drop by one of them. Especially in winter.

In addition, our town library recently started a book group where patrons share book recommendations, which resulted in several of the books below. I also found some gems via Barnes & Noble's weekly book recommendations.

As per usual, I have grouped or labeled books and included a link to, where you can learn more about each title (and purchase it, if you so choose).

File under "Baseball" and "Bromance":

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach. This book was so overhyped I was reluctant to read it, even though I love baseball (go Mets!). But I'm glad I did read it, even though I had some issues with certain plot lines (Pella's, Owen's) and character points (wine-colored hair?!). For those of you who thought about picking up the book but didn't because it was about (shudder) baseball, rest assure that while baseball does figure into the story, The Art of Fielding is really a story about male friendships -- or bromance -- and self discovery. It is also beautifully written.

File under "Mystery":

The Case of the Missing Servant and The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing by Tarquin Hall. I loved these two "Vish Puri, Most Private Investigator" mysteries, which are set in India (mainly in Delhi). I loved the whimsical characters, the (Anglo-American) author's use of language, and the humor. (How much did I enjoy these books? I just found out the third book is coming out in July and made a note in pen in my weekly engagement calendar to get it.) If you like a witty mystery set in an exotic locale, check out The Case of the Missing Servant -- and if you liked it, The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing.

Killed at the Whim of a Hat
by Colin Cotterill. Yet another cheekily written mystery, this time set in Thailand. More great characters (including the narrator, a female crime reporter, her body builder little brother, and her uber hacker transvestite older brother) and a plot that keeps you guessing. I can't wait to read the next book in the series, which is supposed to come out this summer.

File under "British Humor":

The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise
by Julia Stuart. I would not describe this book as "hilarious" as many reviewers have. (Clearly I do not get British humor.) In fact, I found the tale of love and loss at the Tower of London quite sad and depressing at times. That said, once I got into the story, I rather enjoyed it -- and became quite fond of the main characters by the end. If you are an Anglophile and/or English history buff and enjoy stories about people finding themselves and each other, I recommend The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise (even though it really should be called Lost and Found, for a variety of reasons).

The Uncommon Reader
by Alan Bennett. More (subtle) British humor. A quick read about what happens when Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, discovers books and becomes an avid reader -- much to the dismay of those around her. A perfect bedtime book, especially if you are an Anglophile and/or an avid reader yourself.

File under "American Humor":

Lunatics by Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel. You ever read a book and feel guilty about laughing out loud? This is one of those books. Politically incorrect and often annoying (kind of like Chelsea Handler's books), Lunatics is still laugh-out-loud funny. (I am so ashamed.) Another quick, easy read.

File under "Art History" and "La Belle Epoque":

Strapless: John Singer Sargent and the Fall of Madame X by Deborah Davis. I clearly have a thing for art history books. Also John Singer Sargent (one of my favorite painters). And Belle Epoque Paris. While nonfiction, Strapless often comes across as historical fiction, which I consider a good thing. A fascinating story about the painter John Singer Sargent and "Madame X," aka Virginie Amelie Avagno Gautreau, the subject of perhaps Sargent's most well known -- and infamous -- painting, Portrait of Madame X.

For more great reads/past Book Nook posts, click here (or on the label, below).

And if you have a book (or books) you would like to recommend, please leave the title and author's name in the Comments.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Best infomercial ever. (Vince has got a new Schtick!)

Ever since Billy Mays died and Shlomi "Vince" Offer (of Slap Chop and ShamWow -- or ShamWoe, as I like to call it -- fame) was arrested, infomercials have just not been the same. But now Vince is back with a whole new schtick -- or Schticky, to be more precise.

"You can clean your home in a quicky, when you use your Schticky!" (Schticky? I think someone's been spending too much time in Miami Beach with the altacockers.)

I gotta admit, though, after seeing the infomercial, I was tempted to order a Schticky (or four) -- as you all know how fond I am of lint rollers, and the environment. (That Big Schticky would sure come in handy for getting up cat hair under the bed!) But after the whole ShamWow incident (click on the link above), I'm not sure I'm ready to trust Vince again. Though I love the Schticky infomercial, and how it pokes fun at various misogynistic ads and Vince's run-in with the law.

What about you guys? Would you buy a Schticky?

Bonus video: I bet they could use some Schtickies at the Friskies Playhouse (the Playboy Mansion for cats?)!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

ZZ Top or Madonna?

Whose "Lovin'" (or "Luvin'") do you prefer, ZZ Top's "Gimme All Your Lovin'"...

ZZ Top - Gimme All Your Lovin' by Warner-Music

or Madonna's "Give Me All Your Luvin'" (featuring Nicki Minaj and infamous Super Bowl half-time bird-flipper M.I.A.)?

Btw, anyone else reminded of Avril Lagigne's "Girlfriend" when they hear or see Madonna's "Give Me All Your Luvin'"?

Well, now you will.

Also, much as I like Madonna, and I do like her music, that video -- more specifically, seeing Madonna dress and act like a teenager -- makes me cringe. So I guess my answer to the question "Whose 'Lovin'' (or 'Luvin'') do you prefer?' is ZZ Top's.

What about all of you?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Top 3 Super Bowl XLVI ads?

You know how you can tell a great Super Bowl? When the game is more exciting than the Super Bowl commercials. And yesterday's Super Bowl -- featuring the New York Giants vs. the New England Patriots -- did not disappoint. At least Giants' fans. (GIANTS WON! GIANTS WON!) The ads, on the other hand, did. Though a few stood out.

Herewith my Top 3 Super Bowl XLVI ads -- plus honorable mentions.

My favorite? Honda's CR-V ad featuring Matthew Broderick (click the link to see the ad). Though I prefer the extended version.

My second favorite ad, M&M's "Just My Shell":

(Any ad that features M&Ms and LMFAO's "I'm sexy and I know it" is tops with me.)

And in third place, we (meaning I) have a tie, between Sketchers' "GO RUN Mr. Quiggly" ad, featuring the French bulldog:

and Dorito's "Man's Best Friend" ad, even though it is offensive to cats and their owners.

Honorable mentions go to the Acura NSX ad featuring Jerry Seinfeld, Hyundai's "All for One" ad featuring the theme from Rocky, and to Budweiser for promoting rescue dogs (though I still will not drink Bud Light).

So which were your favorite Super Bowl XLVI ads? Let me know via the comments.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Memo to the spouse re Valentine's Day

I have no idea if the spouse is planning on getting me something for Valentine's Day this year. And I would not be in the least bit upset if he didn't get me anything*. But just in case you do decide to get me something, Sweetie, it should positively, absolutely, not be one of the following, which, I am sure some woman out there would appreciate (though I have no idea who you are -- and don't want to know), just not me.

First up, the Hoodie-Footie Wild Style Leopard.

Under no circumstances are you to get me this. Got it, Tiger?

I think you ladies will agree with me when I say WTF?! What am I, eight? Seriously, what grown woman wears footy pajamas -- with ears and a tail? (Hope you didn't have one specially monogrammed for me, honey.)

Thanks, but no thanks, Pajamagram.

Next on the Valentine's Day no-no (or should I say non-non?) list, the Sexy Little French Maid outfit from Victoria's Secret:

While I have been known to do windows, I will not be doing you if you get me that outfit. Comprenez, mon amour? (Seriously, I think Victoria's Secret needs to set up a "Mistress" and/or "Role-Playing" section on their website.)

Finally, while I love a good hard salami, I do not want to get one for Valentine's Day, even if you throw in flavored cheese and fudge.

Okay, I believe my work here is done.

*Though a little dark chocolate mousse or a moist piece of chocolate cake with raspberry filling would be nice.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Which Super Bowl XLVI car ad will win?

Forget Giants vs. Patriots, this Super Bowl (XLVI), it's all about Volkswagen vs. Acura (and Audi).

Capitalizing on last year's uber successful Darth Vader Super Bowl ad, titled "The Force," Volkswagen now gives us "The Dog Strikes Back," advertising the new and improved (?) Volkswagen Beetle. (Be sure to watch it all the way through to see the Star Wars connection.)

Personally, I think the ad is nowhere near as entertaining as "The Force" (which featured the same or a similar dog, being accosted by Little Lord Vader)...

or even its "Bark Side" teaser:

But I don't think the ad for the new Acura NSX, titled "Transactions" and featuring Jerry Seinfeld (never got him, never will)...

or Audi's "Vampire Party" ad...

is any funnier. (Seriously, vampires are so last year.)

So which ad(s) do you like? And would you buy one of these cars based on the ad? (I hate the Jerry Seinfeld Acura NSX ad, but I totally want that car. ) Leave me a comment.

UPDATED: How could I have left out Honda's ad for its new and improved (?) CR-V featuring Matthew Broderick?! Friends, I believe we have a clear winner after all. (And I may need to be tested for early onset dementia.)