Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Comedian in Chief?

Earlier this week, President Barack Obama slow jammed the news with Jimmy Fallon. Then last night he yucked it up with the likes of Jimmy Kimmel at the 2012 White House Correspondents' dinner.

Which left me thinking, if this whole "president" thing doesn't work out for Barack Obama, maybe he could persuade HBO or Comedy Central to give him his own stand-up or comedy or variety show. (I can totally see Barry and Michelle as the next Sonny and Cher.)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Butt... butt... butt...

Overall, I am okay with my body. It's not supermodel (or even model) material, but it's in relatively good shape (thanks to exercising every other day and eating a mostly healthy diet) for a middle-aged broad. And while I may joke about my breasts (or lack thereof), my least favorite feature is my derriere (aka bottom, backside, rear-end, booty, tuckus, or tushy).

No matter how many butt-firming or lifting exercises I do, or how many of them, I have come to the sad realization that I will never have a butt like J. Lo's. Fortunately (God bless him), the spouse seems to think my posterior is perfect as is.

Exchange between me and the spouse from earlier today:
Spouse: (Admiringly) Turn around.
Me: (Reluctantly turning around) I have a saggy ass.
The spouse: You have a beautiful butt. Plenty of women would pay good money for a butt like that!*
Me: They should demand a refund.

And apparently, I am not the only woman who has buttocks envy.

Fortunately, help is at hand (or behind). Forget padded bras, ladies. Today's hottest "beauty" trend? Padded underwear. (And you people laughed at me when I blogged about the Bikini ButtBra two years ago! Who's laughing now?! Actually, I am.)

Yes, ladies, manufacturers have heard your booty call and have responded.

Whether you are looking for a double-o butt lift or padded panties that make you Feel Foxy, help is just a click away!

Btw, gals are not the only ones looking for back. There is plenty of padded underwear for men, too. (If you click on nothing else, click on that link for padded underwear for men. More importantly, why am I not writing copy for Bubbles Bodywear?!)

All of which has me thinking, it is only a matter of time before some sitcom or chick flick features a scene where the woman and man are getting "intimate" -- and then stop when they see the pile of padded underwear and padding scattered on the floor and then look at each other in horror.

*Personally, I think he was just butt-ering me up. ;-)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Jimmy and the POTUS slow jam the news

Jimmy Fallon and President Barack Obama slow jam the news about student loans (at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill).

Pell yeah!

Am amazed the Prezie of the United Stezie (aka the POTUS with the mostest) kept a straight face -- and bummed he didn't sing with The Roots...

So when is Mitt Romney slow jammin' the news with Jimmy Fallon?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Is "working mother" redundant -- and why hasn't society caught up?

Sometimes I think feminism was a male plot, thought up by a bunch of guys fed up with working all the time. "Sure, sweetheart, go ahead and get yourself a job -- but you know you still have to cook and clean for me and take care of the kids."

And the bit about not wearing bras? Tell me a guy didn't come up with that. (And before you all jump all over me, I know feminism was/is about way more than a woman's right to work -- and going bra-less.)

But let's get back to work, specifically parenting and work, as in paid employment.

If our society truly supported the idea of women working outside the home, why aren't there good (as in decent paying and desirable) part-time jobs -- for both sexes? Why don't more companies allow employees to work from home, at least part time? Why don't schools operate on the same schedule as businesses do? (As my teenage daughter has said many times, she would have no problem staying at school after classes ended, especially if all her friends did too, and either doing her homework or an activity until 5:30, which she used to do when she was younger.) And why is it so hard to find good, affordable childcare?

I, like many educated, intellectually curious women I know, love to work. I also love my kid and want to spend time with her (as most parents, I hope, do). So, years ago, I made a choice -- to become, basically, a freelance writer/editor, so I could work from home, even though I like working around other people, and being able to leave my work at the office, and the security (steady paycheck, health insurance, paid vacation) of having a "real," i.e., corporate office, job. And I feel very fortunate that I could do this. (Btw, contrary to popular belief about work-at-home moms, I do not sit around in my PJs all day, watching TV and eating bon-bons.)

However, as my daughter has gotten older, I have yearned to work outside the house, albeit not full time -- or the 50 to 60 or 70 hours a week that many employers now consider full time. But good luck finding a decent paying part-time job or a job with flexible hours or one that would allow me to work from home part time -- especially within 30 minutes of our home.

And I know I am not the only mother -- or father -- who feels this way.

Speaking of "working mothers," anyone else feel that phrase is redundant (besides Ann Romney)? You ever hear the phrase "working father"? (That would be a rhetorical question.)

And another thing, re the whole stay-at-home mom vs. working mom war? Enough already. Let's declare a truce -- and give each group the support they need (though fat chance employers are going to be creating a slew of good part-time jobs any time soon, and I doubt women who must work full time are going to feel less resentful of women who don't have to work any time soon).

Finally, a word about "parenting" books and articles (which are mainly books about mothering -- or making women feel guilty or stressful or bad about the choices they have or have not made). Do NOT read them. They will just stress you (and your spouse and friends) out.

Who knows your child best? You do. And no two children, or parents, are exactly alike -- so how can a parenting book or article be right for every parent and child? They can't. It's like horoscopes -- amusing to read (at times), but don't take them seriously or base your life on them.

You want to know about breast feeding? Here's what you need to know: breast milk is great for babies, as it helps with brain development and immunity -- and it's free. So, if you can and are comfortable with breast feeding your kids, do it. But if you are not, formula is fine. Don't drive yourself and your kid crazy. The end.

And speaking of formula, there isn't a magic one, or a book that can guarantee you if you follow or read it you will produce a smart, happy, healthy kid. Though there are things you can do as a parent that will increase the odds, such as feeding your child healthy, nutritious food, and minimizing sugar and processed and junk food; making sure she gets a good night's sleep as much as possible; reading to him regularly and minimizing TV and computer and video game time; and telling your child, every day, you love her.

Okay, I am done ranting now. Back to "real" work.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

No restrooms for the wicked

This weekend, the spouse, daughter, and I went to The Happy Show at the Institute for Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, which runs through August 12.

And while the artist, Stefan Sagmeister, claims the exhibit will not make you happier (click on the photo to enlarge it)...

all three of us left the Show feeling much happier.

How can you not love a show where the artist turns a "fire extinguisher" into an "ire extinguisher"? (Click on the photo to enlarge.)

Even the bathrooms -- which bore the caption "NO Restrooms for THE WICKED" -- made us happy...

(Note: there must be a lot of wicked people going to the ICA, because we were the only ones to use the bathrooms.)

So if you happen to be going to Philadelphia, or you live in or near the City of Brotherly Love (and the Phillies and the Flyers), and you are feeling blue, go to The Happy Show. Even if it doesn't cheer you up, you won't be any poorer for the experience. The ICA is free.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I'm so glad my daughter isn't three (and throwing temper tantrums)

Alternate titles: "And the Academy Award for Best Dramatic Performance by a Toddler goes to..." "This child is clearly not French," "What would Ann Romney do?"

I think every parent, aunt, or uncle will relate to this video of a cranky three-year-old having a major meltdown when asked to carry her bowl to the sink.

[H/T to Friend of the Blog Larissa for sending me this... I think.]

I actually had to stop the video a couple of times and walk away, it was so painful to me to watch. (Though I know a lot of people think this video is very funny. Yeah, it's hysterical when it's someone else's kid.)

Part of me wanted to smack that little girl (though I would NEVER smack a child) -- and/or scream "Just bring the effing bowl to the sink and stop your whining!" And part of me was incredibly relieved that my daughter is no longer that age (and stopped having level three nuclear meltdowns like that years ago).

But mostly I was in awe of this father's calm and patience and perseverance in dealing with this situation. Which led me to wonder, what would I have done in the same situation? (I would probably have taken this father's approach for a few minutes, walked away when it didn't work, tried again, then when it didn't work the third or fifth time screamed at my daughter, picked up the bowl, put it in the dishwasher or sink, and stormed out of the room.)

What would you have done? And did you find this video funny or painful -- or both?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

There has got to be an easier way (a taxpayer's lament)

I don't know about the rest of you, but I have never found tax time a time to party -- with or without my accountants. Drink, yes; party, no. Even when I've gotten a refund (which would not be this year). That said, I have no doubt that thousands of accountants will be partying come tomorrow -- and hopefully not posting those videos to YouTube.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for paying taxes (love me good schools, good roads, safe bridges and tunnels -- unnecessary wars and weapons? not so much). But there has got to be an easier, less expensive way to do it. (Flat tax? Consumption tax?)

Btw, I think the New York Times's Eduardo Porter spoke for many of us when he wrote that the United States had "what must be the most inefficient, mind-bogglingly complex tax system known to man."

And Heaven -- or an accountant -- help you if you are a U.S. citizen living abroad: "Alone among the citizens of the developed world, Americans have the same tax-filing and tax-payment responsibilities whether or not they reside in the United States. American expatriates still have to file the annual Form 1040, and all the documentation that goes with it — even though most already pay taxes in their countries of residence." So much for the spouse and I spending a year or three abroad!

Anyway, here's to another tax day come and gone. Hope you (unlike us) got a big refund!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

"May contain awesome."

Another Caturday, another cat-filled blog post. (Giving people a place to post and share their cat pictures and videos was, after all, why Al Gore invented the Internet.)

First up, cats and boxes, specifically my black cat, Felix, and what may very well be the most awesome box ever.

May contain awesome indeed.

Next up, yet another brilliant French (or pseudo-French) cat video, titled "Henri 2, Paw de Deux" (though it should really be called "You Just Don't Understand Emo Cat's Pain" or "Existential Cat").

[H/T to my cousin, A., for posting the video on my Facebook wall.]

Felix feels your ennui, Henri.

(What is it about French cat videos that makes them extra awesome?)

Wishing you all an awesome, ennui-free weekend.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The great bed debate

[Not be confused with the Grateful Dead debate]

So this morning the spouse posted the following on his Facebook page (after I asked him to help me make the bed):
Make the bed or not? I say it's a waste of time. You?
To which one of his (female) Facebook friends replied:
I make it every day...there is something about smoothing out the sheets/and pillows....the sensation of getting into a made bed, is not the same as getting into an unmade bed.
Which pretty much sums up my feelings.

Also, I can't fold clothes on a messy bed -- and I don't like having cat fur (we have two cats who share joint custody of the bed) on the sheets. And, okay, I was traumatized by my mother and camp counselors as a child and cannot not make a bed without being terrified something awful will happen (though I no longer care if you can or cannot bounce a quarter off it).

So which side of the bed-making controversy are you on? Click the circle that best describes you.

To make the bed or not make the bed? That is the question.

Also feel free to post your thoughts on why making the bed is a good/bad idea/waste of time in the Comments section.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

We're all doomed!

Alternate title: Aiiieee Robot

Don't those fools at DARPA* realize that it's one small step from creating a robot that can master steps...

to creating a robot that can master us humans?!

And you people thought Battlestar Galactica was just some science fiction/fantasy show! HA!

*Click on the YouTube link for additional information about the DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) Robotics Challenge (and some amusing comments).

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The one about naughty librarians

I get it, guys. You like to watch porn (except, apparently, for Rick Santorum). But can you please keep it to yourselves -- and out of commercials that air (constantly) between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. on basic cable?

I am not sure what's going on on Madison Avenue, but there seems to be a feeling among advertising (and corporate?) executives that working women and stay-at-home (or work-from-home) moms all secretly want to be porn stars.

And while I'll admit I found the Liquid Plumr Double Impact (aka Liquid Plumr Makes a Porno) ad amusing, the "Naughty Librarian" ad for Pearle Vision, which I keep seeing on TV (and I don't watch that much TV), has me rolling my myopic eyes:

Though I guess it's not that much worse than the naughty library ad Wonderful Pistachios ran a couple years back:

Maybe I'm missing something here, or maybe I've worked in libraries for too long, but what's the deal? Do you people (with penises) really think we women are going to buy glasses or pistachio nuts because we secretly want to be naughty librarians? Clearly this is some guy fantasy (of a guy who has never spent time in an actual library), and explains much of Tina Fey's appeal, but I don't get it.

Ladies, you tell me: Do you dream of being a naughty librarian? (And yes, you can leave your comment anonymously.)

Monday, April 9, 2012

You can't handle the cute!

[Warning: This blog post contains excessive cuteness and its inherent sweetness could make your teeth fall out.]

Monday morning blues? This unbearably cute video of the first artificially created polar bear cub should have you smiling in no time!

Still feeling low? Then check out Pudsey the dog's audition for Britain's Got Talent:

Even curmudgeon Simon Cowell cannot resist the cute.

Too much cute? Then how about a video of two adorable bunnies... in Dixie cups... exploding?

I don't know about all of you, but I feel so much better now.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Mets fan's prayer on Opening Day

Hi, I'm J., and I'm a (long-suffering) Mets fan (aka a Metsochist).

I have been a Mets fan since I was barely old enough to understand baseball, and though I have tried to root for the Yankees, I cannot. And do not even whisper the word "Phillies" around me.

Each year, on opening day of the baseball season, I think, 'maybe this will be the year -- the year the Mets make it into the playoffs, and possibly the World Series.'

Not so this year.

This year, I am just hoping the Mets stay out of last place in the National League East, a tall order considering their rivals -- the Philadelphia Phillies, the Atlanta Braves, the Jose Reyes Miami Marlins, and the ("How do you like my No. 1 draft picks, chumps?") Washington Nationals.

Seriously, you know you've hit a new low when just about every New York area beat reporter places the New York Mets in fifth place, behind the Nationals. Sigh.

While I have not entirely given up on this season (first pitch isn't until around 1:10 p.m. ET), I think "A Mets Fan's Prayer (or Lament)," which I composed, pretty much sums up this season.

Then again, the spouse and I didn't think the New York Giants had a chance of winning, let alone making it to, the Super Bowl this past season, and we all know how that turned out. (In your eye, Patriots fans!)


A Mets Fan's Prayer (or Lament)

Our Mets team that art in Citi Field,
Harrowing be thy game.
Your pitching sucks.
Your hitting isn't much better
at home as on the road.
Give us this day something to cheer about.
And forgive the Wilpons their debts,
as Picard has forgiven other debtors.
And lead us not into last place in the NL East,
but deliver us unto the playoffs.

Play ball! And may the best team in the National League East (not) make it into the playoffs!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Time for another '80s music blog post

It's been a long day, and I could use a little 1980s new wave music. You?

First up, Duran Duran "Girls on Film"...

Followed by a little George Michael singing "Faith"...

Anyone "Wanna Be a Cowboy"?

And finally, anyone else fancy a little Adam Ant -- and "Goody Two Shoes"?

Don't drink, don't smoke. What do you do?

Monday, April 2, 2012

A (super) model bank?

For those of you who haven't seen the (incredibly annoying) Banco do Brasil commercial featuring super -- or uber -- model Gisele Bundchen:

So does that make Banco do Brasil a (super) model bank?

And while I know Gisele Bundchen is nice to look at and has made a mint, would you deposit your mega millions in Banco do Brasil based on that commercial (or the slim chance of running into Gisele at the ATM?)

And speaking of deposits, I wonder how many Tom Brady has made in Gisele's bank...;-)