Thursday, May 31, 2012

18 Shades of J., Chapter 2: Dirty laundry

I promised you I would reveal more secrets, dear reader, and I am a woman who keeps my promises. When it is convenient.

While some women go to great lengths to hide it, today I will share with you my dirty laundry. Not all of it, of course. For I doubt you could handle it. Indeed, the shear weight of it could make a man's knees buckle.

And while I am not usually one to kiss and tell, I confess there must be a hundred kisses contained in that basket, if not more. Fortunately, in a few hours, less, I will have washed away all my stains and no one will be the wiser.

You want me to tell you another secret?

I did not make the bed this morning.

I can see your shock. But I could not give a sheet. I am a busy woman with many masters to please.

Ah, look at the time. I fear I must go, dear friends. The pool boy will be here any minute. But if you would like me to reveal another secret, leave a Comment.

[To read 18 Shades of J., the first chapter, click here.]

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

18 Shades of J.

What you are about to read is the truth.

I have many secrets, and now, finally, I will reveal some of them to you.

I have 18 shades.

And I warn you, some of them are quite blue.

Others are opaque. So no one can see me.

Some are translucent, shedding just a hint of light on what really goes on here.

Look closely, however, and you just might spy a glimpse of pussy...


(Geez, people. Get your minds out of the gutter.)

To be continued...?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Now that's a marriage proposal!

It was a beautiful night. Isaac was looking for something dumb to do.

Hey Amy, Isaac wants to marry you.

Love the dancing Jews.

Mazel tov.

This is how you propose marriage, people!

More about Isaac Lamb's awesome karaoke "Marry You" proposal to girlfriend Amy Frankel here.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Time for some girl on grill action

You know how to tell when summer has truly arrived (at least here in the Northeast)? When Weber Grills starts airing its "Have Fun With It" ad.

Whenever I see the Weber ad (or, more accurately, hear the song Weber commissioned for the ad, "You Light Me Up"), I want to get up and grill -- or dance around it, whacking my big metal grilling spatula against my hip like it's a tambourine.

I love me some good bbq -- and good summer weather.  

So what do you have cookin' this afternoon?

[The spouse is smoking ribs and making beer-can chicken in our Weber smoker and grilling some corn to go with. Mm mm mm. Will add photos later.]

Behold, the power of the smoker! Presenting... the spouse's beer-can chicken and ribs (with corn on the side):

Sunday, May 27, 2012

He's sexy and he knows it (Times Square edition)

When he walks on by, girls be lookin' like, Damn, he's fly.

When he walks in Times Square, this is what he sees,
Everybody stops and is staring at he.
He's got passion in his pants, and he ain't afraid to show it.

He's sexy and he knows it.

Though where are the animal prints and the big afro?

Still, this guy had no problem finding tourists to pay to take a picture with him. (Wha?! Say look at that body.)

Sadly, I do not remember what his sign said. It was so crowded in Times Square last night, and people kept coming up to have their picture taken with this guy. I was lucky to get this picture, with my crappy BlackBerry camera.

Only in New York.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A flock of seagulls singing A Flock of Seagulls

Yes, I am easily amused. But, having been a big Flock of Seagulls fan back in the day, I find this Cape Cod Potato Chips commercial, featuring a flock of seagulls singing A Flock of Seagulls' "I ran," particularly amusing.

I walked along the sandy beach,
I never thought I'd meet a gull like you-oo-oo,
Meet a gull like you-oo-oo....

Cape Cod Potato Chips rock. (They also taste really good.)

[Bonus points if you spotted the blond toupee on the lead gull.]

Monday, May 21, 2012

Banana bread, it's what's for breakfast

When life gives you mushy bananas, make banana bread, I say.

What did you have for breakfast?

Btw, for those interested, this banana bread recipe, from Simply Recipes, could not be simpler to make -- or more yummy. Note: to make the banana bread even yummier, add 1/2 cup of raisins.

Banana Bread Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour


  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour


No need for a mixer for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

Yield: Makes one loaf.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

I feel sad: Donna Summer dead at 63

Hearing that legendary disco diva Donna Summer is dead from breast cancer at 63 makes me feel like someone who left a cake out in the rain. And I don't think that I can take it, cause it took so long to bake it, and I'll never have that recipe again.

And while I loathe the song "Macarthur Park" (whose lyrics I just quoted), I was a huge fan of Donna Summer back in the day -- and wore deep groves into her 1979 hit album Bad Girls. Toot toot hey beep beep.

Donna Summer was seriously Hot Stuff.

RIP Donna Summer. We loved to love ya, baby.

[FYI, for those who were not Donna Summer fans, the title of this post refers to the Summer classic "I feel love." And I totally agree with the YouTube commenter who wrote "Donna was the D in Disco."]

Cat vacuuming?!

I don't know about the rest of you cat owners, but my two felines run for the hills every time I turn on a Dustbuster or a vacuum. So I was very surprised to see this video of a cat being vacuumed -- and enjoying it.

Amazingly, this cat is far from alone in its love of being vacuumed (a fact I only now know thanks to the power of YouTube).

Are these cats deaf? I don't get it. I can barely FURminate or lint roll my two cats, Flora and Felix.

So cat people, have you ever vacuumed your feline?

And dog people, have you ever vacuumed your canine? Inquiring minds want to know.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Well, that's one way to test a mattress!

Silly me, and here I thought mattresses were for sleeping.

Those Sealy mattress testers must have a lot of fun.

Btw, I love the description on the Sealy Mattresses YouTube page for the "Good Neighbors" ad (and that many of the viewers wanted to know how to get the song):
"With extra support in the middle, wrap around handles and now gel technology that cools you down when things get hot, there are a lot of reasons to buy a new Sealy Posturepedic® mattress. Sure, some of your neighbors might not be too pleased if you do, but other neighbors might be totally cool with it...."
Which lead me to wonder, just how many reasons are there to buy a Sealy Posturepedic mattress -- and where does "a good night's sleep" fall on the list?

Watching the ad also make me grateful I no longer live in an apartment (or dorm).

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Your future President?

I'd been watching this video titled "Harvard Baseball 2012 Call Me Maybe" trend on YouTube, but I didn't click on it, because I thought it was about baseball (even though I am a baseball fan) -- until the teenage daughter of a friend of the blog emailed it to me last night.

My first reaction: To call in my teenage daughter, who was already halfway down the hall when she heard "Call Me Maybe" blasting from my office. (She loved it.)

My second reaction: One of these Harvard guys could well be our future President. (Currently eight presidents have Harvard degrees.) So, meet your future President (or Senator or Cabinet member), people. Anyone care to guess which guy it will be?

Note: These really are Harvard baseball players... who will, for the foreseeable future, not need any help picking up women (judging by the teenage and twenty-something chick action these boys are getting on Twitter).

Thursday, May 10, 2012

They're Trekkies and they know it

I realize that this post will be read by a very small number of people (i.e., people who watched Star Trek, know LMFAO's "Sexy and I know it" and read J-TWO-O -- i.e., me, the spouse, and Dave S., and I'm not so sure about Dave S.) But I just love this parody of LMFAO's "Sexy and I know it" by a bunch of Star Trek geeks (even if the singing sucks), and, hey, it's my blog -- and I Khan do what I like.

Tribble Tribble Tribble Tribble Tribble Tribble.

Maybe when the next Star Trek movie comes out, someone will do "Every girl's crazy 'bout a Star Trek man."

Make it so, boys. Make it so.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

If you didn't look good, he didn't look good.

It's the end of a hair-a. RIP Vidal Sassoon.

Those of you who grew up or were adults (or had hair) in the 1980s will surely remember ads like this one for Vidal Sassoon hair care products:

Which inspired this famous "Salon" parody on Saturday Night Live...

as well as the Adam Sandler hair stylist character, Zohan Dvir, in You Don't Mess with the Zohan...

I think I speak for many of us when I say, Thank you, Vidal! (Now maybe there will be a cure for halo head.)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Some song that I used to know

I don't have any official stats, but I think it safe to say that Gotye's song, "Somebody that I used to know," could qualify for the Guinness World Records book as the most covered song in the shortest period of time.

For those of you who do not have a car radio, do not work out at a gym, do not have a tween or teen, do not watch entertainment news, or read about pop culture online, here is the original version of Gotye's angst-filled break-up song, "Somebody that I used to know":

And here is the very popular (and covered) cover of "Somebody that I used to know" by Walk Off the Earth, aka WOTE, which has so far garnered nearly 103 million hits on YouTube...

and inspired this parody, which may be my favorite version:

Oompa loompa doopity doo....

ANYWAY... getting back to Gotye and "Somebody that I used to know," you know you've arrived (I guess) when both a contestant on The Voice AND Darren Criss on Glee covers your song within a week of each other.

And you know your song has become a true pop culture phenomenon when a video of two adorable kids lip-synching "Somebody that I used to know" in a minivan becomes one of the most buzzed about videos on YouTube....

It's really just a matter of time (days?) until the Literal and Muppets versions come out, both of which I eagerly await.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I'll drink to that!

Best Cinco de Mayo margarita ad EVER.

(Warning: Do not be distracted by the incredibly cute kitten with the beret, people!)

Anyone else want to make it with a fireman?

Mmm... margarita.

Thank you, Sauza Tequila. And thank you, Mr. Fireman.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May I interest you in a good book?

Read many good books the last few months (and a few not-so-good books, many of which I could not finish).

Following are my favorites, divided into Fiction and Non-Fiction.

As per usual, I've linked each book title to its Amazon page, where you can read a more in-depth description and see other readers' reviews -- and buy the book, if you so choose.

I also welcome your suggestions. So if you've read a good book recently, please leave a comment with the name and title and a brief description.  

Fabulous Fiction 

The Swinger by Michael Bamberger and Alan Shipnuck. Written by two senior writers for Sports Illustrated, who clearly know golf (and Tiger Woods), the book is basically a fictionalized -- and highly entertaining -- account of golfer Tiger Woods' fall from grace. Though the Tiger Woods character in the book, Herbert "Tree" X. Tremont, is far more sympathetic. And while I enjoy watching golf, and was a big Tiger fan back in the day, you don't need to be a golfer or a Tiger hater (or lover) or a guy to enjoy this book, though it helps.

The Time in Between by Maria Dueñas. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to live through the Spanish Civil War or the Second World War in Spain, or Morocco, but thanks to Maria Dueñas' beautiful prose, I almost can -- in a good way. Told from the point of view of a young dressmaker, whose world is turned upside down several times by misfortune and war, The Time in Between is a story of fortitude, friendship, and fashion. It is also one of my new favorite books. Couldn't put it down.

Juliet by Anne Fortier. Reading this book made me want to book a flight to Siena, Italy, pronto. A tale of two sisters, the search for the real Romeo and Juliet, intrigue, hidden treasure, romance, and Italy! What more do you people ("people" as in women) want from a book? The perfect beach or hammock or vacation read.

The Twelfth Enchantment by David Liss. Although set in Regency England, and populated with romantic characters (such as Lord Byron), The Twelfth Enchantment is not a romance novel (and not just because there is not a bare-chested duke nor a buxom lass on the cover). Rather, it is a work of historical fiction -- with an occult/fantasy twist -- concerning the Industrial Revolution and the Luddites... and witches (or cunning folk) and fairies and spirits. If you enjoy historical fiction, as well as fantasy books, I highly recommend The Twelfth Enchantment.

The Very Picture of You by Isabel Wolff. As a fan of Wolff's previous novel, A Vintage Affair, I looked forward to reading The Very Picture of You -- and it did not disappoint. This time the main character is a portraitist in her mid-30s, who, as she learns about her subjects' lives learns things about herself and her family. Anglophiles, lovers of chick lit, and those with an artistic soul should enjoy this book (whose target audience is women in the their 30s and 40s), which is an easy read.

Noteworthy Non-Fiction

Gilded: How Newport Became America’s Richest Resort by Deborah Davis. I love a good,descriptive subtitle,don't you? After reading Davis's book, Strapless (a fabulous biography of John Singer Sargent and Madame X), I was eager to see what else she had written, and picked up Gilded. Told in vignettes, Gilded neatly captures the Gilded Age history and characters of Newport, Rhode Island, though it also includes Newport tales from more recent times (including that of Sunny and Claus von Bulow). Filled with wonderful anecdotes and pictures, Gilded inspired me and a friend (who also read book) to drive to Newport and visit some of the "cottages" mentioned.

The Hare with the Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal. Part art history, part memoir, The Hare with the Amber Eyes is one man's poignant search for the family history behind a set of Japanese netsuke (wood and ivory carvings) he inherited, which takes him to Paris and Vienna and Odessa. As a Jew, I was heartsick reading about the treatment of the Jews, even prominent ones, such as the author's great-grandparents and their extended family, in the early through mid-1900s in Europe, particularly in France and Austria, where much of the book takes place. A must read for lovers of art history, memoirs, and/or Europe before and during the Second World War.

(An interesting aside: Not long ago I read The Luncheon of the Boating Party, about Renoir's famous picture of the same name, which I loved. And one of the featured characters was an art connoisseur by the name of Charles Ephrussi, who happens to be Edmund de Waal's relative and is featured prominently, in a much different way, in The Hare with the Amber Eyes.)

Rogues’ Gallery: The Secret Story of the Lust, Lies, Greed, and Betrayals That Made the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Michael Gross. Hooray for subtitles! They make my job so much easier. Love the Met? Like a fun, gossipy read? Check out Rogues' Gallery. While I felt like I was slogging through the first half (or third) of the book, things definitely pick up when Gross gets to the mid-20th Century goings on at the venerable museum. Filled with interesting personalities and behind-the-scenes intrigue at one of the world's great museums, Rogues' Gallery is a must read for art history majors, New Yorkers, people who worked or volunteered at the Met (like me!), and anyone who ever wanted to know what it is like to attend one of the Costume Institute shindigs.

Marilyn Monroe: The Biography by Donald Spoto. I picked up Spoto's biography of Marilyn Monroe because I am huge fan of Smash on NBC and didn't really know that much about the Blonde Bombshell, though I've seen most of her movies (several times). And although it's depressing as Hell, Marilyn Monroe: The Biography is a very well researched biography, albeit too focused on Marilyn's psychiatric care and death for my taste, that exposes the many myths surrounding Monroe's life, romances, and death. Fascinating.

Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell: Adventurer, Adviser to Kings, Ally of Lawrence of Arabia by Janet Wallach. Before stumbling upon this book at my local library, I had no idea who Gertrude Bell was or anything about the history or formation of Iraq. Boy, was this book an eye opener. The incredible story of an incredible woman, Desert Queen shows how (and why) things went so terribly wrong in the Middle East -- then and now -- and why any Western attempts to "fix things" or bring democracy to that region will most likely fail. To repeat myself, fascinating.

Note: To see previous Book Nook posts, click on the "Book Nook" label, below, or click on the "Book Recommendations" link in the right-hand column.