Friday, May 31, 2013

A tempest in a D-Cup?

Maybe it's because I am a lifelong member of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee (except, perhaps, when I was nursing), but I never realized what a huge problem finding a good bra -- or a good-fitting bra -- was. (Though try finding a 30B bra anywhere other than the Girls department. Trust me, you can't.)

Have you ever walked into the Ladies Lingerie or Intimate Apparel department in a department store? There are literally THOUSANDS OF BRAS, in practically every shape, style, and color (except for a 30B in nude or really any solid color). It makes me envy women with a 36C (which is apparently the preferred method of stuffing a wild bikini*).

And yet according to bra maker Wacoal (which makes one of my favorite bras), 90 million women are wearing the wrong bra. Huh?

The problem, per Wacoal and other boobologists**, a too big band and too small cups. (Which, technically, I am also guilty of -- though it's not my fault!)

But now apparently, Jockey is riding to the rescue, creating a new measurement system and line of bras designed to provide women -- with all the way up to a 50N*** -- a better fit.

To which I say, Oy. Do we women really need to deal with yet another measurement system?

Granted, the current system for figuring out one's bra size -- measuring your chest at the widest point; then measuring the rib cage, just below the breasts; with the rib cage measurement being the band size and the difference between the two measurements determining the cup size, with a one-inch difference means an A; a two-inch difference means a B; and so on -- isn't perfect. And no, it's not because women aren't good at math. It's because breasts come in different shapes and most women don't like feeling corseted.

But instead of coming up with a whole new system, or one manufacturer wreaking havoc by coming up with a new system, couldn't all you bra manufacturers just get together and decide on a single set of standards? (Ditto all you women's clothing and shoe manufacturers.)

Men's clothing, including underwear, and shoes are pretty much standardized. So why can't women's clothing and shoe and bra designers do it? (I know, I know: vanity sizing. Women have gotten much bigger, all over, but don't want to buy larger sizes.)

If you ask me, this is a tempest in a D-Cup.

*I miss Beach Party Week and The 4:30 Movie.
**Not a real word.
***OMG, 50N?!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Is honesty always the best policy?

One of the things that hurts me most as a parent is when my daughter lies to me. Since she was a toddler, I have told her that honesty is the best policy -- and that it was better to tell me something, the truth, even if it meant I might get mad a her, than for me to find out she had lied to me. That would make me even angrier, I told her.

But over the years I have wondered, is honesty really the best policy? Or always the best policy?

Don't get me wrong. I think it's important to tell the truth. Most of the time. But what if you knew the truth would hurt someone? Should you lie or not say anything, even when the person is practically begging you for the truth?

I remember years ago, during a particularly dark period in my life when I was in therapy, I was consumed with guilt over something I knew about someone and wanted to reveal what I knew, because I hated lying. And my therapist -- a licensed psychologist -- told me not to. Why hurt someone, she said, if you didn't have to?

I was shocked. I still am, a bit, years later. But I never told -- and was glad I didn't.

Recently, I was confronted with another situation that made me question the whole "honesty is the best policy" policy.

What if you know something about someone else's child that the parent doesn't know? I'm not talking about the kid doing drugs or committing a crime. But what if you knew a friend's kid was on Facebook, even though he didn't have permission to be on Facebook? Or your friend didn't know her daughter was fooling around with a boy behind her back? Or driving her friends around when she wasn't supposed to (which, technically, is illegal)? Would you tell your friend or keep your mouth shut?

What if you saw your best friend's husband (or wife) with another woman (or man)? Would you tell your friend, even if she or he asked if you thought her or his spouse was having an affair?

I know there are no easy answers to these questions, but I'd be interested to hear what you all think. Is honesty always the best policy? And if not, what do you tell your kids? First do no harm?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Caption these two cat photos

I recently took these two photos of our cats, Felix and Flora. And I thought it would be fun to see what captions you guys could come up with, so many of you being either a) cat people, b) wordsmiths, or c) all of the above.

The first photo is of our cat, Felix, taken shortly after he jumped into our glassware cabinet (as I was about to put away some glasses.)

Any caption suggestions?

Next up, our cat Flora, who was (patiently? pissed off?) waiting for me by the front door as I went to get the mail the other day.

Leave your captions in the Comments section. I will let you know my favorites this coming week.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Because a vagina is a terrible thing to waste

So when I opened this morning, what should I see at the top of the page, right there in the middle, but the great big headline "Unexcited? There May Be a Pill for That!" about a new drug called Lybrido that purports to help women suffering from HSDD (Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder), aka a low sex drive.

My first reaction? Lybrido? Seriously? Did George Jetson's dog Astro name this thing? ("Jane doesn't want to have sex with George anymore? Ruh-roh. Rust be something wrong with her lybrido!")

My next reaction, Sure, announce this after Saturday Night Live goes on summer break.

And finally, so when did a woman not wanting to have sex several times a week with her husband -- the guy she's been married to for a billion years, who is rarely at home, who doesn't understand what it's like to deal with three hormonal teenagers, who never asks her how she's doing, and plays golf with his buddies on the weekend* -- become a disease that needed to be treated? Puh-lease. If that was the case, almost every woman in my County would be required to take Lybrido.

Joking aside, though, I get that there are women out there who can't get it up psychologically and would welcome a pill that makes you horny. (Usually a glass of Champagne and some oysters do it for me, or a good pastrami and turkey sandwich on rye, but I'm easy.)

Me, I'm waiting for scientists to develop a pill that stops people from acting like jerks. (Just think of the name possibilities!)

*Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Make way for goslings

So as I was driving home from the farmers market this morning, I came across this mama goose and her mate and their three goslings crossing Route 7, our local highway (for lack of a better term). For once, I had my little Canon PowerShot S95 with me, so I was able to take these three photographs.

Here they are in the process of crossing the road. (The goslings were so adorable, waddling away.)

Right after I took this next photo, though, the geese abruptly did an about face (or goose) -- and had me worried for a minute.

Fortunately, there was a red light up ahead -- so no one was honking (except maybe the geese). And by the time light had turned green, mama goose, the gander, and their three goslings had safely waddled over to the shoulder.

And they all lived happily ever after.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

What would Spock drink?

[Alternate title: To boldly go where no beer has gone before!]

Finally, someone has managed to combine two of my favorite things: Star Trek and beer! Just in time for the opening of Star Trek into Darkness!

Introducing Vulcan Ale, the first “officially licensed alcoholic beverage” of Star Trek -- and "A logical choice for a palate pleasing libation."

Though I'm not sure a Vulcan ale should be Irish Red. (A pale ale would surely be more logical. Also, I thought Vulcan was known for its port not ale.)

More about Vulcan Ale here and here.

(Though why Vulcan Ale is only sold in Canada seems highly illogical.)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Cat got your door?

(Alternate title: Open says me-ow)

WARNING: Whatever you do, people, do NOT watch these videos in front of your cat(s)!

While we've been at work, our cats have been busy... practicing. And soon, there will be no stopping these felonious felines from entering our bedrooms and waking us up at 5 a.m....

or letting in the dog...

or stealing our food...

Who needs opposable thumbs? Be afraid, humans. Be very afraid.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Best David Bowie cover ever (Astronaut sings "Space Oddity" in space!)

Here he is, sitting in his tin can far above the Moon
Planet Earth is blue and there's nothing he can do...
except make a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity," apparently.

For those who haven't seen astronaut Chris Hadfield's cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity," which he recorded on the International Space Station, here you go.

This is ground control to Colonel Chris. You've really made the grade.

Best cover of a David Bowie song EVER.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A little Mother's Day advice

Whoever said "father knows best" must not have had a mother.

So herewith, a little advice from some moms on Mother's Day.

First up, some Mother's Day advice from some Jewish mothers (and grandmothers):

[H/T to Molly and Molly's friend, David.]

(I loved the definition of "a genius" -- an average student with a Jewish mother. Though I know plenty of Catholic mothers who would define it the same way. ;-)

Next, what moms really want for Mother's Day, via Jimmy Kimmel Live:

For the record, I made myself (and the spouse) pancakes this morning, even though the teenager offered to make them. And they were delicious.

One last thought -- or piece of advice -- from this mother: Mother's Day should not be about celebrating the person who gave birth to you but about celebrating those who mothered you and cared for you when you needed it.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

If cats kept diaries

Ever wondered what your (or your friend's/mother's/girlfriend's) cat was thinking? Wonder no more!

I give you... "Sad Cat Diary."

Personally, I prefer the catty musings of Le Chat Henri, but I found "Sad Cat Diary" amusant nonetheless.

Bonus cat cartoon: "The first, and last, take-your-cat-to-work day," from Rhymes with Orange:

Thursday, May 9, 2013


While manscaping is no longer a radical, new concept, I was a bit surprised to see this ad for the Gillette Fusion ProGlide Styler on morning television (granted, I was watching Mike & Mike on ESPN) promoting the practice.

[Btw, that commercial is downright tame compared to Wilkinson Sword's ad directed at women, titled "Mow the Lawn."]

Actually, I think it's pretty clever of Gillette to use Kate Upton, Hannah Simone, and Genesis Rodriguez to sell guys on the concept of shaving something other than their facial hair.

I could be wrong, guys, but I would bet that if Kate Upton sidled up to you, put her hand on your shoulder (or other part) and/or gave you that come hither look and said, "I really don't like guys with back hair," that back hair would be gone in a flash.

So what do you all think of manscaping? Do you know guys who do it?

Ladies, have or would you ever ask a guy to shave (or wax) something other than his face?

And guys, would you ever shave something other than your mustache or beard if a woman asked you to? 

FYI, according to Gillette's stats, 25% of women prefer a trimmed chest, 37% of women prefer a clean-shaven chest, 48% of women prefer a trimmed groin area, and 21% of women prefer a shaved groin. (I have no idea where these stats come from, but I am fascinated. I am also pretty sure that 99% of women prefer a guy without back and shoulder hair.)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I find this Audi S7 ad highly illogical

So for those of you who do not own a television, do not browse the Internet, or read entertainment magazines or a newspaper, the new Star Trek movie, Into Darkness, comes out May 17. And car maker Audi has put its tie-in advertising for the new Audi S7 into warp drive.

Just like the original Star Trek series and the Star Trek movies, Audi's latest ad, "Zachary Quinto [the new Mr. Spock] vs. [original Mr. Spock] Leonard Nimoy: The Challenge" combines futuristic technology and humor to create something... fascinating. Or just downright bizarre.

[H/T to Another David S. for sending me this video. Live long and prosper, cuz.]

I love the bit at the end where Nimoy gives Quinto the Vulcan nerve pinch.

As amusing (or interesting) as the ad may be, though, Audi seems to have forgotten the famous Spock quote, "After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true."

Bonus points to anyone (other than Dave S.) who knows what song Leonard Nimoy is singing as he drives to the club.


Time's up. It's "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins," which you can see right here:

You're welcome.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

What I've been reading -- and you might like to read, too

Time for another Book Nook post! (Click that link to see my previous book recommendations -- and be sure to scroll down.)

Seems like I've been reading a lot of nonfiction and historical fiction lately. So if you've been looking for some good nonfiction (or historical fiction), I've probably got a book for you. I also read one outstanding work of fiction, which I highly recommend to everyone. (See below.)

Anyway, to help you determine if what I enjoyed reading is something you'd want to read, I've included a brief description of each book as well as a link to a lengthier description and reviews on Amazon.

Happy reading!


The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen by Syrie James. Those who love books about Jane Austen or books about people who love Jane Austen books will probably enjoy this novel, which is about a 30-something Jane Austen scholar who stumbles across an unpublished Jane Austen manuscript. I didn't love this book (something about the chipper, earnest, slightly breathy tone and improbable romance irked me, though I'm irked by the tone and cliche plots of most chick lit books), but I would recommend it to those looking for some beach or plane reading.

*The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. The librarian who organizes our Book Buzz talks (hi Lauren!) recommended this book to me (at least I think she was the one who recommended it), and boy am I glad she did. I LOVED this book. It is charming and funny and sly, all of the qualities I appreciate in a book -- and it is an original. As for how to describe the book, Amazon does a pretty good job in its one-sentence summary: "A reluctant centenarian much like Forrest Gump (if Gump were a [Swedish] explosives expert with a fondness for vodka) decides it’s not too late to start over..." As the main character journeys across Sweden, meeting other interesting characters, we learn about his fascinating (or explosive) past -- much of which involves his role in critical moments of Russian, U.S., Chinese, and Indonesian history. 

Merivel: A Man of His Time by Rose Tremain. The sequel to Restoration, which I never read but I know was hugely popular (and made into a movie starring Robert Downey, Jr.), Merivel is the fictional memoir of the fictional Sir Robert Merivel, an intimate of England's King Charles II, who is getting on in years (Merivel as well as Charles II). I thought of it as a poignant look at an aging rake in late 17th century England and France. If you read Restoration or enjoy well-written historical fiction, particular stories that take place in 17th century England that involve the aristocracy, you should enjoy this book.


Paris, I Love You, But You’re Bringing Me Down by Rosecrans Baldwin. Rosecrans, I loved the concept, but your book -- which should have been titled Paris, I Love You, But You're Bringing My Wife Down, and If I Don't Quit My Awesome Advertising Job and Move Back to the States She's Going to Leave Me -- brought me down. Having been an American in Paris many times, and having often contemplated what it would be like to live in Paris, I was curious to read this book, which I had read good things about. In a nutshell, the book is about a writer whose French buddy offers him a job at his chic Parisian advertising agency. So the author and his wife move into a noisy apartment in Paris (apparently the author didn't notice all the construction work when he chose the apartment). Just one or two little problems: The wife doesn't speak French, can't afford to take French classes, can't work, is surrounded by deafening construction noise on a daily basis, and hangs out with Americans who sound like they would bring anyone down. All this while Baldwin, albeit struggling with his French, is working in a gorgeous office off the Champs-Elysees on glamorous accounts and then drinking with his coworkers after work -- and traveling to fabulous locales to interview and photograph celebrities for high-end consumer products, leaving his wife behind in Paris. Anyone else sense a potential problem or two there? My sarcasm aside, I think many of you will enjoy or be amused by this book (even if I wasn't).

A Venetian Affair: A True Tale of Forbidden Love in the 18th Century by Andrea di Robilant. The title and subtitle pretty much say it all. Di Robilant, a reporter, does an excellent job of translating and recounting the tale of these two star-crossed lovers (who were good friends of/with Casanova). Plus we learn a lot about Venice. What I found so amazing was how contemporary the story felt -- like a modern day Young Adult novel or a Hollywood teen movie.

A Grand Complication: The Race to Build the World’s Most Legendary Watch by Stacy Perman. As someone who adores and has long had a fascination with watches, I was immediately drawn to this book when I spied it on the new nonfiction bookshelf. And it did not disappoint. The book is on one hand a biography of James Ward Packard and banker Henry Graves, Jr., two of America's wealthiest men in the early 20th century, focusing on the two men's quest or unspoken competition over decades to own the most complex watch(es) Swiss watchmakers could craft. It is also the story of American (and Swiss) ingenuity and invention in the early 20th century. Highly recommend.

The Drunken Botanist: The Plants that Create the World's Great Drinks by Amy Stewart. Another fascinating read. How can you not love a well-written, informative book about the history of cocktails -- or the plants that make the alcohol that goes into cocktails -- which also includes cocktail recipes? Whether you are a lush or a teetotaler, or somewhere in between, you will enjoy reading Stewart's amusing history of "the plants that create the world's great drinks." Now someone please pass me a margarita on the rocks, no salt.

Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality by Jacob Tomsky. You will never check into a hotel the same way again -- especially in New York. A fun, fast, informative read about the hotel industry (or the New York or major urban city hotel business). Good beach or plane reading.

* = A favorite; one of my Top 10 reads of the year

So what have you all been reading? If you read a book you'd recommend, please leave a comment with the name of the book and the author and a brief description. The book doesn't have to be a recent release. It could be a classic or something that was published 10 or 20 years ago.

(As regular readers know, I am always eager to hear of books that are funny or humorous without being raunchy or vulgar or depressing.)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Cat-ucky Derby?

Forget the Run for the Roses. This year's Kentucky Derby should be called the Run for the Kittens -- that is if Fear the Kitten joins his half-brother, Charming Kitten, a handsome chestnut colt out of Kitten's Joy, in the field of 20.

[Fear the Kitten had been slotted in as the 20th horse in the field but was bumped by Giant Finish yesterday. However, Fear the Kitten could still make a run for the catnip if another horse is scratched. If I was a trainer of one of those other 20 horses, I would be afraid -- or a-fear-ed.] 

While the odds-makers do not seem to fear either Kitten (Verrazano, Orb, and Goldencents are currently the favorites), I would love to see a Kitten win the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

I can just hear the call now....

And in the stretch it's Goldencents and Verrazano with Fear the/Charming Kitten on the outside... it's Goldencents and Verrazano... and here comes Fear the/Charming Kitten... it's Fear the/Charming Kitten in the lead... heading for home it's Fear the/Charming Kitten and Goldencents charging hard... it's Goldencents and Fear the/Charming Kitten at the wire... and it's... I don't believe it! Fear the/Charming Kitten wins by a whisker!

May the best Kitten -- I mean horse -- win!

[Even without the Kittens, this year's Kentucky Derby may be one for the history books, featuring a female jockey, Rosie Napravnik, riding Mylute, and a black jockey, Kevin Krigger of St. Croix, riding Goldencents. It's been over 100 years since a black (or African-American) jockey won the Derby -- and if Napravnik and Mylute beat out the rest of the field, it will be the first time a woman has won.]

[You can see/read about all the horses scheduled to run in this year's Kentucky Derby here.]