Sorry I missed you all last week but I was down for about 10 days with some sort of (non-COVID) bug. Let me tell you guys, keep washing your hands and wearing your masks because you DO NOT want to get this, and apparently it’s going around.
1. This Oatmeal Cartoon – I don’t actually “love” this but it’s an excellent cartoon.
The Oatmeal explains in their usual indubitable way, why religious extremists SUCK…
2. This Target Commercial – Yay for body positivity! If only the body positivity movement had started 50 years ago.
3. This Podcast – Only the first episode is about the current residents of Windsor Palace (Prince Andrew and his shady association with Jeffrey Epstein), the other episodes are about Elizabeth I, “Mad” King George III, and Victoria (who was not the prim and proper monarch we thought she was…)
4. This Recycling Idea – My biggest gripe about weddings is the cost. My second biggest gripe is the waste. This young bride found a solution that addresses both issues.
Gwendolyn Stulgis found her dream wedding gown but it cost waaaay more than she had budgeted. She decided to buy it and then after her wedding give it to another bride who couldn’t afford a wedding gown.
She set up a contest on Facebook asking brides to submit their requests. She also laid out the following requirements:
The recipient of the dress should have a wedding date within a few months of the post, and after it is worn, the bride must dry-clean it and pass it on to another bride, creating an ongoing chain.
She found a very grateful woman who was overjoyed to win the dress and the contest went on to inspire other brides to do the same thing.
Now Stulgis has started a Facebook group called “Shared Dream Dresses” where women can share their wedding gowns and bridesmaid and mother-of-the-bride dresses.
7. This New Marvel Series – Ms. Marvel is the first Muslim, Southeast Asian, female superhero and she ROCKS! I also love that they have brought some real history into the storyline, pulling in the India-Pakistan partition as part of the plot. I highly recommend you check this out on Disney+.
1. This Bust of an Unidentified Black Slave by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux – Housed at The Met Museum, the bust is one of only two known versions carved in marble. It is a powerful representation of the brutality that people of color endured and how they responded with fortitude and strength.
“Created twenty years after the abolition of slavery in the French colonies (1848), the sculpture was debuted in Paris in 1869 under the title Négresse, a term that reinforces the fallacy of human difference based on skin color. The subject’s resisting pose, defiant expression, and accompanying inscription – ‘Pourquoi Naître Esclave!’ (Why Born Enslaved!) – convey an antislavery message. However, the bust also perpetuates a Western tradition of representation that long saw the Black figure as inseparable from the ropes and chains of enslavement.”
2. This Short Film Created by Apple (so admittedly it’s one long ad) – this short film is very well done. You will actually become invested in what happens to these four people, you’ll find yourself rooting for them. I also liked that they are basically addressing a “Great Resignation” issue. (Though in reality, haven’t difficult bosses who don’t appreciate their employees and overwork them; and employees who dream of going off and making it on their own, haven’t these things been around forever? What was the tipping point?)
3. This Nautical Discovery – This is HUGE. I have been slightly (okay, not slightly) obsessed with the history of Ernest Shackleton’s expedition on the Endurance for decades. I think the main reason for my being drawn to their story is because rarely do you hear about such a disaster where every single person survives.
Here’s what happened. The Endurance became lodged in ice and began to sink. This took a long time and they were able to get a lot of things they needed off the ship. Eventually it was crushed and sank completely. The crew were stuck on the Antarctic ice for about 17 MONTHS.
The men finally were rescued after Shackleton and a group of five men made an arduous trek 750 miles in a small boat to a British-owned island called South Georgia.
The men documented their 17 months with photography, which is another reason why the story is so interesting. Here are some newly restored photos. And here are some photos from negatives discovered in the ice. And more photos here. You can just keep finding more and more.
6. This State’s Legislation on College Tuition – OMG, NEW MEXICO rocks!
Legislation was signed into law on March 4, 2022 by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham that will make college free for students who choose to go to public universities!
From the article:
On March 4, 2022, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law the New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship Act after it passed both state legislative houses. The law allots $75 million to a fund of scholarships. This will expand scholarship coverage from 10,000 to 35,000 students in the coming fall. An award of tuition and fees is coordinated in partnership with the public or tribal participating college. Almost any New Mexico resident qualifies, including continuing and part-time students. Students must maintain a minimum of six credit hours and a grade point average of at least 2.5 during their time in school.
1. This Announcement that Pinterest Has Banned Weight-loss Ads – Pinterest is the first (and only) “major” social media network to ban weight-loss ads. Why is this a big deal? Not only does it end the constant promotion of the messed up theory that people (women primarily) can only be attractive if they are “thin.” But for people with eating disorders, it is removing a significant trigger that has lead them to have body dysmorphia. More social media networks need to follow suit.
In fact, the entire dieting industry should be investigated. Samantha Bee did a two-part story on her show a few weeks ago about how the weight lost industry is in overdrive now that the pandemic is being deemed “over,” focusing their ads on how people need to lose the weight gained over the past year and a half. As Samantha points out, we just survived a pandemic, that was STRESSFUL. If you happened to put on a few pounds and don’t look like you did in 2019 – so the fuck what?!?!
In part two she talks with a doctor who even says that dieting has been shown to do the opposite – it can cause people to put ON weight. I can attest to that. After a lifetime of chronic dieting all I’ve done is put on much more weight than I’ve lost. (If you haven’t heard about the ‘Set Point Theory‘ you should read about it.)
2. The New Statue Honoring Princess Diana – I think it’s lovely. But it’s being ripped to shreds by art critics and people who reported on Diana and basically, anyone who has a strong feeling and/or opinion about Diana.
I like what this woman tweeted…
3. This Woman, Kataluna Enriquez, Who is the First Openly Trans Miss USA Contestant – clearly she’s beautiful.
4. This Video Showing that the Problem at the USPS is NOT the Employees – I’ve always known this. Though I will say in MY neighborhood, it is the USPS delivery person who is also part of the problem. But that is a fluke.
5. This Early 19th Century Painting by Marie-Denise Villers – Originally thought to have been painted by David, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has rejected that attribution and determined it was painted by Villers. It looks like Marie, the model, is doing some sketching – I imagine she’s looking out the window. Do you think she’s drawing the couple across the way?
6. This Camera Man – Not only did he outrun all the sprinters but he did it carrying an 8-1/2 pound camera and dressed in street clothing. Here’s a video.
7. This SNL Skit – A friend of mine reminded me about this a few weeks ago (thanks Jeanne!) I laugh every time I watch it. And not just the ha ha kind of laughing but the belly laugh kind with a few snorts tossed in for good measure.
WOO HOO! Received my second Pfizer shot two weeks ago so I am fully ….
I hope you are too! Be sure to get your vaccination if you haven’t.
1. This Lebanese Artist Who Turned the Tables on These Sexist Vintage Ads – I love this guy. His name is Eli Rezkallah and he’s done much more than this series, but I’m highlighting this because it delights me so. His intent is to shock and I think he’s done a good job. I wonder if there are any sexist men though that will get it. Sigh.
Here’s one more he did that I loved. So sassy!
2. This Food Vlogger – I am OBSESSED with Beryl Shereshewsky! This woman is my soul sister (she includes links to the sites where her earrings are from!) Beryl is actually a television producer. She was making micro-documentaries but then, well, you know. So she decided to use her time during isolation to try something that combined her love of cooking (and eating) with film making. Thus her YouTube Channel was born. It primarily covers her cooking and trying out a certain disk/item made several different ways from around the world. For example, she recently did this one on instant noodles… (this one made me a little verklempt when they started to all eat together.)
What I love about Beryl is how much information she shares about everything, the history, the culture, etc. She really seems to know her stuff – she clearly has traveled a lot (I think from her previous gig.) And there is a true sense of community on her channel. She even has a book club and shares “other stuff” as the tagline of her channel indicates.
I must admit though, she had me at toast recipes… (and she’s done THREE episodes on toast!)
3. This Hand & Nail Treatment – yowzah! For most of my life I had fabulous nails and then, boom, around the time I turned 45 they started getting brittle and breaking and the drop of a hat. I couldn’t grow them long anymore and my manicures were lucky if they lasted more than a couple days.
Eventually I discovered shellac manis and that helped a little but even those were lucky to last a week and I had to keep my nails short. It didn’t bother me, I told myself, this is how women wore their nails in movies in the 40s – short and red. But it was expensive getting a shellac mani every week (and not good for my nails I’m sure)!
During the pandemic I thought that maybe not wearing polish would give my nails a break and they might get better. I even tried all sorts of products – creams, oils, lotions – in the hopes they might help. But nothing.
Around two weeks ago I started using this product and my nails are already longer than they’ve been in years. I wish I had thought to take some before and after photos.
4. This Artwork by SNL Actor Melissa Villaseñor – I’ve said this a million times, it’s SO WRONG when someone is incredibly talented in one artistic field (acting/comedy) and then ends up being incredibly talented in a second area (art/illustrations.) But for once, I actually am okay with it. Melissa is someone that I love so much and I’m good with her being so blessed. Plus, we get to enjoy her art! (And if you hang out on her IG you’ll soon discover that she’s a bit of a depressive.)
5. This Tweet – At the bottom from ‘The Lone Apple.’
6. This Toast Art – Japanese Artist Manami Sasak uses TOAST for her canvas. PINCH ME!
7. This Remakeof One of the Most Famous Musicals in History – HOLY SHIT, STEVEN SPIELBERG REMADE WEST SIDE STORY!!! I was watching the Academy Awards last night and they showed this trailer and I almost DIED! And Rita Moreno is in this version TOO!
1. This Cover of VOGUE Magazine – The world was given Amanda Gorman in 1998 but so many of us were unaware of this gifted woman until January 20, 2020. Thank goodness President Biden chose her as his Inaugural Poet! Good job Vogue – keep going – let’s see scientists and artists and teachers and healthcare workers and activists and environmentalists and small-business owners and single Moms and… on the cover.
2. This Graphic Showing what “Reasonable Police Officers” said as the Trial of Derek Chauvin Regarding Use of Unreasonable Force – I can’t say I love this but I appreciate that someone put it together. I have listened to a good portion of the trial and happened to turn it on today right at the point where the defense attorney was discussion this specific topic in their closing arguments. It was infuriating listening to him try to manipulate and twist his words to make it sound as though what Chauvin did was at all reasonable, even after so many officers had said it wasn’t. I only pray the jury sees through his legal speak.
3. This Comic Book Artist – I actually saw these a few years ago but ran across them again and needed to share. The artist’s name is Francois Schuiten. He illustrated a series of comic books called Obscure Cities, written by his longtime friend, writer Benoit Peeters.
As you can see, the artwork is magnificent. For years the only way to get them in the US was in black and white and in the original French but the good news is, just this year, Penguin began releasing them in English and in full-color! I’ve ordered one already from my local bookshop.
4. These Selections of Brahms – Famous individuals from the music world choose their favorite five-minutes of Johannes Brahms. A fantastic way to become accustomed to Brahm’s music if you are unfamiliar or reacquaint yourself if it’s been a while. [From the New York Times]
5. This Television Series from a Series of Novels – The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness (A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life) were published between 2011 and 2014. This series is based on the three books with each season covering one of the books. Two seasons have been aired so far, the second season only recently becoming available. I was able to watch it via Prime with my AMC subscription but if you have a Sundance subscription that is another option.
People have often compared this series to Twilight and Harry Potter, the former because of the vampires and other creatures in the story and the latter because of the literary aspects, and I can see why they would, but as a friend of mine said, these are more mature, grown-up versions of the stories – more complicated, more clever.
And I don’t think I mentioned that there is time travelling. The second season is spent mostly in Tudor London while the first season is mostly in modern day Oxford (or Venice or the French countryside.) The entire show is a treat to watch.
6. This Email from Kitsch Regarding Mother’s DayPromotions – I’ve never received anything like this before and I really wish more businesses would follow suit! There are a multitude of reasons why Mother’s Day is difficult for me. Being bombarded by ads and promotions (not just in my inbox but on television and radio too) for nearly the a full month before the actual holiday, makes it all the more difficult.
7. This Sneak Peak of a Bourbon Street Chemist (with Products Made Entirely in Felt) – I love Lucy Sparrow’s art. She works primarily with felt and wool and often creates life-sized recreations of everyday objects.
Her latest exhibit is at the Lyndsey Ingram Gallery and you can see a nice overview at the video below. You can purchase the items at the NFS (or National Felt Service, which is Lucy’s spin on the UK’s NHS or National Health Service.) As they are pieces of art, they are not inexpensive.
1. This Comedian’s Solution to Gun Control – So simple. I’ve only recently discovered Steve Hofstetter and he’s hilarious. I start watching his videos on YouTube and end up watching for hours.
By the way, I bought a small portable (annotated) version of the constitution which I carry with me. I’ve been surprised at how often I refer to it. Originally I got it because I wanted to be like RBG – but I never thought I’d actually use it. Turns out there’s a very practical reason for carrying one around and it’s no surprise that Justice Ginsburg would know that.
2. This Roundabout Mural in My Hometown of Dubuque – I’ve never seen this myself but then I’ve not been “home” for a few years because, well, you know why. I was curious to see if this was a thing, if maybe artists were doing this around the US or even around the world but I couldn’t find any others (admittedly I only did one search.) I did, however, find that public traffic sculptures are a thing.
3. This Video Clip from Sesame Street – most of you who grew up on Sesame Street will remember John John. Be sure to watch all the way through and see if you don’t have a big smile on your face when this is over.
4. This Video from 1949 about a “Step-Saving” Kitchen, from the Department of Agriculture – Created for farming families, the video is pure vintage delight. Set aside for the moment the whole housewives (only) do all the cooking thing, and focus on the design aspect. There are actually many things I wish were standard components in today’s kitchens. The cookbook holder on the inside of the cabinet and the garbage hatch were two things I was most impressed by.
I also loved the counter height analysis. I wonder if they still make “pull-out boards”. As a taller person I find most counters are usually too low for me.
A few last thoughts… the video made me miss the “olden” days, just a little bit. Things like having a landline in the kitchen and the little desk you’d sit at while taking a call. I also thought it was interesting that they chose to have a woman narrating the video even though it was about architectural design. It’s a little bit of a relief to know that in 1949 they didn’t feel it would be necessary to have a man present the plans. I realize it was for something considered a “woman’s world” but it would have been the man making the decisions and paying for it.
5. These Hand-Painted Wallpapers – Anyone who knows me knows that I’m wallpaper junkie. And chinoiserie wallpaper, especially hand-painted chinoiserie wallpaper, well, it makes my heart go pitter-patter. When I bought my current house (it’s my Golden Girls’ Dream House,) I knew I absolutely had to have wallpaper put up in a few of the rooms. And so I did and in my opinion, the wallpaper I chose is magnificent. But admittedly, none of it can compare to these.
Chinoiserie (or China Style) “is the European interpretation and imitation of Chinese and other East Asian artistic traditions, especially in the decorative arts, garden design, architecture, literature, theatre, and music.”
The story of how de Gournay began could possibly be movie-worthy:
Started in 1986, founder Claud Cecil Gurney started de Gournay following an unsuccessful search for experts to restore the antique Chinoiserie wallpaper in his family home. His passion for art and Chinese history brought him to China where he investigated the possibility of working with local artists to replicate the pieces he longs for in his home.
Once in China, he quickly discovered the government’s preference for mass design, making traditional hand painting of wallpaper a dying art. In an effort to save the vanishing tradition, he widened his search and eventually located artists whose parents, grandparents and ancestors had been trained in these specific techniques and who shared his wish to continue the traditions.
6. These Peeps Sandals – My friend Leann made these for Easter. I think they are adorable! Full disclosure, she said that it’s a bugger to work with marshmallow (even marshmallow that you’ve allowed to harden) and a glue gun.
7. This Training Video for Wendy’s Employees – Only in the 80s. It was a simpler time. MUCH simpler. (Still, this brought me much happines.)
Word of the Day
Quote of the Day
“All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.
1. This Couple, Annie Kampfe and Cliff Donnelly, Who Built a Miniature Mid-Century House Based on the Homes They Grew Up In – who doesn’t love miniatures and someone who put this much into the details of a Mid-Century home – I mean, it really would be every kids dream house, right?
2. This DoorDash Commercial – I don’t know about you but there is something quite comforting about the idea of being roomies with Cookie Monster. Yeah, he’d make a mess when he ate, yeah, you’d have to hide the cookies, but how cute is he sitting there on the sofa, reading next to Daveed Diggs?!?!
3. This New(ish) Television Series, Resident Alien – based on a comic book series, Resident Alien takes a fairly common premise – alien invasion – and turns it upside down. In the SyFy series (which stars Alan Tudyk, most famous for his role as Hoban ‘Wash’ Washburne in Firefly, though I also love his ‘Steve the Pirate’ in Dodgeball: a True Underdog Story, one of my all-time favorite movies) is an alien who crash lands in Colorado while on a mission to actually destroy planet Earth. In the crash he loses some of the equipment he needs to destroy earth because it’s winter and it gets buried in the snow, somewhere on a rather large mountain.
Without alien equipment he has to go old school and look for it by walking around and digging, which he knows could take weeks. He decides he will need food and shelter and luckily finds a remote home on the lake. Not so lucky for the homeowner, it isn’t abandoned. The alien kills the man and disposes of his body in the lake but also takes the human’s form in case he’s noticed while searching for his lost equipment.
Soon after though a murder occurs in the nearby town and the victim is the town’s only doctor. The people in the town need someone to help them with the autopsy and guess who is the nearest doctor, yep, the guy the alien killed and transformed himself into.
What is most hilarious I think is that there are a couple kids in town who can see through the facade. I can’t remember what the explanation was – I just took it as being something like in the Polar Express and why kids could still hear the jingle bell. At first there was only one boy who could see him and the alien decided he was going to have to murder the kid. But the kid was a bit more of a challenge than he anticipated.
Anyway, it’s an excellent show! The first episode was a little slow but it has only gotten better and better.
You can watch the trailer here. OR if you really want to get drawn in, here are the first 7 minutes.
4. This COMPLETELY FABRICATED Series Called Tiny Secret Whispers‘ that Seth Meyers Has Been Gushing Over on His Show for the Past Three Weeks – Sorry Stephen, but Seth has officially become my favorite late night host. His impressions, his banter with his staff, long running jokes like the Thorn birds, the Sea Captain and now this. It’s sheer brilliance and it keeps his audience tuned in every night.
5. These Waterproof Notepads, Aquanotes – I’ve found that I think most clearly in the shower. I suspect it is because there is no distractrations. I’ve tried for several years to find the best way to keep track of my thoughts and ideas. I moved in an Alexa. I bought a waterproof recorder, a few different ones actually. But nothing worked because everything that I bought required me to then take transcribe what I dictated and that was a pain. I finally found these and they have been the best solution. They keep me from rambling (as we know, that is my tendency) and then I can rip off the page, take it to my desk and get it all taken care of without having to listen to a recording first. They are a little pricey but after you buy the first pencil/pad set for $9.75 you can get refills, 3 pads for $26, so it’s a little over a dollar less per pad.
6. This Response from LeVar Burton on the Decision by Seuss Enterprises to Discontinue Publication of Six of Their Titles – Who is better qualified to speak on this topic than Mr. Reading Rainbow himself (and of course ST:TNG’s Geordi La Forge)? You should watch the entire interview and listen to his full reply. It’s exceptional.
“Actually, I think that, in the general sense, once you know better, it is incumbent upon you to do better, and that’s exactly what Seuss Enterprises is doing here. They are being a responsible steward of the brand and they looked at these six titles and determined that in the light of today, they really don’t fit with the values that we’ve all come to know Dr Seuss for. Look, all of our heroes are human; they are all flawed. It’s one of the things I learned from Gene Roddenberry, one of my storytelling mentors. Gene was a guy who had this great vision, but he also wanted all the women in short skirts, so our heroes are flawed.”
7. This Website that Drives You Around Most Major Cities of the World – called Drive and Listen, the website will make you feel like you are sitting in a taxi in one of over 50 cities in the world. You can choose whether you want to include street noise (why wouldn’t you?!?) and a local radio station. Unfortunately you don’t get to choose the radio station but that only makes the ride more realistic.
Word of the Day
I came across a great list of female related words (most of which I will be using in the future so I’m not going to include the link.) I’m starting with this one. The root of the word, vir-, is Latin for man, such as in the word virile. Don’t you find it interesting how one definition is a nagging shrew and the other is strong, heroic woman?
1. This H&M Christmas Short Film directed by Wes Anderson – I’m a fanatic when it comes to anything Wes Anderson so it’s rather shocking that I missed this advert from 2016. (Though it is also very possible that I have simply forgotten it. Damned menopausal brain. Though on a bright note, if I did forget it, I am getting to enjoy it all over again.) Either way, it’s wonderful!
Another amazing Christmas advert (I LOVE THEM) – be sure to have some tissue nearby.
2. This Animated Video Series, Rollin’ Wild – What if animals were round? (Or more accurately, what if animals were inflated like balloons?) Makes me laugh every single time I watch them. There are more videos at their channel. Sadly they only made a handful of Rollin’ Wild videos. I wish they’d start making them again, they’re delightful!
And here’s a Christmas video…
3. This Video on Accepting Compliments – so this chap is the husband of a friend of mine. Hearing him talk about his wife is especially wonderful for that reason. But because of the personal connection and his storytelling skills (and marvelous accent) the message really resonated with me. May be some of the best advice I’ve ever received. I probably should have learned this 40 years ago! (And why do we teach our children not to accept compliments????)
4. This Series of Holiday Photos with Stormtroopers – to see all of them you’ll need to click on the date (it says 5 years ago) right below where it says Mr. Llama. HILARIOUS!
5. This A-Frame Cabin for Rent on airbnb – One word – COZY. Click on any of the photos to go to the airbnb site to see interior shots. Next year I’m going to be traveling a LOT.
6. This Iconic London Hotel attached to a Train Station – The St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel opened in 2011 and uses spaces that were once occupied by the Midland Grand Hotel (which officially closed in 1935) and the St. Pancras Chambers which were apartments used as railway offices.
I have stayed at the hotel several times, I LOVE it there. And I especially love it there during the holidays (I am DEFINITELY going to spend a week in London next November). Not only is it convenient to have one of the major train stations right outside the door (and the British Library across the street) but there is shopping in the train station too. I mean, in theory I could go here and not leave a the building except to walk across the street to go to the library. IN THEORY (there are too many other places I have to visit when I’m in London, like my friends most importantly, and Fortnum & Mason, which is my mothership, and the V&A Museum, and Broadway Books in Hackney and of course there may be a show playing that I cannot miss, and, and, and … well, the list is endless!
Well before the St. Pancras opened, even after Midland Grand had been closed to being used as offices, the Spice Girls filmed one of their most famous videos at this location.
There’s an interesting story behind the filming of the video.
One last thing, and I haven’t been able to able to verify this, but I was told a story about how, when the Midland Grand Hotel was first built back in the 1870s, the air was so thick with smog that architect Sir George Gilbert Scott decided to paint the vaulted ceiling above the grand staircase with a night sky since London residents weren’t actually able to see through the haze. Whether that is true or not, it does make sense. Here is more information on the grand staircase.
1. This Tea Party – Truly amazing. I belong to the Facebook group called ‘The Gilded Age Society.’ The Edwardian Era has always been my favorite time period, even before ‘Downton Abbey’ was a thing. Recently a young person name Paul Ryan T. Co, who is also a member of the group, posted these photos. He recreated a most magnificent Edwardian Era tea. I wrote to him immediately and asked if I could share the photos and he said yes so here they are.
Here are some of the details included in Paul’s description:
The menu includes fresh fruits, dried fruit with nuts, chicken truffle quiche, scones with clotted cream and jam, and the pièce de résistance is a Lady Baltimore cake, which is a white cake filled with nuts and figs and then frosted with a fluffy marshmallow meringue icing. THAT sounds divine!
Paul used the original 1906 recipe which was copied in several newspapers, including Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s Daily Gazette and Bulletin, The Columbus Journal, and The Washington Times.
There is a fascinating history of the cake on this site.
I myself might try a more modern recipe and am thinking of giving Martha’s version a try.
Additionally, the service is traditional to the period. It’s made up of an American sterling tea set by Gorham from the 1880s, a set of monogrammed sterling cutlery by Watson from 1902, a silver cake server by Whiting (from their King Edward pattern introduced in 1900 to commemorate Edward’s accession to the throne, which makes it rare), a Ridgeway dessert service, a Minton cake pedestal, a double-handled, molded Prussian cake plate, and a trio of Coalport tea cups (all produced from the late 1800s to early 1900s.) This guy needs to be hired by a production company, STAT! He’s a true artist.
Tell me you wouldn’t pay beaucoup bucks to attend a tea at this place!
2. This Governmental Body – The Irish Parliament discussed the “Santa Claus Issue” and formally announced that Santa is exempt from their national quarantine, that he will indeed still be visiting homes in Ireland, but social distancing should still be practiced and people should remain 2 meters away from him. Gotta LOVE THIS!
3. This Xfinity Short Film – It’s not really an advertisement. I saw a brief clip of this on television and it was so intriguing I wanted to watch the entire thing. Steve Carrell is a fine Santa Claus!
4. This Video on Mourning a Relationship You Never Had – I love Anna Akana so much and I really wish that she could time travel back to the early 80s and tell me exactly what she says in the video. Course I’m not sure if I would have been smart enough back then to listen to her.
5. This IG of Chris Evans Playing the Piano! – just when you think he can’t get any more adorable/perfect/wonderful….
and then watch Jimmy Fallon’s response to Chris’s piano playing viral video, it’s HILARIOUS.
6. These Recipes and Tips for Roasting Chestnuts – unless you live in a pretty large city (with lots of pedestrian traffic) you probably don’t run across many places selling roasted chestnuts during the Christmas season (despite what Hallmark movies makes Christmas look like). Myself, I’d actually never had them until well into my 50s.
I don’t have a gas stove so I have two options – one is two use my gas grill and the other is to roast them in the oven. I prefer them on the grill because they’re on an open flame but when it’s too cold (doesn’t happen much anymore with climate change) or when I’m visiting family and it’s too much of a hassle, the oven method works just fine. Especially when I use them in recipes, with, oh, for example, Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Bacon.
In fact, last Christmas I tried to make the above recipe at my sister-in-law/brother’s house. In the notes it says, “If you prefer to roast fresh chestnuts instead of using vacuum-packed ones, cut a slit in the shell of each chestnut with a serrated knife.” I’m going to tell you something – a freaking serrated knife will not slit the shell of a chestnut. I mean, it will, but it’s like trying to saw wood with a butter knife.
Recently I ran across this nifty gadget and now I know that next year I will be completely prepared! It will score the chestnut so that it doesn’t explode while roasting (after all, that’s the primary reason why you’re cutting it.) Once you roast it, it should be easy to peel.
Bring it on Christmas 2021! I’m ready for you…
7. This Search Result When You Google Alex Trebek – SO sweet!
Before I get to the Word and Quote of the Week I strongly recommend that you watch these two movies before the end of the month. They are very different films but there’s one major similarity – you will figure it out quickly.
What I couldn’t help but think while watching both of them is how much better the world would be if people weren’t so judgmental and how so much bad behavior – masculine toxicity, repressed emotions, abusive tendencies, the list is endless – are passed on from generation to generation.
The first movie is Uncle Frank – amazing cast.
The second is The Happiest Season and it’s on Hulu (Dan Levy not surprisingly steals every scene he’s in.)
1. This new female-hosted science show, Emily’s Wonder Lab (thanks Stasie!) – move over Mr. Wizard (okay, he passed away 13 years ago but you get where I’m going with this), step aside Bill Nye the Science Guy (we still adore you), get out of the way Beakman (you’re still the geek we all had a little bit of a crush on), Emily Calandrelli (aka The Space Gal) is here and she’s gonna make some waves and some goo and some rainbow bubbles and some barfing pumpkins and some… all while pregnant!
3. This Geico Commercial “Aunt Infestation” – I told you I have a thing for commercials. This is by far the best Geico commercial EVER!!! And I’m not saying this just because I’m an Auntie. These women are hilarious.
4. This hometown candy shop: Betty Jane’s Candies – people from Dubuque, Iowa are very familiar with Betty Jane’s. And now that it’s cooling down outside, you can enjoy Betty Jane’s too because they ship everywhere! They are most well-known for their Gremlins, which are similar to turtles but 1000x better. Trust me. And now you can get them in either milk chocolate or dark chocolate or both! Back when I was younger it was only milk chocolate (but then I was a kid so like I cared.) They also have Snacker packages in 6 and 12 oz that are less expensive than getting them in the box (but also, more difficult to keep yourself from eating too many.)
It’s also Caramel Apple season right now – but I’m sure you need to order quickly if you want to get some of those.
I recently though, have found myself addicted to their dark chocolate covered almonds. Over the summer I couldn’t order from them because of the heat and so I attempted to find a comparable dark chocolate covered almond – tried at least two dozen brands (even had to toss out a few of them), not a single one came even close.
5. This new app by Kevin Costner (swoon) called HearHere – HearHere is great for people who take lots of road trips. You get to hear stories about the places you drive through, some of them are actually narrated by Kevin Costner himself. It’s pretty cool.
6. This Last Video of ABBA – rather than trying to figure out all of this and rewriting it myself I’m cutting and pasting the information from an ABBA site I found:
“The four ABBA members reunited (kind of) in the humorous film Our Last Video, where they each filmed a (silent) appearance lasting just a few moments each. The film was shown during the interval of the Eurovision Song Contest’s Semi-Final on Wednesday 12 May 2004 to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of ABBA’s Eurovision win. Most of the script of the film was made up of ABBA song lyrics.
Agnetha and Frida filmed their parts separately although they were edited to look like they appeared together. Björn, Benny and Agnetha filmed their parts in Stockholm while Frida filmed hers in London.
The Last Video is the film about four hopeful musicians (a set of ABBA puppets made by Henson Creature Shop Limited who made The Muppets) in search of a record contract. They pay a visit to the Big Record Company Boss and his oily assistant, performing one hit after the other, cheered on by their manager. But things don’t really work out as planned and as they leave, “the real ABBA” arrive (in footage taken from ABBA – The Movie) in the lift as the puppets leave.
The film was produced by Radical Media UK and filmed at Independent Studios AB at Saltsjö-boo, outside of Stockholm; and directed by Calle Åstrand. Apart from the puppet versions of Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Frida (which in reality are about 50cm tall), the film starred:
From Abbaontv.com https://abbaontv.com/programmes/2004/39875
7. This Podcast, Sistory Untold – this is SUPER cool. These two London-based sisters started a podcast during quarantine and it’s absolutely brilliant. They were trying to come up with a topic that was unique and relevant at the same time so because they are part of a big family of sisters they decided to cover famous sisters in history. And by sisters, they don’t mean they have to be blood relations, simply women that had relationships that affected history.
“Importantly, they focus on the women’s relationships rather than the men they were associated with, from Hamilton‘s Schuyler sisters to Jane and Cassandra Austen to 18th-century rivals Maria Coventry and Kitty Fisher (as seen in Harlots on BBC Two).”