Friday, February 27, 2009

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Best Please Eat Food That Is Good For You

This rabbit is worn out from eating healthy all day, just like you ought to be

Good nutrition is vital and good nutrition is very important to me, but I don’t know anything about good nutrition. What I know of good nutrition I only know as disparate pieces of information that people have told me—for example, that almonds are good for me and iceberg lettuce is nutritionally zero so I should eat arugula or spinach (which is very good for you) instead—but I have no cohesive nutrition rules. My brain, in relation to nutrition, is like a rulebook for Solitaire (the only card game that I can pretend to understand) that doesn’t explain the game but tells you individual pieces of data like: “A red three can go under a black four.” or “A black Jack cannot go under a red ten no matter how many times you try to put it there.” or “Spades and clubs are different kinds of cards from each other.” You get enough of those rules together, you have a game of cards happening—similarly, I put enough of my pieces of nutritional information together, I have a healthy lifestyle. I mean, I’d have a healthy lifestyle.

Anyway, last year I learned the most important nutrition rule there is. That rule is “High Fructose Corn Syrup is Very Bad for You.” The rule sums up all my knowledge on the matter—if something has high fructose corn syrup in it, do not eat it. It is as bad for you as anything could possibly be. You should never eat anything with high fructose corn syrup in it ever. Ever. Oh, also I know that high fructose is something that is used instead of sugar to sweeten things and give them calories. Also, it is often used when something needs to be sticky.

For a while I only didn’t eat foods with high fructose corn syrup in them if people told me they had high fructose corn syrup in them. This started with Nature Valley Granola Bars. You’d think a granola bar would be good for you, right? Nope, not if it is a Nature Valley Granola Bar, these are bars of granola held together by high fructose corn syrup and they are very, very bad for you because they have high fructose corn syrup in them. And if you ask someone knowledgeable, you’ll find out that a NutriGrain bar is also really really bad for you because the filling is pure high fructose corn syrup, and that’s the worst thing something could possibly be. Another thing with high fructose corn syrup in it is soda, and that is why it is so bad to drink soda all the time. When I was told that soda had high fructose corn syrup in it I was real proud of myself because I already had enjoyed a super-limited soda-drinking lifestyle because of an earlier nutrition rule I had received, “Don’t drink a lot of soda. “ Now I had a more complete rule to operate from “Don’t drink a lot of soda because it has high fructose corn syrup in it” so now I drink even less soda than before and when I drink a soda I know that I’m doing something very wrong and I feel very bad about it.

However, in the past couple of weeks I’ve begun checking on my own if foods have high fructose corn syrup in them or not. Don’t know why I’ve started doing this, it just sort of happened. Just trying to be healthy and nutritional, I guess. Here’s some things that I’ve learned:

  • Gatorade: it’s first ingredient is high fructose corn syrup! I used to drink this while competing! I can’t believe it. You should not drink Gatorade EVER. Especially when trying to win a medal. How I ever made it to State I just don’t understand.
  • Pure American Zero-Calorie Flavored Water: No high fructose corn syrup. This is like a generic version of vitamin water that they have at Walgreens and it is perfectly fine to drink if you want a water that tastes like bad lemonade.
  • Mott’s Apple Sauce: DON’T EAT THIS! It has high fructose corn syrup in it! Can you believe that? And that’s why I never really liked it anyway, it was too sweet! (Because of that high fructose corn syrup!)
  • Mott’s Natural Apple Sauce: DO EAT THIS! It is just made of apples and water and has no high fructose corn syrup in it. However, it does taste kind of soapy, so don’t eat too much of it . . . although I’m willing to accept the possibility that this isn’t the sauce’s fault and that my bowl just hadn’t been rinsed enough after its washing.
  • Oreos: Oreos are perfectly fine for you, eat as many as you like, they are made with sugar, not high fructose corn syrup.
  • Dots, Charlston Chews, and Cadbury Mini-Eggs: Might as well put a little butter on them and serve them on your dinner plate along side a nice little salmon and some steamed carrots because they don’t have high fructose corn syrup in them, either.
  • Raw Almonds: No high fructose corn syrup in them either. Hey, listen. I’ve been reading packages.
  • Mexican Coke: the reason that people go for it and why trendy places will sell it to you at a premium is that it’s made with sugar, not the high fructose corn syrup. Sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup soda is catching on, that’s why Pepsi is releasing “Pepsi-Cola Throwback” soon—that’s Pepsi with sugar, not high fructose corn syrup.

At the same time, here are certain foods that I am not willing to check for high fructose corn syrup content because I need them and am not ready to eliminate them from my diet, and if you tell me that they contain high fructose corn syrup I will not consider you a nutritional savior but a big jerk that ruined a part of my life:

  • Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup
  • Cheez-It Crackers
  • McDonalds Bar-B-Q sauce for my Chicken McNuggets (but I bet I could guess pretty accurately why it tastes so sweet and delicious)
  • Otter Pops (actually, I could probably live without these)
  • Chocolate Pudding Snack Packs
  • Cheese from a Can
  • Flipsides Pretzel Crackers
  • French fries
  • Cheeseburgers
  • Tacos
  • You might think that this is a list that I’m making to be funny, but it’s a real list.
  • Okay, maybe "Tacos" was a stretch.

But on the other hand, some foods I wouldn’t mind if I found out they had high fructose corn syrup in them. Like ice cream, because I want my ice cream to be made with good old fashioned healthy sugar. This is sort of like finding out if your milkshake is going to come from a machine that already mixed it all up or actually be made from a few scoops of ice cream and some real milk—the information might keep you from having a milkshake, but at least you won’t be having a bad milkshake. Bad milkshake is worse than no milkshake in most instances. Also, what if humus had high fructose corn syrup in it? That would be so funny! Then what would white people eat or bring to parties? They'd have to go back to salsa.

DANG IT! Dang it, dang it, dang it. Crap. Sorry. I just got up from my computer for a minute and while I was at the fridge I couldn’t help it, I checked my bottle of Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup. Yup. Ingredient numero uno: High fructose corn syrup. Hard to believe my chocolate syrup is as bad for me as a bottle of Gatorade. Listen, I can’t throw this bottle out, I have to at least finish it. Here’s a new rule: until I find out another way to make my chocolate milk in the morning and top my occasional ice cream with chocolate using the same bottle, the occasional ingestion of high fructose corn syrup is permissible, but be careful about it.

Best New Video

Here's some great news: New video from Royksopp for their new song from their forthcoming new album!

Happy Up Here from Röyksopp on Vimeo.
Most exciting alien invasion movie since Independence Day! (except this was a little spookier) And what a great-sounding, totally-Royksopp song!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Best I Do Not Understand

Why does my stomach feel so bad right now?

It couldn't possibly have anything to do with the bowl of fried shrimp heads that I ate at dinner.

(Just the heads. No legs, tails, or meat. Just the heads. Eyeballs, antennae, the whole exo-skeletal shebang.)

Best I Listened to Some Records, Too

Over the last few months many artists that I’m in favor of have put out new albums. Here are my thoughts. (You’ll see most of my thinking involves listening to the album one time and thinking one thing but then listening to it again and thinking something else.)

Franz Ferdinand, “Tonight: Franz Ferdinand”

Not the brilliant step forward that “You Could Have it So Much Better” was, but it’s not a failure. A grower, as Niall said, but it hasn’t grown too strongly on me. There are some catchy bits and some smooth bits, but if my ears are the target market, this record isn’t earning many dollars.
Probably I need to listen to it a few more times because it's not like I don't believe in the Archduke anymore.

Lily Allen, “It’s Not Me, It’s You”

Upon a first listen, this record made a real excellent impression on me. It stood out as what a second album should be: new and original, but not a total departure. The sound here is Lily, but different from two and a half years ago. The songwriting is slightly (only slightly!) more mature, so that’s good. Little bits of progress without totally ditching everything that we liked the first time. But the second time I listened to this record I could only think: “Man, Lily’s attitude is wearing me out.”

Morrissey, “Years of Refusal”

Pretty similar to his last two records (“You are the Quarry” and “Ringleader of the Tormentors”) with plenty of grand and indistinguishable songs about the usual Morrisey moods and a couple standout tracks (such as “All You Need is Me” and “Something is Squeezing My Skull”) that, on the whole leave you thinking “This is fine, but I hope he doesn’t just play these songs at the concert.” But, this said, I think it’s possible I like this record best of the last three…still, I’d prefer to keep my Smiths/Morrissey classics playlist on shuffle.

The Streets, “Everything is Borrowed”

The last record from the Streets, “The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living” really wasn’t very good . . . or it wasn’t very good the last time I listened to it, which was years ago, and I’ve felt no need to try it again since then (unlike “Original Pirate Material” or “A Grand Don’t Come For Free” which I do revisit.) I expected “Everything is Borrowed” to fall flat, but actually didn’t mind it on my first listen—Mike Skinner’s messages just get more and more positive, which is interesting, and there were a few songs that I found catchy enough (perhaps these were “I Love You More (Than You Like Me)” and “Never Give In” and maybe one more). But the second time I listened to this record (today), I felt it fell flat. Hard. So it's good for one listen, then it's best you walk away.

Lee “Scratch” Perry, “Repentance”

It took me way too long to find out that this record even existed…twelve tracks of Perry at his loopiest produced by fellow madman, Andrew WK. This record immediately provoked a very particular and special response within me, a feeling of “This is exactly what I want my music to sound like”, a feeling I only get every once in a tiny while (previous winners have been “Fever to Tell” and “Arular.”) This record is weird but focused and bursts and bubbles with nutty brilliance. A sick, slick party with heavy doses of swagger that I didn’t want to leave and just keeps cracking me up.

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Zero”

So it has come to this: Now I’m getting texts from my youngest brother asking me if I’ve heard the first song from the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs record yet and I find myself confessing that I didn’t even know it was out. First, credit goes to the YYYs for making this song very hard to find online, the only way I’ve been able to hear it is streaming off their myspace. In a move that might strike you as very done before and awful 90’s, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have ditched guitars for synthesizers but, guess what? This song is GREAT and has me very excited for "It's Blitz!", which is coming out in the middle of April. What does the song sound like? Karen O's voice being amazing on top of electronic victory, that's what.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Best Excerpt from Some of My Morning's Studies

"What is to be understood by a 'sign?' A sign is the negation of immediacy, or a second state of being, differing from the first. It is not thereby affirmed that the sign is not something immediate, but that what it is as a sign is not immediate, in other words, that as a sign it is not the immediate thing it is. A nautical mark is a sign. Immediately it is a post, a light, or some such thing, but a sign it is not immediately, that it is a sign is something different from what it immediately is. This lies at the bottom of all the mystifications by the help of 'signs'; for a sign is a sign only for one who knows that it is a sign, and in the strictest sense only for one who knows what it signifies; for everyone else the sign is only what it immediately is."
-Soren Kierkegaard, Training in Christianity p. 124

I threw in some emphasis here and there, but really, I could have emphasized the whole thing and gone on forever.

I posted this quote because I read it this morning and because I've still got so much structuralism and post-structuralism in my gut. The words "sign", "signifier", and "signified" will always get my attention and when I come across something as plainly insightful as this bit of Kierkegaard it stops me dead in my tracks and I think "Forget pictures of cats, I've got to put this on my blog!"

And yes, the quote is from Training in's found at the beginning of a section called "The God-Man is a Sign." If you've ever been to Sunday School, you can guess where Soren is headed.

Best I Read Three Things

This past week I finished three books, the first books I’ve finished since late November. Ugh. But the good news is that two of the books were the two books I got for Christmas, meaning that it’s just February and I’ve already accomplished my annual resolution of reading all the books I get for Christmas before the next Christmas. The other book I found in a pile of books headed for the trash in the apartment building where I lived for January.

Disquiet Please: More Humor from the New Yorker

Emily (my sister) gave me this for Christmas. She gave me the first volume of New Yorker Humor Writing (Furious Pajamas) many years ago, so I appreciated the thoughtful consistency. I never finished Furious Pajamas because I’d just open it and look for something that looked funny and then put it down when that was done. I decided to read Disquiet Please cover to cover and it made for a fine journey. Furious Pajamas was more focused on collecting the most famous New Yorker pieces by the most famous writers, but this volume was far more varied and featured a lot more excellent contemporary stuff (as well as plenty of great stuff from the 30’s and other decades now long-gone.) Also, numerous Sedaris pieces were to be found in this volume…I wonder how many of them are in his new book? I might never know.

Press On: Messages on Faith, Hope, and Charity by Joseph B. Wirthlin

I just about never get gifted church books. So I was a little surprised when Mom gave me this for Christmas. Let’s just be honest, Joseph B Wirthlin was one of the lower profile apostles, so not only was I surprised to get a book of talks by an apostle, but to get a collection by an apostle that wasn’t Oaks, Holland, Eyring, or Ballard? Mom picked up on my confusion after I unwrapped it and said “I got you it because whenever I think of Elder Wirthlin, I think of you.” Fair. So I read it. And I really liked it. These talks all seem pretty basic coming out of the gate, they’re all focused on simple principles, the sort of talks you might totally zone out on during General Conference. But here’s the thing: if you read them and pay a little attention you’ll realize that these are totally excellent talks and that you don’t have to be the most charming Apostle in the Quorum to really have a thing or two to share with everyone. Of course I realize everything I’m saying here is bordering on irreverent and a little bit trivializing important matters—so let me stop but before I go may I strongly suggest you examine these two talks of Elder Wirthlin’s: Living in Thanksgiving Daily and The Abundant Life. You’ll recognize the Abundant Life if I happened to home teach you in the last couple of months. Also, President Uchtdorf’s October 2008 talk “The Infinite Power of Hope”? Very very similar to the Abundant Life (right down to certain quotes) and the theme of Press On…I’m just saying! It’s not like these things aren’t nice to hear a few times from a few different people!

Wise Guy by Nicholas Pileggi

I was leaving 227 Riverside one afternoon when I saw this stack of books in the lobby. The way they were stacked, it made me pretty sure they were abandoned. So I grabbed a whole bunch, I couldn’t resist. And for some reason (perhaps the thrill of holding a thick, mass-market paperback with a raised image of a beefy hand holding a revolver on the cover while riding the masses, the hoi paloi reading feeling of it just felt like too much guilty fun) I picked this one. It’s the “true story” of a mid-level Mafia guy who now lives under Witness Protection. I don’t know, the whole time I read it I just kept going “Yeah right” about all this stuff that was supposed to be true…it just seemed too right out of the movies for me, too absolutely imaginary. But here’s the number one fun fact about this book: it wasn’t until days after I read it that I learned that the movie Goodfellas (which I’ve never seen, not even when its been playing on TBS on JetBlue) was based on it and that the screenplay for Goodfellas was written by the guy that wrote this book. That makes total sense. I think I’d rather read cases from my old Criminal Law books for my true-life crime tales, I need that stamp of assured authenticity if I’m going to be reading this kind of nonsense.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Best I Did Not Know This Until Today

Do you know what I found out today from a NY Times that was left on the bus? That this is the last week of Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Did anyone else know this? I haven't been paying attention to this dude at all for a while now, I guess. Still, I remember watching Conan's first show, so if I'm home tomorrow night at 12:35, I think I'll watch his last show. For posterity's sake.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Best You Should Think About the Australian Wildfires More

The koalas don't understand what happened to their houses.

Best Please Read.

Did you know that there are people who cannot read? Sure, we’ve all heard of illiteracy, but we’ve also all heard of leprechauns. Do you realize that there are actual real grown up people who do not know how to read? Did you know that there are actual mature living human beings that do not even know the alphabet? I’m not kidding! I’ve met these people because last night I substitute taught an Adult Literacy class at Collin’s school and now I’ve seen it with my own two eyes, there are people (at least six of them, mostly from West Africa, but some from the Dominican Republic or Honduras) who don’t know how to read—some of them have lived in our country for six months, some for sixteen years*! And none of them can really read…really!

Some people who don’t know how to read also don’t know how to make letters, and some of these people really seem to know how to make their letters and at first I thought they had written sentences of their own creation but actually they had copied those sentences from another paper I hadn’t seen yet. In our class last night we were supposed to go over a few pages from this workbook where they had been learning about the letters V, Qu, and T**. But halfway through that exercise one student, a student who was brand new and had just started that very day, asked if we could just do the alphabet. So we did the alphabet! I wrote it in Capitals and lower case on the board and had each person recite the whole thing after we had gone over it a few times as a class, thinking up words that started with each letter. And while we were engaged in this exercise, while I was writing out the letters and pointing to them one at a time as each student took his or her turn I was just thinking, in an unending loop, “This is so crazy. These people cannot read. They do not know the alphabet. They are grown ups and they don’t know how to read. This is so crazy.” I flashbacked to sitting beside my Great-grandma Condie’s bed with my first readers from school, so excited and pleased to be getting down to business, I flashbacked to reading David and the Phoenix in my bunkbed and Robin Hood in my closet. My students hadn’t read those books! They couldn’t read any of those books! I flashbacked to just that afternoon when I was relishing Dubliners in the Rose Reading Room of the grand New York Public Library—my students couldn’t read that book either!

Half my class was enthusiastic and really with me, the other half very quiet and nonresponsive, but each recited the alphabet at least once. The new student who asked to do the alphabet in the first place had a real fire under her and did it 3 times until she had it down. I taught her the alphabet! Do you know how powerful that made me feel? Can you comprehend the prideful glow that filled me from the imparting of this vital knowledge? We returned to the workbook for the last 45 minutes of class and I was about to send them home when the new student insisted we do the alphabet one more time. This time, after the recitation, I went around the room and with each student I pointed to a letter and had them tell me a word that started with that letter. I arrived at the fifth student who had been very quiet for the whole class and pointed to the letter “P.”

“What’s a word that starts with a P?” I asked her.

She squirmed and smiled, resisted, then finally answered, “Father?”

“No, not father.” But really I was impressed because maybe she had the “F” sound confused with the “Ph” sound?

For her second word she suggested “Apple”, which definitely doesn’t start with a “P” and made me realize that she probably hadn’t thought “Father” was spelled with a “Ph” afterall…I helped her out and suggested that “Pen” started with a “P” and she found that agreeable.

My class was so happy when they went home and so insistent that I be there “tomorrow” to teach them more…right now as I write this it’s tomorrow and someone else has been teaching them the difference between a rope and a rake and what a tack is and what the sound of a long O is. A little bit I hate that person and the knowledge they’re imparting to my students of an evening, a little bit I’m glad that I’m not facing six sets of blank stares when I ask them to find and circle the word on their page that I’ve just written on the board (the word is “fox”) but mostly I’m disgusted that I haven’t done anything to fight illiteracy today.

Well, I guess this post fights illiteracy a little, if you read it.

*And I don’t mean to imply that America is the only country with reading but to battle those who may say, “Yeah, Brigham, but what if some of your students just escaped to our country from places where they don’t have books?”
**And while these students can’t really read their letters, they definitely know their numbers and can tell very quickly when you’ve decided to skip ahead in the workbook because you don’t think you can teach them how to do what’s on page 88.

Best This Could Be Yours!

In April there's going to be this big auction of stuff from Neverland Ranch and the Guardian had a preview of some of the items. There's really no need for you to go through the preview as the absolute best item is the above-posted painting, which is expected to go for between one and two thousand dollars.

Runners-Up for Most Interesting Item Up for Bid (according to me):

"An electric cart featuring an image of Jackson as Peter Pan on the bonnet"
"Jackson's Rolls Royce with interior designed by himself" (make sure to click to the next image to see the Jackson-designed interior.)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Best I Do Not Understand What This Is, Do You?

The apartment that I'm staying in is nice and it is old. The bathroom has one of these in it. I've seen this in another old apartment before. What is it? I know its job is not to hold a single roll of toilet paper.

Best This is Hard to Remember to Do

Oh yeah, this is what I said about FNL 3.5 when it aired the first time.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Best Valentine's Day is for Cousins

Look, it's me, my Cousin Mike, and my Cousin-in-Law Jen (the Familia Barnes.

Jen and Mike live in Connecticut, Jen surprised Mike with a Valentine's Day trip to New York. They had Valentine's dinner the night before at Dumont and then we met up for hotel breakfast and walking around the city on Saturday. One of my favorite parts of the day was when Jen told me that her brother's favorite show is Dog the Bounty Hunter because he really loves beeping noises.

(Meaning: there's lots of beeping in Dog because of all the swearing.)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

If you recognize this picture, congratulations, you've been reading for a long time.
And it's hard to believe I've loved Brussels Sprouts for a year now.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Best 200th Birthday

thanks to Jeff for this

Best Guys, He's Done it Again!

Roger Ebert on Confessions of a Shopaholic:

Look. "Confessions of a Shopaholic" is no masterpiece. But it's funny, Isla Fisher is a joy, and -- of supreme importance -- it is more entertaining to a viewer with absolutely no eagerness to see it (like me) than "Sex and the City" was.

The full review.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Best 200th Street Party

Monday night the Inwood Ward held a tri-ward 80s Dance FHE at their chapel, I was asked to DJ. DJ'ing an 80's dance is easy: you make a huge playlist of all your favorite 80's songs, then ask your friends what their favorite songs are, your list gets huger, and then at the party you just play a few of those songs and everyone loves just about every song AND best of all, you don't have to play Put a Ring On It. The only trick is balancing between quintessential 80's hits that mostly win for being famous and songs from the 80's that are actually totally awesome. I was lucky to get to play mostly songs that were famous and totally awesome.

(this dude is Tyson and he's one of my roommates)

The Inwood Ward treated me nice, this was my first time ever having something to sit on AND a legitimate surface to put my computer on. It's weird not having a super-sore back today from spending the whole night bent over, looking at my computer.

(photos graciously donated from the Mapp collection)

The 80's Music from the 80's Set -- It was tough trimming down from my 11 hours of songs selected for the party (4 hours of which were set aside in the special "must play" sublist), but this is what I did:

Burning Down The House by Talking Heads
Into The Groove by Madonna
I Want Candy by Bow Wow Wow
Venus by Bananarama
The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson
Tainted Love by Soft Cell
Faith by George Michael
I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston
Boys Don't Cry by The Cure
Come On Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners
Jump by Van Halen
Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister
Take On Me by Aha
Girls Just Want to Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper
I've Got My Mind Set On You by George Harrison
Our Lips Are Sealed by The Go Gos
Situation by Yazoo
Two Of Hearts by Stacey Q
Thriller by Michael Jackson
(I played this during the Dance Off/Costume Contest...the winner, the girl in the pokadots got a copy of Goonies)
Skulls by The Misfits
(I played this with the volume low twice in a row during the award presentation for background music but, hey, I played a Misfits song. Twice.)
Take My Breath Away by Berlin
(The only slow dance of the night, but I had a stack of slow songs at the ready in case more romance was detected on the dancefloor...I almost played Lady in Red after this but wisely did not)
Let's Go Crazy by Prince
(You should have seen Ryan's air guitar on this. Astounding!)
Mony Mony by Billy Idol
Livin' On A Prayer by Bon Jovi
She's a Maniac by Flashdance
(These five songs made pretty relentless demands of the dancers' enthusiasm, but they delivered)
A Little Respect by Erasure
(I was very happy with the cheers of approval this received)
Always On My Mind by Pet Shop Boys
Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go by Wham!
Material Girl by Madonna
I Know What Boys Like by The Waitresses
Pump Up The Jam by Technotronic
(I could tell there were some that worried this was a 90's song...but I knew it wasn't, and Robert calmed many by looking it up on his iPhone)
Ask by The Smiths
Don't You Forget About Me by Simple Minds
(Also a slow song, I suppose. This was the last song of the night)
(But you know what comes after last songs of the night, right? Cleaning up songs!)
Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order
Space Age Love Song by A Flock Of Seagulls

It was good, it was fun. It could have gone on forever.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Best Something I Was Reminded of Recently

You know who's totally awesome, still? Roger Ebert. Consider his review of "He's Just Not That Into You." (that's a link to the whole review)

Some choice excerpts:

"Ever noticed how many self-help books are limited to the insight expressed in their titles? You look at the cover, you know everything inside. The rest is just writing. I asked Amazon to "surprise me" with a page from inside the best-seller He's Just Not That Into You, and it jumped me to page 17, where I read: "My belief is that if you have to be the aggressor, if you have to pursue, if you have to do the asking out, nine times out of 10, he's just not that into you."... I have tried, but I cannot imagine what was covered in the previous 16 pages of that book. I am reminded of the book review once written by Ambrose Bierce: "The covers of this book are too far apart."

And then he gets started on the movie. Really, you should read the review, if only to learn about Ebert's idea for a self-help book called "If Some Guy Says He Loves You, Check It Out."

Except I guess I just told you about that.

Best Set Your DVRs

Well, I'd be setting mine if I had one. Tonight on No Reservations they're going to the Ssam Bar. From what it looks like in the commercials, Anthony Bourdain eats every single thing on the menu.

I wonder if that's the Milk Bar's "new" pancake cake he's being presented with? Except I know this episode filmed months ago and it's only sort of recently that the pancake cake appeared on the "Coming Soon" portion of the Milk Bar menu. But doesn't that cake look like it could be a pancake cake?

Best Dance of the Cardinal

The Superbowl. We decided to root for the Cardinals, and when the Cardinals did well, we did the Cardinal Dance.

Another sign of how interested in the game we really were:

Friday, February 06, 2009

Best The Birthday Party I Waited All Year For

Ever since Andy's birthday party last year (just now I'm discovering that it doesn't seem I blogged Andy's party last year. What a travesty. It was real fun.) I've been anxiously awaiting his next birthday party and when it finally came I nearly missed it because of poor bus strategy getting back up here from DC. But travel miracles occurred and I made it to the party with time to spare!

This is the scene that I burst in on:

This is how it looked from where they sat:
Almost all of these pictures are from Collin's camera, he really did a magnificently beautiful job of capturing the party and the revelers. (You can tell the ones Collin took because they have no flash and look good...also, they are the ones with mysterious names as opposed to numbers when you click on them.)

It's possible that you don't know Anna and Christian. Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce Anna and Christian.

And here's the part we were all waiting for, the presenting of this year's ice cream cake.

There was a small problem. The cake had melted. That's the risk you take with frosted ice cream. It's not like it wasn't still delicious. In fact, a melted ice cream cake is even better than a normal ice cream cake because it is both delicious AND hilarious.

And here we are one last time, all the partiers. Happy Birthday, Andy! What a night we all had!

Even though his birthday was nearly two weeks ago, it's still acceptable to wish Brother Lam well in the comments section. If you have any decency.