Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Looking Good, Miracle Whip!

Kraft is at it again! Following other Kraft brands like Triscuit and Wheat Thins (featured previously on this blog), they’ve redesigned your favorites “salad dressing.”


Type is different but has same personality as the original. There’s a lot less blue but the accent lines around the new logo connect it to the old. It has a much more natural look overall.

Not sure why the All Out Squeeze is smaller. I guess they think people already know the new bottle is All Out Squeeze. Guess again, Kraft. Consumers are not paying attention unless there’s a coupon.

Expect more new things in the condiment section. People are staying home more, cooking more, and are therefore using more condiments. These items are staples, and people are more likely to buy private label brands for commodities (e.g. “it’s just mustard, why pay more?”). National brands have to work harder to keep up with private label and justify their price point.

I don’t care what Brian says, this is important. Companies are making these decisions that affect how much you’ll pay at the store. These massive food companies have enough control over our food supply as it is. Don't let complacency put you at their mercy. An informed consumer is a powerful consumer.

Seriously, who else is gonna tell you this stuff?!?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Jon & Kate Again

I watched it again last night. I enjoyed it. But not for the right reasons! I felt sorry for them. My emotions went from “Wow, my life is so much better than theirs!” to “Aww, that might be nice” right back to “Better you than me.” It feels sadistic, voyeuristic, and exploitative. Yes, I will be watching it again.

I was shocked at how upset Jon is with Kate. He was talking about his trainer at the gym and how she is nicer than Kate. She laughed, but he was very serious and made sure she knew it. He does not think his wife is very nice and was letting the entire viewing public know. She seemed not that happy but resigned to it. It was uncomfortable to watch yet makes me want to keep watching!

What in the world would have made me want to watch this show again?!? What could it have been? Hmm...

Well done, PR person who's exploiting the rough patch in their marriage. Well done.

No shit their marriage is twisted!!! They have 8 fucking kids!! The TV show created this myth of a family that may have it hard a few times but is ultimately happy. The only way it works is if it looks like deep down they are really happy. Otherwise, it's a creepy look into dysfunction where the kids end up suffering.

These tabloids are exploiting that myth. Doesn't help that Jon went out with that woman, but it's still sad. I want to believe the myth. I'm sure they have moments of joy alongside moments of frustration, just like most marriages. Too bad theirs is publicized.

I still think they'd cancel the show and leave the public spotlight if they weren't desperate for the money. Kate is quoted as saying "small inconveniences now for big rewards later" in People.

I hope they stay together. The kids need it, and it could be a bigger nightmare if they try to do it each on their own. But if Nick and Jessica are any gauge, they are in trouble.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Lost Spoilers

If you didn't watch it, don't read.

Here are my theories, developed with the help of Lostpedia and this lady:

- The statue is an Egyptian god, probably built by people Jacob had brought to the island before. It is likely a god of fertility, which is ironic because no babies are born on the island (since the energy was tapped into by the Dharma initiative). Coincidence? Hell no.
- The ship we see at the very beginning is the Black Rock, the old washed ashore sailing ship we’ve seen in previous seasons
- The man Jacob is talking to is the island’s “advisor” at the time, and Richard Alpert’s predecessor.
- Richard comes to the island on the Black Rock and replaces that man as the advisor
- That man, or at least his spirit, becomes the smoke monster. He is continuing his battle with Jacob, waiting to find the loophole that will let him kill Jacob.
- The smoke monster uses Locke to take human form. That's why the island "talks" to him. Ben is the loophole.
- Lostpedia says it's not Lock, but the monster. If so, did the monster change it's form form Lock to smoke in order to "judge" Ben in the temple?
- Part of me thinks it is Locke, though he does not know he is being manipulated. (It's like Bladerunner, where the robots don't know they are robots. In all his flashbacks, we see a sad, easily manipulated man who trusts to easily.) Why should now be any different?
- Lostpedia call the man Jacob's Enemy. The show's casting sheets call him Samuel. In the Bible, Jacob's brother, with whom he has a tenuous and sometimes antagonistic relationship, is named Esau.
- The hydrogen bomb was always meant to go off. It’s what starts the whole “push the button” thing. Once again, Jack listens to his instincts and ends up regretting it. ("We’re going to be rescued!" becomes "We have to go back!") Sadly, I understand exactly how he feels.
- The bomb and the electromagnetic energy react to send all our lead characters back to the present. Expect a tearful reunion between Sun and Jin. The first question I hope Jin asks Sun is “It's great to see you honey, but where’s the baby?!? How could you leave our child?”
- Ilana asks, "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" Richard replies in Latin, "He who will protect/save us all."
- Surprise!! Juliet is not dead.
- I hope to God we do not see Walt again. Let it go, producers!! The only cool way to bring him back is if he replaces Richard as the island’s advisor. But let’s face it; they would never give that job to a black guy. (I’m just kidding!!)
- Before Jacob "dies" (yeah, right), he says "they are coming." the obvious answer is Ilana and her crew. I'm guessing it's something we have yet to see in the show, something they'll throw in at the end of next season. Only Brian will get this, but it's just like what the Honored Matres are running from at the end of the Dune books (fyi: it was Ominus). We don't know until it's already here.

Other general reactions:

- Still feel like they left too many questions unanswered, which is my biggest complaint. Love that the foot played such a big role!!
- Gunfights on Lost are a joke. The actors look like 12 years olds making guns with the hands. I laughed every time
- I got annoyed at the old couple living together; I even blocked out their names. I know they wanted to 'live in peace' but sometimes you need to sacrifice that for other people. I thought they were unreasonably selfish.
- Juliet was wicked annoying the entire show. I had flashbacks of my “girlfriend” in 7th grade. But her goodbye to Sawyer was sad. She was the only one Jacob did not visit.
- 2010 is a LONG time to wait.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Alive

Thanks to an email from Jen Simon, this story is once again back in my conscious thought. Looks like a new documentary from 2007 with recreations and interviews with the survivors. This is so going to the top of my Netflix cue.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Sweetest Thing

I was working on my final paper last night. I was in “Mommy & Daddy’s room” working on my laptop. Around 9pm, Lilah comes in and says,

“Daddy, what-ee are you doooing??
“I’m working, honey. I go to school and have a paper.”
“You go to school?”
“Yeah, I got a night after work.”
“I don’t want you to go to school! I miss you! Come home!”

It could have been the sweetest moment I have ever had in my entire life. I picked her up, gave her big hugs and kisses and let her known that I will always come home to her. She then said she wanted her Mommy and ran into the living room.

Here are some other contenders for the Sweetest Moments of My Life.

- The first time Francesca (my niece) smiled at me. I thought I was in love with her before then, but seeing that (on may sister Caryn’s sofa in her old duplex, while the 2 older girls were playing around us, 8:30pm on a Friday after a full day at work and train ride into Philly) took my breath away.

- Having my grandmother rub by back at her place when I was around 7. I was in pain due a canker sore on my tongue and she rubbed my back for the longest time. I knew my Mom-mom very well, but that’s how I remember her.

- My mom saying goodbye to me before they left me at college for the first time. She out her arm on my shoulder and said, “Cover it. Wear a condom.”

- The first time Harley said “sockies” to me. It was very early in our relationship, and we were at my apartment. I said my feet were cold, so she said “why don’t you out on some sockies.” We both started laughing. It was one of the first times I felt like we could be completely natural in front of each other.

- Finally standing under the chuppa at our wedding, and Harley and I giggling that the moment was finally here.

- Watching Jack’s birth. Harley had been pushing for maybe 20 minutes. She was getting very tired, as you can imagine! Those last few pushes were so hard. Then the doctor stopped us all, said ok, everybody, just watch. The doctor got his fingers in there and gently brought Jack into the world. First the top of his head, then the forehead, then the face(!, shoulders, and so on. We finally met our son. I started crying, I couldn’t help it. I saw Lilah being born, but this was different. Time stood still; the moment took forever but felt so peaceful. I had never seen something so profound.*

* I told this story to Brian, including that I cried. He looks me in the eye and goes, “Fag.” He knew what it must have been like for me, but when one of us says he has cried, “fag” is really the only reasonable response.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Banned iPhone App

"Shake a baby"



Apple has withdrawn the app, with an apology.

Matrimonial Mess

I'm a few weeks behind, but I just saw the Miss California vs. Perez Hilton video.

It's the final 5 of the Miss America contest. Miss California has to answer one question and picks a name out of a hat. It's Perez Hilton, gay blogger extraordinaire. He asks her about gay marriage. She answers that in her country, in her family, marriage is between a man and a woman. She get some boos and some applause. Later Perez calls her a cunt. 24 hours later, he calls her a cunt again. She goes on CNN too defend herself.



I think Perez is wrong. He might not like her answer, but you can't launch a personal attack on someone just because they have different views than you. It's reverse discrimination. It may not his America, but it is hers. This most likely cost her the crown, and that took guts. That has to be acknowledged. She stood up there, said what she thought even though she knew it would cost her. That's character, to me.

I believe that everyone should be able to spend the rest of their lives with whomever they want. I believe the government has no place judging which relationship is valid and which ones aren't. At the same time, the concept of "gay marriage" is a bit foreign to me. Marriage is a ceremony, an industry that builds of a tradition. Two grooms, two brides, it breaks the whole format of a wedding. Something's off for me.

But I have no right to tell anyone else what they want or can/cannot have! Two dudes want to do invitations, locations, caterers, seating charts, and deal with all the hassle that comes with it, they have every right to do so. They should be able to marry and get all the benefits and grief that I am enjoying with my gorgeous wife.

Here's my thought, which I got from a friend's Facebook update: the government no longer issues marriage certificates but civil unions. Take government out of marriage. Couples can still have the ceremony and all the legal benefits, but it's no longer call a "marriage." This levels the field for any 2 people to join their lives together in the eyes of the government.

Marriage, in this scenario, becomes just a religious ceremony. You can have a Jewish ceremony, a Catholic Mass, a whatever-the-two-families-can-agree-on. I've been to 2 ceremonies where 2 religions are represented, and both were wonderful (I'm talking about you, Tombacks and Heller/Del Valles!). If you're not religious, then have the ceremony and all that shit.

This is a shift in nomenclature, not significance. It can still be called a wedding. It doesn't redefine marriage, it makes it irrelevant for governmental purposes. Some might see this as a little shocking. Some might say it demeans the whole concept of marriage. Maybe, but it takes God out of it and opens the door for true equality. Now, it's just about the benefits. But if you need the government to validate your relationship, then you have much bigger problems my friend.

Let the barrage of comments begin...

P.S. Happy anniversary Caryn & Forrest / Brian & Nilda!!

Friday, May 01, 2009

Andrew & Harley Plus 2

I was taking the 4:30am shift the other night with. I like to use that time to get in some good TV. Harley had been watching Jon & Kate Plus 8, and it was paused right at the beginning of an episode.

I never liked that show. It's kind of cruel. Parenthood is hard for anyone, but this is ridiculous. These parents, these people, these kids, got more than they ever bargained for. I may have a hard time with 2, but their existence for the next 18 years is going to be hard. Really hard. Of course, that's why it's good TV!

We have this voyeuristic view into their remarkable world. They are sort of forced into allowing this because they need the money. Their lives have become a spectacle. Some might say the fame and money is great, and it is for them. The need it to get by. Jon's salary as an IT analysts ain't cutting it on its own.

So watching them, I got the feeling like I was intruding. That they didn't really want me there but they needed the money. It made the show hard to watch, like an awkward lap dance.

But this was 4:30am. I was tired, Jack was crying, my hands were full, so I hit the play button.

Guess what the episode was about? Mother's Day. In case you don't know, Mother's Day is also known as "Dad's Day Is Going To Suck" Day. Jon let Kate sleep in, took care of all the kids and even made her breakfast in bed.

I see a man, struggling to make it through a mundane task like breakfast, doing his best not to get upset at his kids who are getting in his way but just want to be near him. He's starting to lose it, and it's not even 11am.

Yes, I saw myself. Amplified a zillion times, I still knew almost exactly what he was going through. I couldn't help but relate and get interested.

I don't want to start watching every episode. A zillion comments about how this really is such a great show and blah blah blah aren't going to make me get a season pass. But I see the appeal, at least for me.

Mazel Tov!

Brian and Nilda are now homeowners!! Congrats on your brand new home. May you enjoy decorating and redecorating for years to come.

As some of you may know, Brian hates moving. He hates the process of packaging and gets all stressed out for weeks before hand. I think it might be different this time, now that he has Nilda to hold his hand.

Everybody make sure to send Brian emails saying, "Are you done packing?" "Have you done enough yet?" "Are you sure this is a good idea?" "I think you might have some serious trouble when it comes time to move."

The new place is in upstate Manhattan. I'm not sure of the actual street name, but I bet it goes something like this: