“That Is A Dilutional Construct”


The title of this post has nothing to do with the content except for the root word dilute.  Somebody said that to me in an argument once and I never gotten over it to this day.
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I'm sitting here sipping on a tall cool Alba Chocolate Dairy Shake. Which if you know me at all you know means that I am on a diet. This is what I want to tell you:

Never in a million years would I ever use more water than called for when making Jello, reconstituing soup -either dry or canned – or making broth.  I wouldn't even add water to a marinara sauce jar or ketchup bottle to get the last bits out. Dilutional! But when it comes to powdered drink mixes, I never stop at the recommended amount.

For instance, the directions on this drink mix say to start with 1/2 cup cold water. I used about 12 oz. Then I added ice cubes. It's the same story with Crystal Light and KoolAid. I do respect the Country Time Lemonade mix:water ratio, though. With ice tea mix, I could go either way according to who will be drinking it – if it's for someone else, I make it properly. If it's for me, I dilute.

I feel better now that I've gotten this off of my chest.

Toothsome Tuesday


Offered for your consideration: the cosmetic dental work of a wise latina woman.

Then:

Then copy

Now:

Now copy  

 Quite a set of choppers there, eh? My late uncle used to refer to that look as "Hollywood Teeth".

No conclusions here. I'm just saying it's something I noticed.

The same way I noticed her accumulation of stained dental plaque on her lower teeth.

Which means she doesn't go to the dentist regularly.

Which isn't so wise after all.

Which means she doesn't take care of herself.

Which leads you to wonder how diligent she is about her diabetes.

Which might account for her remarkably unhealthy appearance.

Which means she is the kind of person who is going to cost the rest of us a lot in repairs once ObamaCare gets here.

In my opinion.

Oh Honey, I’ve Been Waiting My Whole Life


A short article on Neat-o-rama today listed some misspelled search terms including one for "swan flu". One assumes that is a typo and the searcher was really looking for swine flu references.

But what if it wasn't a mistake? Is there such a  thing as the swan flu? Because if there is, I want to be contaminated.  All of my life, I've been waiting for Act II of the Ugly Duckling Show and if it turns out that all I needed to do was to get infected, then sign me up.

I'm ready to be transformed. although with my luck, I'd probably end up something like this.

Ok, for realz. Rudy. He was hawt.

 Nureyev

Sidenote: I recall a magazine feature a year or so after Rudy died. It was a detailed photo layout of his apartment at the Dakota, in advance of the Christie's auction that would see everything off. Red everywhere. Walls, ceilings, velvet drapes, plush sofas. Dark red. I can only find online pictures of his Paris apartment. Quell domage.

Neither An Endorsement Nor A Condemnation; Merely A Report


You never saw a man more pleased with a present than Sami was this year on Father's Day.

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It's a plastic Solar Powered Rock Light from a junk store. We got him two of these because they were too fabulous to only get one. Normally, he's not a frivolous or whimsical person but he sure is enamored of these. I can't explain it.

Real Jersey Girl


I know I keep writing that I’m very busy but I don’t like to get too specific about what I’m actually busy with, which is obsessively tracking down information about Real Housewives of New Jersey. and sometimes Jon & Kate Plus 8, but mostly RH. I know I haven’t been rehashing each episode like I thought I would be doing but I have to tell you – this series is just so juicy and delicious that you can hardly decide where to focus.

My favorite housewife, hands down, is Teresa. At first, I loved her for her low low hairline; then I loved her for her habit of licking her thumb before dealing out hundred dollar bills on her shopping excursions; finally I loved her for going all pink ruffle overload on some pretty grim looking little daughters. NOW I JUST LOVE HER. She’s the only one in the bunch who’s a genuine product of New Jersey – the rest of them are from someplace else. The show’s finale was a great one indeed, featuring her table flip and the complete and total shrieking freak out. But that wasn’t the best part. The best part was when Teresa was describing her post-boob augmentation recovery and said that her husband made her a sangwich.

Let it sink in: a sangwich. Here it is at :35 seconds:

She’s as dumb as a rock. Watching part 1 of the reunion show this week
really highlighted that. She can hardly string a decent sentence together. Much was made of her ” cleanziness” remark when she was
explaining why it schkeeved her to live in other people’s houses, but
did no one else hear her say that she was having her baby in Sec-tember?

And you’ve just got to love that Andy Cohen. Not just his moderation of these reunion shows, but his blog is a must-read.  In a single blog post, he takes a shot at Danielle’s eyebrows and then let’s us in on this:

“In case you’re wondering, that mound of flowers on the coffee table was in the shape of New Jersey!”

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Even I didn’t catch that one. Tonight is part 2 of the RHoNJ reunion. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Budd and Alice


I was thinking about Budd Zzzyp today. If you lived in Manhattan in the 70s, you’ve thought about him, too. His was the next-to-last name in the white pages. The last name on that page was something unreal and  unpronounceable, made entirely of Zs and Ys. Budd Zzyzp was if not exactly an acquaintance at least a recognizable person, reliably occupying the same space one year after the other. For a city full of transients, that was comforting stability.

Some years later in a little throwaway filler in The New Yorker magazine, I found out that Budd Zzzyp wasn’t real. The name was listed there by a well-known NY personage named Buddy Jacobson. The occasion of this revelation was that Buddy had been arrested for the grisly murder of a romantic rival and Budd Zzzyp, a device to help people remember when they wanted to contact him,  would be listed no more.

Googling “Budd Zzzyp” doesn’t net much, but looking for “Buddy Jacobson” leads to a book that was written about the whole sordid thing.  Horse racing, drug smuggling, a “modeling” agency that shared a phone number listing with Budd Zzzyp, romance of a sort followed by the murder, an escape from a NYC prison with a manhunt that ended in California 40 days later where Buddy was taking skating lessons in anticipation of buying a roller rink – that sounds like it’s worth a dollar from a used book site, doesn’t it?

I ordered the book today. This is why I have nothing to say when people ask me what I’m reading. I can’t easily explain my taste in reading material to the Oprah Bookclub people or to those who are busy with the paperback best sellers from the airport bookstore.

Phone_books All of this phone directory nostalgia reminded me of Mrs. Alice Coolbaugh. I can’t forget her, either.

Flash back to Wilkes-Barre, Pa circa 1968-ish. My mother came home from the dress factory one day with one of those little math tricks that ends up in a predictable number. This isn’t mathematically correct – just an example here – but it was one of those things like “Take the number of letters in the month you were born, multiply by 5, add 2 and divide by three. The answer is 18.” And the answer was 18. “Now” she said, “take the phone book and open it up to page 18. The 18th name on the 18th page is Mrs. Alice Coolbaugh.”

Sure enough, Mrs. Alice Coolbaugh. Somewhere along the line, my mother revealed that the answer to the math trick was always 18 so she already knew the name that would be revealed at the end of the trick. Even then, I didn’t have enough interest in math to explore the multiply/add/divide logic but I did try it out one more time on the sly using a different month as a starting point and it was still Alice Coolbaugh. I lost interest in it after that, but I was sufficiently impressed to remember that name for the rest of my life.

So that’s all there is to the story. But I was unwilling to give up my seat on the nostalgia train, I typed her name into the Google search box, and would you believe that the very same woman is the #1 search result?   To my surprise, there are 11 pages of results for “Alice Coolbaugh”.

Maybe it wasn’t a math trick after all – maybe she’s the 18th name on the 18th page of phone books all across America. You’d better go look at yours.

Teh Suck


Central Jersey weather update: it wasn’t sunny today but at least it was dry. I went out on the deck at about 6:00 and as soon as the atmosphere saw me out there, it sent a big dark cloud my way. A very few scattered drops fell here and there so I maintained my deck chair position. After a few minutes of toying with me, the cloud opened up and diluted my martini before I could get under the canopy.

This falls into the category of “a shame”.