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Saturday, February 28, 2009

BSC #41: Mary Anne vs. Logan

Brief Synopsis

Logan Bruno, Mary Anne's long time better half, is on his way to becoming a scary obsessive boyfriend. He shows up randomly at Mary Anne's house, calls her repeatedly and is really bossy. MA pulls a Ross Gellar and asks for them to go on a break, which they do. A week or two later, on Valentine's Day, MA shows up for a sitting job at the Brunos' house (for Logan's two younger siblings), only to find out that he's secretly arranged an elaborate V-Day dinner for them, complete with gifts. She realizes he doesn't get it and a few days later she breaks it off with him officially.

Subplot: Jenny Prezzioso's mother is expecting a new baby and little Jenny, who's a spoiled brat, is jealous. Mary Anne, along with Stacey and Claudia, helps the P's host a baby shower, and eventually Jenny gets over herself when she meets the new baby.
  • This scary looking cover is from the British version. Logan looks kind of redneckish. Somehow, I always imagined him looking a little like Zack Morris--I have no idea why. And Mary Anne looks like she's carrying a crossbow.
  • At one of the meetings, Mary Anne thinks she's dressed like a nerd compared to Claudia. But Mary Anne is wearing a cropped t-shirt with a picture of a cactus sporting a cowboy hat. Wow, bare skin! On a BSC member? Shocking! Also, if I were a cactus with a propensity for hat wearing, I'd be rocking the tam 'o shanter look. Just 'cause.
  • After Mary Anne asks Logan if they can go on a break, she starts worrying that he's going out on a V-Day date with another girl. Have no fear, MA. I never thought Ginger was all that hot myself.

  • At the very end of the book, when MA goes out to talk to Logan to break things off, Dawn tells her that she needs to stop dropping everything for her boyfriend. Dawn, honey, how long ago was it that you were crying in your bok choy because you thought that a sixteen year old boy who took you out on one sort-of-date would have liked you better if you'd only gotten that third piercing in your ear? Taking relationship lessons from Dawn "I wanna be Travis's girl" Schafer--yep, always a fine, fine idea.
  • Speaking of Travis, this book reminds me of Dawn and the Older Boy because there's another scene where a boy orders for a girl without asking her what she wanted. (Travis orders Dawn a grilled cheese, Logan orders MA a cheeseburger, when she really wanted a grilled cheese.) For the record, Dawn says nothing to Travis because she's relieved that he at least didn't order any meat. Mary Anne complains even though she doesn't call back the waiter to change her order. Now who's the budding feminist in training?
  • At the meeting where Mary Anne reveals that she broke up with Logan, the other girls start reminiscing about all the boys they've loved before, like Stacey's lifeguard Scott, Alex and Toby from Sea City, Will from Camp Mohawk, and Terry from California. Claudia asks, "'How come we always fall in love when we're out of town and the relationship can't last?'" Because, Claudia, the carefully assembled team of ghostwriters doesn't have enough personality traits to sustain more than one well thought out male character at a time. And they've already used up "athletic," "controlling," "good with little kids" and "Southern" on Logan and "athletic," "good with little kids," and "looks good in a lobster suit" on Bart.
  • Jenny thinks that the stork brings babies. Claudia starts to tell tell her where they really come from, but MA stops her after she mentions something about Mrs. P's stomach getting much bigger. This is BSC world, after all. Where restrooms have no tampon dispensers and where the drugstore doesn't even have a family planning aisle.
  • Karen's going through some angst because of her pretend husband Ricky Torres. She even calls up the BSC and asks if they'll sit for her stuffed cats, Moosie and Goosie. Yeah, yeah, cute today, but wait till she's one of those creepy middle aged ladies who collects stuffed bears and dolls obsessively, and won't leave home without counting all of them, gives them all elaborate names like Reginald Furrington III, Esq., and even makes tiny teddy bears for her stuffed bears. Not that I'm describing anyone I know personally.
  • When Logan takes Mary Anne out ice skating and to play in the snow, he gets pissy when she says she's way too cold to enjoy it and wants to go home. Aw, come on, Mary Anne. What's dignity, comfort and fun got to do with it?
  • The Prezziosos had no real plan for when Mrs. P went into labor. The morning that they go to the hospital, they ring up Jessi at the last minute to come sit for Jenny because she was the only one available. So if she'd gone into labor at night or while the girls were all in school, they would have, um...what? Do the Prezziosos have no family? no adult friends? Seriously, someone has to break this nasty co-dependency that the BSC has with its clients.
  • When Mary Anne babysits for Jenny, they play a game called Flamingo Fight in the front yard while they wait for Jenny's parents to come home with the new baby. To play Flamingo Fight, you have to hop around on one leg blindfolded trying to knock each other over. We used to play this game when I was a kid, but we had a different name for it. I think we called it "How to turn your babysitting charge into roadkill without really trying."
  • Logan is the one who decides when their "break" ends, even though he's not the one who initiated it. He also was planning their reunion only a week after they'd taken a break. (They decide to cool things off on a Friday night, and MA tells Dawn, but she doesn't tell the BSC anything at school the next Monday. Then we jump to the next Monday meeting where she explains the break up and where Logan calls to set up Valentine's day.) I think MA should have run screaming from the house when she saw what was going on. Do you really want to wait until he starts making you watch "Citizen Kane" every night and showing you the glass coffin he'll keep your body in if you leave him?
  • MA gets a gold heart bracelet, a corsage, a gigantic box of chocolates and a spaghetti dinner meal for V-Day. The best thing I ever got was some cheap (um, I mean, lovingly crafted) origami animals. Oh, and the complete works of Alfred Hitchcock, which are going to fetch a pretty penny on eBay one of these days.
Words of Wisdom from Dawn Schafer

'"'Did he take part of you, or did you let him take part of you?'" Oh, Dawn, I totally want to go out and read The Second Sex with you, and then eat tofutti ice cream and talk about how the word "semester" is a sign of patriarchy and should be changed to "ovester." To the feminist bookstore!

Why Blackglam Mink Coats Are Considered The Best Fur Coats Available

Blackglam Mink Coat

Blackglama, this is a name which embodies a sense of comfort, elegance, and undeniable style. Blackglama fur coats live up to these associations and more, as they are considered, and have been for a long while, to be one of the world's finest natural fur coats. Blackglamas are considered an American Legend, and have a history of glamour which would make anyone proud to be associated with, and part of.

Minks are considered the most commercially valued animal with fur, because the quality of the fur is so explicit. Combined with the fact that they offer a variety of different colors, which vary from dark brown to white and include patches of diverse colors on the stomach, throat, and back, it is needless to say that mink furs are preferred by many. The company of Blackglama agrees.

Prior to manufacture, each fur coat is inspected by experts. They do this to ensure that the coats which Blackglama produces are of the finest quality. Blackglama has a reputation for being one of the best in the world of fashion, and they must continue to live up to that reputation as they have for some time now.

The mink furs are so meticulously examined, that every quality of it is examined. Every quality from the texture, density, length, resilience, to the leather which is found beneath the fur (called pelts). Blackglama manufacturers consider the leather to be one of the most important facts when choosing mink furs. Thus, when purchasing a Blackglama, you are purchasing the best of both fur and leather.

The pelts are tested for flexibility, lightness, and a variety of different things. Blackglama's reputation includes not only finding and using the best fur, but also use pelts with flawless leather. With such a built-up, strong reputation, it is a little surprising that Blackglama has continued to live up to its name for many years, and are still going strong. They understand that it takes high quality materials to make a high quality product.

Blackglama not only provides its consumers with great quality, but pairs this great quality with attractiveness. They are considered to be a very attractive type of coat, because as they are well-known for their selection of superior colors. The coats chosen have a color which portrays both richness and complexity. As is probably obvious, Blacklama fur coats are quite difficult to imitate.

Blackglama makers know, and have known what qualities they need to have to be considered a high-quality coat. They have achieved and surpassed the art of producing a fur coat, only to deliver what is considered to be the most attractive, the softest, and the most resilient fur coat your money can buy.
By Gregg Hall

mink coat
mink coat

Friday, February 27, 2009

Nasi Kerabu : Part Two - Recipe

I went to collect some blue peas or bunga telang this morning. Made a small arrangement and photographed it. This blue pea is actually quite a common climbing vine in Sarawak. The Methodist School Sibu used to have a few vines growing in the stair case going up to the Home Science Room. Who knows they might still be there!

Nasi Kerabu according to many of my West malaysian friends originated in Kelantan. But some claim that it is from Terengganu.

You will need :

1. Rice

20 bunga telang flowers (pressed and squeezed to get a tablespoon of blue liquid)
3 cups of rice (for 8 persons)
some salt
some pepper
some pandan leaves
some kunyit leaves

Cook the rice as usual and add the blue colouring.(If you like you can add some coconut milk)

2. Sambal
4 chilies - pounded
half big onion
some pips of garlic
l inch slice of ginger
one stick of lemon grass or serai
l inch kunyit

1/2 cup coconut milk

some gula melaka


1. Pound chillies;onions ;ginger;garlic and kunyit together until fine.
2. Heat up the oil and stir fry the pounded ingredients till fragrant.
3. Add the santan and cook for a short while. Set aside.

3. Fish :

Select a nice tenggiri about 1 kg and enough for eight persons. Cut up it into suitable sizes and marinate in salt and pepper for a while. Deep fry in hot oil.

4. Coconut Sambal

1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
2 pips garlic - well pouned
3 small onions - sliced and well pouned
1 stalk of serai - well pouned
some salt
some sugar

Fry these ingredients with a bit of oil.

5. Salad

l cucumber
half head of cabbage
some daun selum
some taugeh
some daun kesum
some bunga kentang

some fresh limes

6. Fish crackers/Keropok and some salted fish

7. Salted eggs

Enjoy cooking!

Last Season’s Top Chef, Stephanie Izard, on Whether Padma Lakshmi Follows the Acapulco Golden Rule

Possums, as much as we like and appreciate last season’s Top Chef winner, Stephanie Izard, we cannot help but concede that she, being a cautious and intelligent sort (drats!), hasn’t always given the most thrilling of interviews (although perhaps in these Caseygate times, that’s not such a bad thing). So it is with great pleasure that we perused one of the liveliest Izard interviews to date, where she discusses her soon-to-open restaurant in Chicago and how she is confident she will beat Hosea Rosenberg during their upcoming cook-off in Aspen. But our favorite exchange was this:

Q. Settle a rumor: Does Padma like to share her weed or no?
A. Does she seem like the type who shares? That would not be very diva would it?

A Hootie Nation’s Tributes to Its Fallen But Unbowed Heroine Begin

Click here for the full, uncanny triptych.

Another Gay Falls for the Pads

The Facebook Updates That Signaled Impending Doom; Also, Toby Young on Caseygate: A “Pretty Shocking Rant”

Yesterday, Pegasus News posted the updates from Casey Thompson’s Facebook page that seem to indicate in real time her growing frustration with being portrayed as a scapegoat for Carla Hall’s loss:

Asked about the snowballing controversy, Toby Young told

“It’s a pretty shocking rant. The judges don’t see what goes on behind the scenes, so I don’t know if what she says is true.”

But, as Miss XaXa is quick to remind us, Texas girls have a temper, and don’t take kindly to attack or loss.

The Response to Casey Thompson’s Response

From the SideDish blog of D Magazine.

Casey Thompson Responds--Again

From Casey Thompson's blog.

Quick DVD Reviews and a Couple of 'Shotgun' Links

I've been super busy lately and unable to get on this blog post-Oscar's to get some material up. Well, after a dismal showing once again in the prediction department (and the unfortunate events of Slumdog Millionaire winning Best Picture) let's just forget this years Oscar's even happened. With the 'official' movie season starting next week with Watchmen (no offense to Paul Blart: Mall Cop or Madea Goes to Jail) there hasn't been a whole lot to write about as far as new movies go, so I'm taking this opportunity to catch up on some 2008 films I missed. I caught W. and Body of Lies this past week, and next week I plan on watching Swing Vote and I've Loved You So Long. Reviews and links after the jump...


Oliver Stone's film is a fascinating look at a subject that is all too familiar to us. Instead of lampooning the president (which is like shooting fish in a barrel), Stone wisely observes -- this is what it must be like to have a father you'll never please. It's an interesting take on the 'legacy' of Dubya, and Josh Brolin is incredible as the man who must close out each important meeting with a word of prayer. What I liked most about Stone's film was that there didn't seem to be a bit of condescension in Stone's tone; everything here seems neutral enough, besides the viewer has lived through this, we don't need Stone's revisionist history running amok, here. Toby Jones is absolutely fantastic as the always annoying Karl Rove, and even though the film already confirms what we know (based on books written by the likes of Bob Woodrow) about Dick Chaney, it's still quite amazing how Richard Dreyfus embodies the man (or, I guess he could be called a character). The film doesn't feel flat, even though, as I mentioned earlier, that the viewer essentially knows how things go, and that's to Stone's credit. There are two scenes that I think make this movie great: the first is after Bush has been told that there are no WMD's in Iraq, and that the CIA messed up. The shot of Rusmfeld (Scott Glenn) not even missing a beat, supping up his noodles without looking at the President or the head of the CIA, is one of the films great moments. The other scene I'm thinking of is the way Stone ends his film. He wisely sidesteps any obvious railing against the Bush Administration (wisely avoiding text at the end of his film to inform us what happened after the film is over....again, we already know what happened) and shows Bush in the outfield of his baseball stadium in Arlington (he was the owner of the Rangers), throughout the film Bush is seen in the outfield (a dream, perhaps), and Stone bookends his film with this shot. Throughout the film Bush goes from hearing the roaring of the crowd as he stands on the pitchers mound (he's in control, throwing things, 'pitching' his destiny, etc.), to being in the outfield catching fly balls, until in the last shot of the film, he goes back to catch the pop-up, but the ball never comes down. Stone then cuts to a title card that reads: "The End." We already know how this thing ends, it's not necessary to show us the ball falling on the ground, or again, the easy joke of Bush dropping the ball. It's a great way to end a great film. W. is a fascinating, fascinating picture, and would gladly (retroactively) place it in my top 10 of 2008.

Body of Lies

Ridley Scott's spy thriller begins harmlessly enough, but as the film progresses, and the cliches of the spy thriller begin to pop up, the films banality becomes more apparent and kills any momentum this thing had at being a unique spy thriller. Scott is to be commended: his film looks great. But, when is that never the case with a Ridley Scott, the problem I had with Body of Lies is the fact that no matter how good Leonardo DiCaprio is, when he's relegated to yelling into a Blue Tooth the entire film, you're really misusing one of the best actors we have in film today. Russell Crowe plays DiCaprio's boss in a complete throw away roll, as he drives his kids to school and plays stay-at-home dad all while talking DiCaprio throughout some pretty important and intense international terrorist affairs. Silliness aside, I liked the way the film moved with a certain ease and swagger in its first half; actually sidestepping the convoluted plots that so often bog down these spy films. There are no double crosses or moles in this thriller, but the film loses a lot of that goodwill with the way the filmmakers have DiCaprio's agent be more like a Bond/Bourne type of spy, rather than what your 'normal' CIA agent probably is. As usual in these kinds of movies, the agent crows too big of a conscience for his line of work, and when he befriends an Iranian nurse, well, you can pretty much write the rest of the movie from stock thriller cliches. But whatever, it's not like I was expecting much from this movie. All I wanted was something that was entertaining for two hours, that contained authentic locals (they seemed to have shot this thing on location), and some good performances, and I got that. The film almost falters because of how average it is -- reminding of another spy thriller Spy Game, directed by Ridley's brother Tony; it too had two good performances from Brad Pitt and Robert Redford and beautiful, on-location cinematography. If you have a couple of hours to kill, Body of Lies isn't a complete waste of your time, despite how paint-by-numbers it is.

A couple of Shotgun Stories-related links:

Alexander Coleman writes-up a masterful review on my favorite film of last year, Shotgun Stories. Check it out.

Jim Emerson mentions the poetry and simplicity of the opening scene with is Opening Shots feature on the Jeff Nichols film. It's amazing how much Nichols gets across in this film by saying so little. It's rare to find a filmmaker these days who will let the audience infer bu organically letting elements of the characters past come out through the nuances of storytelling.

I've been preparing to teach a class on the American Short Story, and one of the stories we'll be reading is Hemingway's "Cat in the Rain", as succinct a story as you will find, which, in typical Hemingway fashion, makes the reader read between the lines of terse dialogue and exposition in order to fully understand the stories buried themes. Nichol's film reminds me of that. It recently played on Sundance (I made sure to Tivo it), and because of the two links above, I plan on taking a look at the film a third time. My hope is that I can give a more detailed response to why I loved the film so much, since my initial reactions to the film were more about my emotional response to the film.

That's all for now. I'll try to be back later with some new stuff, as this weekend is looking like an Argento fest all day today for me, followed by date night with my fiance and a showing of He's Just Not That Into You (ugh), and then the countdown to Watchmen begins. Be back later with more....stuff.

One of These Things Is Not Like the Others: Amuse-Biatch Celebrities Difference, Even on Rocco Ground

And for anyone who still has doubts that Rocco DiSpirito is straight, his outfit on the episode should clear things up. What Gay would be caught dead in that?

And Then We Woke Up, and Realized It Was Only a Beautiful Flamer's Dream

New York Chef to Stefan Richter: My Dishes Are Dirtier Than Yours!

Well, possums, it looks as though Stefan Richter has finally found an Italian chef who isn’t happy to join him on Team Euro.

As our pals at Grub Street relate, Pino Luongo—who, according to The New York Post, “was synonymous with the high-powered New York dining scene of the '80s and '90s,” and who a couple of months ago released a memoir titled Dirty Dishes—is “flabbergasted” that Stefan’s own book, scheduled for release in May, is also titled Dirty Dishes. Luongo calls him out for being unoriginal and destined always to be second, and “strongly suggests” that Stefan change the title of his book.

Possums, it is on. Herr Richter, your move.

Nasi Kerabu : Part 1 - Blue Rice

Lent is the pre-Resurrection period in which many Christians will fast and pray. They also try to abstain from eating of meat if possible. Our cell group had a gourmet journey this week as we ventured into something blue and something that is not meaty.

Here's the story:

I am sure you have had blue cheese and Blue Curacao in your cocktails. You might even have had some blue Kueh Tai Tai in K.L. But blue rice?

What is your opinion of blue food? And blue colouring?

My Cell group has three homes to choose from to meet on Fridays. We are a small but interesting group and we enjoy all the different aspects of Cell Group meeting but especially take delight in providing of supper as some of the ladies are still single and are in need of good home cooked food.

Tonight besides my own humble cooking of four dishes I was truly over the moon when J brought her mother's preparation. Although I have eaten lots of Nasi Kerabu in West Malaysia I must say Mrs. F's is wonderful.

Nasi Karabu is native to Kelantan and Teranganu where fish is a staple. So this is indeed a good dish to prepare during Lent. I hope I can make it soon.

Nicely fried tenggiri.

This is the salad that goes well with the rice.

This is the fragrant kerisik or fried shredded coconut to give a special nutty taste to the rice.

This is the finely sliced cucumber which brings coolness in your diet.

This is the chili sauce for those who like very spicy nasi karabu.

This is the blue rice.

This plate shows the salted egg and deep fried fish which is part of the Nasi Karabu

The blue colouring is natural and is from the blue pea which is commonly found in homes and even road sides.

Blue peas or blue clitorea (

Jennifer promised to give me some young plants of blue peas to grow....So if you see lots of blue flowers in Luak I am responsible for spreading it!! Won't it be a wonderful thought?

Post Script:

As I did not intend to take photos of my buah kundur soup cooked longhouse style and fresh Jerudong Brunei tuna in red curry and special rice bought in Lachau this posting is purely on a fish meal which is very relevant to Lent. Perhaps my supper is another story in the making...stay tuned.)

Ellen Upstages Fabio, Serves as the Melon to His Ham, Er, Prosciutto

And so it begins. Click HERE to watch.

Page Six: Leah & Hosea at It Again

Hoot and Cold

Miss Mindy

Rotten Hoot


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Amuse-Biatch Photoessay: What a Difference a Letter Makes

Amuse-Biatch Photoessay: Who Says That Chivalry Is Dead?

Just imagine it, possums. For once, a man who’ll free you from crabs rather than give them to you in the first place.

Amuse-Biatch Photoessay: Do Padma and Madonna Have Something in Common?

Try if you can, possums, to ignore for just a moment the retina-searing outfit that Pads is wearing. Focus instead on her wrist. Is that one of them red stringy thingies from Kabbalah? Has she become a Padmaterial Girl?

It’s Not Delivery, It’s Viviani: Fabio to Shill for Italian Frozen Pizza Made by German Corporation

So sayeth the press release, announcing that “Fabio Viviani will act as American spokesperson for Italy’s number one selling frozen pizza,” Dr. Oetker’s “Ristorante” brand. Now, possums, we have no shame in admitting that we had never before heard of that undoubtedly storied Italian, Dr. Oetker, so we turned to the Internet.

According to Wikipedia, Dr. Oetker is a German company founded in 1891 by the eponymous Herrdoktor, who chose Nazi Party member Richard Kaselowsky as company leader in 1920. “In 1937, the company received the title of Nationalsozialistischer Musterbetrieb, or national-socialist model company, by the German Labour Front…. The company participates in the Forced/Slave Labor Compensation Fund, an organization of German industries taking responsibility for slave labour during the Second World War.”

It cannot be said strongly enough, however, that none of this is unique to Dr. Oetker as a company. After all, other highly reputable modern brands have Nazi associations in their corporate pasts. For example, historian Neil Gregor wrote a book on Daimler-Benz that found “a close association between the car manufacturer and the Nazi system” and established that “the company acquiesced in the exploitation of forced labor.” And yet no one has a problem buying a Merc, and in 1998 Daimler-Benz merged with the All-American Chrysler Corporation.

Nowadays, Dr. Oetker is apparently a multinational corporation with a good reputation in corporate responsibility and environmental matters. And somehow frozen pizza is now part of the empire, however odd it seems. Indeed, the German television ad below reflects that cognitive dissonance.

The Fabio “will participate in a five-city media tour this summer to introduce the favorite brand of thin-crust pizza lovers throughout Europe and Canada to consumers in the northeastern United States.” So if you live in the Northeast, you know what to look for, possums.

Wedding wallpaper

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