May 07, 2009

Capitalism Day is June 7!

I didn't even know there was such a thing as Capitalism Day until reader Tod wrote me an email to inform me of it. Cool, right?

What's cooler than that?

Ice cold?  NOPE!

Capitalism Day Cards!!!  Bad ass.

So, get your pocketbook out and buy a card and send me one for Capitalism Day!

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April 18, 2009

Quando Quando!



I hope you all are having a lovely Saturday and if not, I hope this video helps make it a little better.

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April 13, 2009

What You Always Wanted

LEAGUE OF SUPER EVIL WALLPAPERS FOR YOUR LAPTOP OR DESKTOP COMPUTER!

OSSUM!

(I have the green one.)

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April 10, 2009

Happy Friday! Reinaldo Gianecchini

http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa92/longrange1/Reinaldo-Gianecchini.jpg

Obviously, this man, Mr. Gianecchini, is trying to be friends with me and he seems like an upstanding chap, so I am TOTALLY going to let him talk to me.

Found over at Infidel Blog.

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April 09, 2009

OMG OMG OMG!! I LOVE THIS SO MUCH!!!



I cannot tell you how happy this makes me.  I love that there's so many people doing this dance!  How fun!

hat tip: Joe. My. God.

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February 25, 2009

Top Chef New York Finale!!!

It's the finale!!! YAY!  It's down to Hosea, Stefan, and Carla.

I am actually kind of cheering for Carla now.  She's the underdog in this, but she has been rocking out her dishes lately.

Stefan who has impressed me for most of the season has been a disappointment for the past few episodes because he is always trying to take the easy way out.

Hosea is just whiney.  He doesn't completely annoy me, but I also don't see much to like about him these days.

THERE'S SEXY PADMA!  I LOVE YOU, PADMA! YOU'RE SO PRETTY!

And there's hunky Chef Tom telling them they can make whatever they want.  Hi, Tom!

The cheflets are going to be assisted by runners up from past seasons including my favorite master of the choke, Richard, from last season.  He's working with Hosea.  Carla got some chick I don't know.  Hosea is cooking with Stefan.

Stefan and Hosea fight over fois gras and Hosea wins because Stefan is being a whiney bitch.  Stefan also bitches because Hosea picked up all the caviar.

Carla's lady is teaching her to cook in a bag.  If it works, it will be awesome.

Stefan says cooking simple food is much sexier than "a bunch of bullshit" and I reminded of how he doesn't try hard enough.

The "treat" for the night according to Carla is a voodoo tarot card and palm reader.  She says that Stefan has a chance with Lesbian Jaime.  Science.  Look at it.

After the commercial, Tom comes in and tells them they have to make a fourth course to their meal, an appetiser, from crab, fish, or alligator.  To decide who picks, they eat King Cake and Hosea gets to decide who cooks what.  Carla got crab and Stefan got the alligator.

I'm excited about Carla cooking crab.  It seems like something she could be really good at preparing.

I lost track of what was happening just now because I was playing on Facebook, but I'm back now.  I think I missed some menus or something, so I'm going to rewind.

Carla's crab appetizer doesn't sound like it's going to work to me.

Hosea is making sashimi, fois gras and scallops, and venison.  His appetizer is going to be a blackened fish thingie.  He's not making dessert because he's not good at it, he says.

Stefan is making a carpaccio, squab, and an ice-cream dessert.  This menu sounds kind of weird to me.

Carla is making snapper, strip steak, and a cheese tart.  Bravo really didn't leave her menu up very long.  Carla explains that a French menu goes fish, beef, cheese.  So, then they start talking about changing the tart to a souffle and I start thinking that would be a mistake.  You don't change horses mid-stream, yo.  I don't know what decision they made, though, because I was typing.

Hosea's appetiser looks yummy, but I am not quite sure why it's on an upturned shot glass.

Stefan made alligator soup and brags about it.  People love it.

Carla's crabby thing is weird, but people aren't super enthusiastic about it.

Sexy Padma introduces all the guests who are all foodies of some sort.


Stefan's first course looks very flat.  Carla's looks more robust than the others'.  And Hosea's looks colorful, but random.

Carla's dish gets praise.  Hosea's is critiqued as being weak in flavor.  Stefan's dish is also called bland.

Stefan's second course looks delicious now that it's cooked.  Carla's plate looks good, but strange.  And Hosea's plate looks yummy, too.

Carla's steak is critiqued as being just wrong.  It's because she went outside of her skillset.  Stefan's squab is highly praised.  Hosea's dish gets mixed reviews but more positive than Carla's.

Stefan and Hosea aren't even thinking about Carla.  They assume that one of them will be the winner.

Stefan accuses Hosea of taking the easy way out.

Turns out Carla did go with the souffle even though I told her not to and ruins it.  Fail.  What did I tell you?!

Stefan's dessert looks like a huge pile of sugar.  Good, but a LOT of sugar.  Carla's third course looks stupid and disappointing.  Hosea's venison looks good.

Stefan's plate gets rather bad reviews.  Hosea's dish is highly praised.  Few talk about Carla's plate other than to say it was disappointing.

Fabio says that Hosea should be the winner.  Some French version of Kenny Rogers (classic Kenny, not Kenny today) says Hosea's meal is too safe and votes for Stefan.

So the judges retire to talk smack and we're left to listen to the chefs pontificate about life and winning Top Chef.

I think Hosea should win based on how good their food appeared to be.

At the judging, Carla gets a rather uneven, even mediocre reviews.  It all amounts to the fact that Carla doesn't have a strong enough will to follow her own direction on things, so she let that lady convince her to do other things.

Hosea gets generally positive reviews.  His sashimi plate isn't the best, but the rest is pretty good.

Stefan's appetizer is also well-received.  His carpaccio is panned as watery and bland.  They loved his squab and Tom called it the strongest dish of the night.  The judges can barely hide their disdain for his dessert, though.

Stefan thinks he deserves to win as the most consistent, strongest chef.

Hosea thinks he deserves to win because he did a good job.

Carla cries at the question because she is disappointed in allowing her sous chef to change her mind about her menu.  Stefan hugs her and tries to comfort her, but he's laughing as he does it and it comes off as a little cruel.

Padma calls Stefan's dessert "pedestrian" and I laugh out loud.  Tom praises Hosea's progression, the bitchy Brit is back and he doesn't like that Hosea left off dessert.  No one mentions Carla except to imply that she's obviously not the winner.



WHOA!  I didn't see that coming!!

The audience voted and 65% of people think that Carla should be Top Chef.  Pity votes.  Shameful.



So, this season didn't really go anything like how I predicted.  I think if I had been really enthusiastic about any of the candidates I'd feel more strongly about how it wrapped up.  As is, I kind of think, "Meh."  But I can't wait for next season!

I LOVE YOU, SEXY PADMA!











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February 14, 2009

Happy Huggy Smoochy Candy Day!













What are some of your favorite love songs?

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February 12, 2009

Kids are Weird (So are Kittens, Apparently)



The part that gets me is when she starts singing porno music to one of the cats.  "Bow-chikka-bow-wow"  I wonder what she thinks that means.

Courtesy of Miles of Get Up Offa That Thing

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February 09, 2009

LOOK AWAY.

I tried to warn you.

humorous pictures
more animals

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February 04, 2009

Top Chef: New York's Final Six!

America tunes into Top Chef New York this week still shocked that Bug Eyes won last week and that Blondie Bear is no longer on the show.  Clearly, the producers read this blog and just like reading "Bug Eyes."  But America asks, "Wasn't it more fun to say 'Bangs McGee?' Who was that girl, anyway?"

Left to amuse us are Stefan, who choked last week, Hosea who is becoming a non-personality, Bug Eyes, the miracle child, Fabio, the child who thinks he's a miracle just because someone made a short bus just for him, Snapper, who is still skankin' up the place, and Lezzie, who took to whining last week and I hope she doesn't keep it up.

So, the show starts with people just being boring and/or crazy in a boring way namely Bug Eye's delusion that she's going to win.

A creepy guy shows up with sexy Padma who challenges them to a technique challenge that involves filleting a sardine.

You know Snapper can't handle this.  She can't fillet a normal size fish.

Hosea talks about how it's really hard.

Stefan is like, "Whatever."

Lezzie is like, "I tore that fish up."  That's what she said.

Bug Eyes tunes into reality for a second and just chases the creepy guy away from her sardine blood bath.

Snapper somehow actually does it.

Fabio BLOWS UP.

Lezzie does OK.

Somehow Snapper actually wins.  I start thinking that I am watching this from an alternate universe.

Round two is up and Lezzie and Bug Eyes are out, everyone has to clean a big, scary looking fish.

Snapper completely blew it this round and Hosea can't remember why he made out with such a quitter.

Stefan talks crazy about his accomplishment.

Fabio and Snapper get cut and Stefan and Hosea have to filet freshwater eel.  Apparently, eels continue to move for some time after death.  Hosea has NO idea how to do this and he has to watch Stefan to figure out what to do.  Stefan is a machine.

Stefan clearly wins and everyone is happy that the creepy guy left.

During this commercial break, I would like you all to join me in a cheer inspired by the fantastic cheer movie: Bring it On.

BRRRRRR... IT'S GETTING COLD IN HERE!  THERE MUST BE SOME STEFAN IN THE ATMOSPHERE!

I trust you did the appropriate clapping and stomping rhythms as you chanted that.

Back from commercial break everyone goes to dinner at the creepy guy's restaurant, Le Bernardain, and the audience just knows that they're going to have to recreate these foods as their challenge.  Who has the least developed sense of taste?  Snapper? Bug Eyes?

Snapper thinks creepy guy is cute.  Girl is just horny, I think.

Lezzie hates everything, so she'll be at a disadvantage.

I was right.

Stefan chooses to make the lobster plate.  Hosea says it's the easiest.  Lezzie pulls the dish she hated the most.

My mouth is watering watching them cook.  I love fish, especially rare tuna.

While they cook, the creepy guy is just watching them.

Snapper, it turns out, was a lead fish cook somewhere.  America now thinks she's a liar and a horndog.  I don't think there's anyone around who will go to bed with her over this information, though, so I don't know who she thinks she's fooling.

Hosea is mystified.  Snapper is just making stuff up.  Fabio is babbling about national pride or something again.

Creepy guy comes around and gives everyone tips on how to improve their dish -- except for Lezzie who wasn't far enough along to give him a chance.

Fabio burns his bread just in time to send it to the chefs.  Tom calls his dish a forgery.  A good forgery, but a forgery all the same.

Snapper is behind schedule and knows she did this wrong.  Tom says her fish is overcooked and the flavors aren't balanced properly.  Everyone agrees it's a miss.

Stefan is doing his final prep and is confident that the minor differences won't hurt him.  Unfortunately, his hollandaise sauce is visibly thicker, but that is their only complaint.  Everything else is bang on.

Bug Eyes has 15 minutes to make potato chips and everyone helps her get it to the plate.  Tom says she had one of the most difficult dishes.  The judges say she did a good job.  I am, again, shocked she's doing so well.

Hosea has something gross.  Dude.  It's so gross.  I'm looking at it and I don't like how it tastes.  The judges agree with me.  It looks crazy.  His sauce is close, but his fish is wrong.  Tom is concerned about his career since he is a seafood chef.

Lezzie has to make something she hates and her celery is too salty and she knows it.  Everyone makes horrible faces when they taste it.  Bitchy Brit doesn't hold back and calls it "not only unremarkable, but remarkably poor."

I think it's going to come down to Hosea, Snapper, and Lezzie to lose this one.  I hope it's snapper, but I am worried it's Lezzie.  They made it sound like her dish was horrid.

The winner is either Stefan or, I can't believe I'm saying this, Bug Eyes.  I hope it's Stefan.

Back from commercial, we are reminded why Padma is sexy Padma.  Look at that dress!  Look at her, um, decolletage! She is stunning.  Love you, Padma!

Stefan, Fabio, and Bug Eyes are lavished with praise and the creepy guy is particularly impressed with Bug Eyes.  !!!



The worst three are up for judging.

Hosea begs off his failure on ignorance and just poor judgment.  Apparently, he knew what went wrong and this is the best response he could give.  I think he's safe.

Snapper just says she's completely mystified about her plate and knows she effed it up.  Bitchy Brit lays into her.  Tom takes her to task on giving up in the Quick Fire Challenge.  During the discussion later, Tom complains that Snapper didn't pay attention to the dish at all.

Lezzie thinks her sole mistake is the overreduction around the celery which made it salty and this, I think, will be her undoing.  Padma wanted to send it back and the other judges' remarks are drifting into other areas.  Lezzie claims to know her mistakes, but couldn't fix them.  Bitchy Brit actually defends her saying she really did seem to know what the problems were and how to fix them.

In the discussion after, Tom asks, "Who is worse: someone who knows they made a mistake and knows how to fix it, or someone who has no idea how a dish is put together?"

The decision is clearly between Lezzie and Snapper.  It sounds like they're leaning toward sending Snapper home, but it's a close call.  Before the judges' after talking, it sounded like Lezzie was losing.  I HOPE it's Snapper because if Lezzie goes home, it will completely eff my predictions for the final three.



See you next week!

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February 02, 2009

Happy Birthday, Ayn Rand! Always a Genius

Ayn Rand makes me so happy.  I was thinking about it in the shower the other day and it just amazes me that she was able to formulate such a brilliant and elegant system of ideas that encompasses the whole of human existence for all time.

Simply amazing.

So, today on her birthday, give some thought to what a wonderful world in which we live that gave rise to such an incredible woman.

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January 29, 2009

What Babies Do...

... is essentially put everything in their mouth.



See?

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January 28, 2009

Top Chef: New York - Super Bowl Party!

Top Chef!  WOOOO!!!!

Tonight, we're hoping that Bug Eyes goes home.  I've been telling everyone all week that Bug Eyes goes home this week, Snapper is next week, then Fabio, then Blondie.  That leaves Lezzie and Hosea to get their asses handed to them by Stefan, the clear champ.

Bug Eyes is fretting over how her resume could have failed her in this competition.

Leah is backpedaling on the making out with Hosea.  Whatever.  I was over it before she was.

Stefan is bragging because he's the boss of this show.

The Quickfire challenge involves some sort of protracted football thing that I do not care to describe.

This challenge is stupid.  It's a Quaker Oats challenge and Bug Eyes is buggin' because she eats oats all the time.  I worry for her digestive tract.  That's just a lot of activity.

Lezzie is doing coconut shrimp and oats.

Hosea is doing a wienersnitzel.

Blondie is committing a violent crime against chicken.

Stefan is doing something that is bound to be awesome.

Snapper is doing um... snapper.  And she still doesn't know how to filet.

Carla is apparently a genius about oats.

Fabio is doing something that just looks flat out insane with eggplant.

Stefan's bit looks awesome.  Fabio's food is openly mocked and he gets upset.  Bug Eyes makes a vegetarian orgy that actually looks kind of good.  Lezzie's food does not look good.  Hosea made veal and it looks OK.  Snapper just loves bacan, so she made something like soup.  Blondie made grits and about a thousand other things.

Snapper's plate gets dogged.  Fabio's food is also yucky.  And Blondie's plate doesn't work either.

Bug Eyes and Lezzie and Stefan all do well.  Who won?



The chefs go somewhere to get a surprise and Fabio hopes it's a puppy, bless his heart.  It's superbowl chef shirts.

Snapper starts planning her affair with Tom Brady.  Good luck with that.

It's Top Chef Bowl!!  And the new chefs have to cook against chefs from previous seasons. Lezzie says she's intimidated and I can't imagine why -- these people are the LOSERS of Top Chef.

So, the winner of the challenge gets to pick which team they will represent and who they'll cook against.  Picking a team means using the regional ingredients for that team.

Fabio picks Brett Farvre's old team, Packers, and I get distracted thinking about Brett Farve.  Mmmm... Fox!

And everyeone else picks their teams and get paired up with their competition.  Then Sexy Padma tells them that anyone who loses their match is eligible to go home.

Lezzie is freaking out and Bug Eyes is rubbing it in her face because Bug Eyes is always freaking out.  I think this is production propaganda.  Lezzie ain't going home.

There's another lesbian in the competing chefs and I want Lezzie to go talk to her.

There's some dude who can't filet fish in the crowd and he's against Hosea, so Hosea thinks about making out with him.

There are toooo many characters in this episode for me to keep track of them.

Fabio is talking about monkey ass again.  Why does he like monkey ass so much?  He's on shaky ground and I start thinking that he is going to go home.

That Spaz from last season offers golden showers to everyone else and I start wondering if I'm watching Top Sexual Deviant and not Top Chef.

Stefan is paired up with a chef who got kicked off in the second episode of season two, so he thinks he's about to body slam her.  Just to be safe, he tries to get her drunk, too.

Some people are acting crazy on this show and Fabio threatens to cut Spike.  (You'll recall that's his real name and not a silly nickname that I gave him.)

Hosea is a wee bit delusional for thinking that this season's chefs are the best of all previous seasons.

Fabio is nearly incoherent, but I manage to hear a sob story about his mother and some medicine or something.

Carla meditates on the sofa and Stefan mocks her for it and seems to suddenly and mysteriously tune in to how that must seem to the rest of the world.  It's not an attractive moment for him, this sudden self-awareness.

There's even an audience of people cheering for them as the cook and Padma looks really cute and sexy in a referee costume.

Snapper and Noodle lady are up against one another. Snapper's plate is boring.  I think I like Noodle Lady's dish, but Snapper wins her match.

Score: 7 - 3

The scoring is kind of complicated.

Next up is Hosea and that guy who can't filet.

The guy who can't filet makes something a bit complicated.  And Hosea makes some kind of roll that looks really delicious.  Hosea gets a touchdown and then the field goal.

Score: 17 - 3

Spaz and Bug Eyes are up.  Bug Eyes and Spaz.  I can't get over it.  There's a lot of really irritating talking going on.

Spaz makes something that looks yummy.  And Bug Eyes makes a gumbo that looks good, too, except I don't like crawdads in the shell.  Carla wins the touchdown but Spaz gets a field goal.

Score: 24 - 6

Stefan and the Loser Lady are up and Stefan is throwing game at her, too.  Lezzie is gonna be jealous!

Loser Lady makes some kind of chili.  Stefan makes a salad and some meat or something.  Loser Lady's dish looks better to me.  The judges are split evenly, but the audience gives all 10 points to Loser Lady.  Stefan is shocked.

Hosea makes a rather extended monologue about sour grapes.

Score: 24 - 16

We're back from commercial and Lezzie is up against some cute girl.  Lezzie's plate sounds strange to me, but so does Cutie's.  The judges are split on this one again, but the fans vote to give the 10 to Lezzie.

Score: 34 - 16

Blondie and Other Lezzie are both making a ceviche.  (I'm not a fan of ceviche.)  Blondie seems surprisingly together this time.  The judges like Other Lezzie and so does the audience, so she gets all 10.

Score: 34 - 26

Fabio heads out to compete against Spike.  I think Fabio will lose because Spike is really good.  Spike's plate looks so creative and delicious!  I love venison.  Fabio's looks boring to me.  The Judges like Spike, but the crowd likes Fabio.

The final score is close: 37 - 33.  The home team wins barely.

On the chopping block are Blondie, Stefan, and Fabio.

Fabio deserves to go home before Blondie and the preview looks very exciting because Fabio argues with the guest judge.

Snapper rubs it in Stefan's face that he lose to Loser Lady.

The judges go over the winners' dishes and it's a boring conversation.

So, who won?



So, the losers are called in.

Fabio lies to Tom and says that his venison was medium rare when it hit the plate, but everyone agrees it was way overcooked.  He may or may not know that Tom is a rockstar with game.  The guest judge lays a verbal slapdown on Fabio for being a total dip.

Stefan is criticized for being boring and Tom calls him out for picking Loser Lady because he thought she'd be weak.

Blondie is really flustered because he felt like his dish was stronger, more sophisticated.  I think he's just flat-out embarassed.

The judges are harping on Stefan's salad and Padma actually calls is "abominable."  WOW.

But he can't go home.

Fabio's argumentativeness is probably going to bite him.

And Blondie's dish really kind of just gets passing treatment.

At the end, it looks like Fabio is heading out after all.  I didn't time my DVR right, so I have to sit through the commercial to find out if I'm right.



And next week there's some kind of French chef guy and someone makes something REALLY bad.

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January 22, 2009

Metro Gnomes, Metric Gnomes, Imperial Gnomes, and Hermapho Gnomes

This conversation on Get Fuzzy is absolutely killing me. It's HILARIOUS!

Get Fuzzy

Get Fuzzy

Get Fuzzy

Get Fuzzy

Satchel is so cute and thoughtful! (He's the dog.)

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January 21, 2009

Tell Me, Baby. Do You Like it Like This?

ZOMFG!!  This commercial made me so happy!



I wish I could have been there to dance with them!

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January 12, 2009

Goo Guppies on Stage

Inspector posted this in comments and it cracked me up, so you get to see it here:


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January 07, 2009

Top Chef! Back from the Holidays!

I couldn't write a play-by-play of tonight's episode because I was trying to troubleshoot the tip jar.

But here's the basics:

Hosea made fiery vomit for the sugar-free dessert quickfire challenge.

Fabio didn't like the guest judge for the quickfire challenge, though, because he's French and Fabio is Italian.  It doesn't think it's possible that maybe he's seen the show and knows that Fabio is a mediocrity with a cute accent.

Lezzie made something COMPLETELY wrong.

Eugene made banana churros.

Blondie made something really good.

It wasn't good enough, though, because...

So, for the main challenge, the chefs are allowed to cook whatever they want.  It's a blind tasting, though, so the judges don't know who did what.

The surprise test is that the chefs have to eat the food that they all just cooked.  This is TOTALLY AWESOME.

The new judge who is replacing Gail is named Toby and dude is a bitch.  You can just tell.  So, it's going to be effing awesome.

Radhika's soup is described as a "weapon of mass destruction" by Toby and Stefan says it just goes completely against his tastebuds.  See?  Off the hook.  This is good television.

Hosea's halibut was not so good, but people liked his veggies.  Toby tries an insult that probably works better across the pond.

Lezzie's scallops were roundly loved.

Fabio's undercooked lamb wasn't good, but his pasta was called "perfect."

Eugene's dish made this episode's previews.  Toby called it "the bland leading the bland."

Bangs McGee's dish was described by Toby as "cat food."  I've had cat food and unless they're doing something radically different in Britain, that is not a compliment.  At all.

Group 2 goes and Blondie is making more dishes than everyone.  Mistake. 

No Name is making something she's never made before.  Mistake. 

Stefan is making something with cabbage.  It's a pretty purple. 

Jersey is making something that looks stupid because she's stupid.  I can't call it a mistake because I think that's what she means.  Stupid. 

Bug Eyes makes something with scallops that is layered with love.  Completely for free.  Love.  Yeah.  You can only get that from a top chef.  Well, apparently, love tastes like garlic and people hate when there's too much love.  Lezzie is like, "Lesbian love tastes WAY better."

Stefan is going to have sex with Tom because he likes his dish so much.

Toby likes Blondie's sorbet, but Tom hates the whole thing, calling it "not a dish.  It's a collection of hors d'oveurs."

Jersey's dish is apparently good.

I think I missed one, but I'm not rewinding again.  Oh yeah, it was that No Name girl's dish.  I don't remember what they said.

Toby is generally impressed with the chefs' performance, proving that he's not a total douche.

Bangs McGee thinks she shouldn't go home because she thinks the idea of her dish was great even though it sucked when she pooped it out onto a plate.

Top three is Stefan, Lezzie, and Jersey. 

I am praying that the only reason Jersey is here is because the judges are luring her into position for a really sweet sniper target.  What is up with her hair tonight?  Is that a cat?

Since she made it through judging, I can only think that she was supposed to stand in a different spot in line.



The bottom three are Bangs McGee, Bug Eyes, and Eugene. 

All three of these people need to be cut and we already know they're cutting two.  I kind of want Bangs McGee to stay because I like calling her "Bangs McGee."

Bug Eyes says her scallops sucked but defends it saying something about not being a good dancer.

Bangs McGee says she learned an important lesson from this competition: make something good next time.  Wise words, indeed.  But then she makes a fatal mistake and says that she didn't think it was that bad.  That's how you know it was TERRIBLE.  It probably tasted like a dog turd floating in that juice that leaks out of garbage trucks when they stop pointing uphill.

Eugene says he's just crazy and that's how he rolls.

The judges deliberate and Toby says he thinks Eugene should stay because he likes crazy little fellas. 

Toby hates Bug Eyes and Bangs McGee because he says they are little better than thrashing about in the kitchen and they are a danger to themselves and others.  Ok, he didn't say that, but I could see it in his eyes.  I could see it in his soul.

Am I the only one who thinks Toby is kind of cute in a weird way?  Anyone?  Anyone?  Ok, it's just me and I'm fine with that.

And there you have it!



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December 25, 2008

And Merry Christmas, Too, of Course!

I hope everyone is having a very happy and merry Christmas!

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December 21, 2008

Felicitous Solstice!

As I type this, the solstice happened about 4 hours ago, but we're still in the midst of the longest night of the year.

I don't believe in magic, but I love these events because they feel so grand and special even though they're really simply mechanical.

I coordinate my dentist and doctor appointments to coincide with the solstices.  If I miss one, I will wait six months until the next one rolls around.  This doesn't actually have anything with the solstice at all, but instead has everything to do with my bad memory.  I just remember them better when they're in line with these events.

I wish our calendars were in line with the solar calendar.  I guess they kind of are in line with them, but they're slightly askew.  If it were up to me, I would make New Year's Day be the first day after the winter solstice.  That makes sense, right?  The year starts when the days start growing.

Of course, I don't think the solstice should mark the beginning of a season even though that's the way we do it in America.  It's clearly ALREADY winter.  Instead, I would call the solstices the mid-point of the season.  The summer solstice is more challenging since the hottest days are yet to come, but aren't the coldest days after the winter solstice?  So, I'm fine with that.

I realize this means that there is a need for eighths in the year because the equinoxes mark the middle of spring and fall, which means the beginnings and ends are halfway between the solstices and equinoxes.

Oh well.  That's not how things are, but it makes sense to me and my brain works well around it.

I like the grander, more concrete context that the solstices and equinoxes offer to us.

Somewhere in France or maybe Colorado, I think, there's a Cesium atom that is vibrating and spinning away giving us the EXACT rate at which time passes.  It's a very ready, steady referent against which we can measure changes in the things we see, which is to say it's a good way to measure the passage of time.

But I don't have any Cesium atoms in my apartment that I know of.  But I definitely noticed that the sun is setting close to 4:30 pm right now in NYC.  And I remember noticing in Georgia when sunset was getting near to 9 pm.

I am glad that people set clocks by Cesium atoms.  When I need to set appointments and things, Cesium is definitely best.  But when it comes to synching up calendars, it makes sense to me to look to the sun.

Context is key.

If I were designing the ideal time system, one challenge would be integrating the specific time (the spinning of electrons in Cesium atoms) and the generic time (the tilt of the planet with regard to the sun), but I think it could be done even though the Earth wobbles a bit.

Anyway, happy solstice, everyone!  And happy new year --  if you're like that!

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December 18, 2008

Top Chef: Martha Stewart Rocks!

I love Martha Stewart.  Let's just get that out of the way. 

Sadly, Martha was only around in this episode for the Quick Fire challenge, which was to cook a holiday meal in one pot.  My chili had red and green in it and it could theoretically be made in a single pot.

Hosea is growing on me like a fungus.  He's making a paella.

Lesbinim and Jersey are gonna make out.  Don't go there, Lezbinim!  You can do better!

Fabio has demonios so he's making Christmas Polenta, which he's trying to feed to Stefan.  Stefan is like, "Dude.  I'm not gay."

Eugene is making something Korean.  I was too busy trying to think of gay jokes right now to remember what it was.  We'll find out after the commercial.

It's a spicy Kristmas Korean broth.  Martha is restrained.

Stefan made stew and Martha wants to make out with him because he grew up where she goes to pick her own chanterelle mushrooms.  Don't you just love this lady?

Hosea made his paella as mentioned and Martha liked it.

Bangs McGee made some junk I would hate because it mixes fruit and meat.

Blondie Boy made a potato risotto and Martha says, "Pungent."

Lezbinim made scallops and Padma gets all passive-agressive and asks if she associates scallops with winter.  Lesbinim says, "I would sop you up with a biscuit, Padma.  That's how cute you are.  But, seriously, yes."  Martha says, "Oh yes.  We go diving for our scallops in January up in Maine."  And you know she does it in the nude because that's how tough she is.

Jersey made a cauliflower puree and Martha liked it.

Bug Eyes made a turkey breast and ruined it with fruit and crap.

Fabio and his polenta.  Whatever.

Martha didn't like the potato risotto by Blondie Boy nor Eugene's Korean stew nor Fabio's polenta.  She even said Fabio's polento was grey and Fabio starts to turn into the Incredible Hulk because she insulted his nonna.  Martha says, "I will cut your face, ho.  Best check yourself before you wreck yourself."

Martha liked Hosea's paella, Lezbinim's scallop, and Jersey's beef and cauliflower puree.
The elimination challenge involves catering a holiday banquet for 300 people.

Surprisingly, the Harlem Gospel Choir comes in and sings the 12 Days of Christmas in an obscenely overwrought style.  I hate it and begin wondering if there's a way I could convince the Harlem Gospel Choir that singing like that affirms some sort of horrible racist stereotype.  All I know is that gospel music does not require 37 changes in pitch per measure, so it should be easy enough for them to change.

As the contestants draw knives, the choir people sing the corresponding day of Christmas.  I am now convinced that these people can't sing very well and the chefs set off to work planning and shopping for plates inspired by their day of the week.

Lords a'Leaping is tough.  Blondie Boy comes up with some strange plan involving cheese.

No Name buys Guinea Hens for her Three French Hens and I think she's getting her slurs confused.

Radhika is making duck... with chutney.  But please no one suggest that she only makes Indian food.

Eugene is making ceviche, which I think is a pretty neat choice.

Hosea is making pork tenderloin and fills the room with smoke and he says that the only way he could lose is if someone serves $100 bills.

The chefs get to the kitchen and find that one of the fridges was left ajar and all the food spoiled including Hosea's pork and Radhika's ducks.  They had to throw their mian elements away.

Bangs McGee substitutes gorgonzola in the place of her brie and then everyone else starts pitching in to help Hosea and Radhika replace their spoiled food.  It's the spirit of Festivus.

Radhika had given up and was ready to go home five seconds ago and now she's talking tough like, "Suck it up.  You're a chef."  I'm too busy posting on Running Matt's Facebook about her making Chutney again to slap her in the face.

While they're setting up in the banquet hall, those horrible singers from the choir are at the event wandering around making noise, apparently.

An attractive, busty lady in a red dress is the guest judge and she instructs everyone to leave their AIDS ribbons next to their favorite dish.  (It's an AIDS benefit they're serving.)

People like Stefan's chicken pot pie and Radhika's duck and pear chutney.  Bug Eyes flips over Kenneth Cole who was in the crowd and doesn't realize that her dish is too salty. 

Eugene tells this big story about his gramma coming to America or something and makes a dish that is waaaayyy too sweet.  Fabio makes "dancing crab cakes" based on the idea that female crabs dance around to cover their eggs but no one likes the story or his plate. 

Lezbinim nearly makes Padma puke with her raw swans a swimming.  Bangs McGee makes something with cheese that tastes like cheese, but apparently it's not successful.

No Name made some puff pastry and hen and people complain about it being too dry.  Jersey made 6 types of deviled eggs, which are good, but too simple to please Tom.

Hosea's pork dish is VERY successful and he tries to make No Name jealous because apparently he had ladies all over him all night.

Blondie Boy was also very successful and Hosea attributes it to him being a "pretty boy."  At this point, it seems clear that the winner is either Hosea or Blondie. The loser seems to be Eugene or Lesbinim who got the worst of the negative comments.  I wonder how the teamwork aspect will factor into the judging if at all.

Fabio kisses Stefan on his pate.  Yeah, that's right.  In front of everyone.

The top four are Stefan, Radhika, Blondie, and Hosea.  The crowd loved Blondie's plate, but the judges felt the cheeses were in excess.



The bottom three are Eugene, Bangs, and Lezbinim.  Jersey tells them to fight against the judges.

The judges felt that Lezbinim's plate, which included a raw scallop, was the wrong temperature and hated it.

Bangs' choice of gorgonzola overwhelmed the rest of the flavors on her plate.

Eugene's plate was too sweet, but he is completely perplexed by the lack of approval for what he made and we learned last week that crazy people go home.

And so the judges deliberate.  They really hated that scallop from Lezbinim, but Eugene's defense of his plate read as arrogance to the judges.  They don't seem to be upset by Bangs' dish as much.  Tom and Busty Lady were both really disappointed by ALL the dishes in this competition and they want to talk to the whole group.

After the commercial, Tom goes back to talk to all the chefs and tells the group that the food that their food has been disappointing and uninspiring up to this point.



Next week: No limits!  And Lezbinim is cooking scallops again.  And since Gail if off being married or something, there's a new judge that people hate.  He says someone's food tastes like cat food.  I've had catfood before and that is definitely not a compliment.



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December 10, 2008

Top Chef: Bridal Shower Edition

So, last week, I started writing and then I clicked a bad button and lost everything.  (Was that last week?)  Anyway, I'm on track this week!  As usual, I'm blogging as I watch, so if you DVRed the show, you can watch it and read along! Here goes!

credits... coffee... girl with bad hair has "wake up call" ... stupid Jersey Girl seems to be a little more sober today.  Stefan loves the lesbinim.  It's cute.  He's kind of turning me on with his cocky German-ness.

QUICKFIRE!

Hi, Padma!  Please do not wear pigtails ever again.  You are a smokin' hot, grown-ass woman.

Peeps have to draw knives.

Hosea + Danny
Stefan + Lesbinim
... and so on.

The chefs have to taste a sauce and see who can identify the most ingredients.  They have 15 seconds to taste.  It's a shrimp and lobster bouillabaisse.

Hosea wins the first match.

Jersey and Blondie are up next.  Blondie guessed wrong and lost.

Stefan and Lesbinim.  Lessie challenges and Stefan wins.

The others happen so fast I can't type them for you.

ROUND 2 - Thai Green Curry

Hosea beats Jersey.

Stefan blows the top off of the round by naming 8 ingredients.

Radhika loses by making a stupid guess.

Three are left.

Round 3 - Mexican Mole Sauce
The last three, Carla, Hosea, and Stefan, all taste the sauce and they have to identify ingredients in rounds.  If they get it wrong, they lose.  Last one standing wins.

Bug-eye Carla loses on first guess: Peanut butter.  WTF?



So, now it's time for the elimination challenge and they draw knives. The knives have words from the rhyme, "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue." Padma explains that she's throwing a bridal shower for Gail.

Gail's list of things she doesn't like:

  • Veal
  • Black Beans
But she says everything else is game, but she wants them to impress.  And they have to go with the theme named by the word on their knife.

"Borrowed" is Jersey, Indian, and Lezzie.  They want to borrow from Indian culture and so Indian is freaking out because she made clear from the first episode (in which the first thing she made was apple chutney) that she doesn't want (and remember how she made Indian stuff every time?) to be known as only making Indian food.

"Blue" is tough because blue is the rarest of naturally occuring pigments. 
Fabio, No-Name, and Other No Name are just effed.

Bug Eyes, Guido, and Eugene are going down in flames right from the start as they try to come up with something "new."

Hosea, Stefan, and Blondie are "old" and they're starting to fight with Stefan because Stefan is strong-willed and bossy.  (He's not much to look at, but you gotta love that!)

Their budget is $800 at Whole Foods.  Don't buy almond flour, guys!!

These guys on the "new" team are a mess.  The "old" team is crashing also because they hate Stefan, but they're all three good chefs, so they'll probably pull it together at the last minute.

Teams borrowed and blue aren't really worthy of comment.

I hate team challenges because the weak people always make everything go crazy.

Indian tells us you can make a classically Indian dish and use it to make something that is not overtly Indian.  What?

I love Eugene.  He's not cute, but there's something endearing about him.

No Name and Other No Name need to get out of my face.

Stefan and Fabio are talking smack with one another.

Team Old is making everything out of heirloom tomatoes. EVERYTHING.

Poor Eugene's rice is no-good for his sushi.

Tom shows up and tells Team Blue that there is no blue food.  They 'splain how they're being all metaphorical about it and using purple.

Team Borrowed is amazingly focused for who they are.

Team New is just crazy and all over the place.  Tom later predicts a bad result from this group.

Team Old just jokes around with Tom about being married.

Tom makes his predictions and it doesn't look good for New or Blue.  Blue's dishes are bland and boring and New's dish is just a bunch of crazy-crazy.

Later that evening...

Eugene comes up with the HORRIBLE idea of making people build their own sushi roll.  *SIGH*  This is a terrible idea.  Stefan points this out and Eugene takes offense.  Eugene needs to listen for a minute and forget that Stefan comes off as an ass.

Everyone is talking about the flirtation between Hosea and No Name with Awful Hair.  No one REALLY cares, though.

Everyone thinks they're an expert on bridal showers, though.

The dining room for the shower is AWESOME and the chefs bug.  And then brings in all her lady-friends.  They're a cute buncha foodies.  And they start chugging wine.  You know Padma loves that!

Speaking of Padma, I LOVE that color purple.  It's not perfect for her skin, but she's so beautiful it doesn't really matter.

Hosea has shakey hands, bless his heart.

Editor of Food & Wine magazine is in the group.

The tomato trio of Team Old is first.  They get generally good reviews.  They liked Blondie's tomato sorbet the best.  Stefan got a comment that his tomato turine was bland.

Team New is up next.  Guido is sneaking mushrooms into Bug Eyes' salad without her knowledge or permission.  Their plate is a crazy mess.  Bug Eyes hates it.  Guido and Eugene are delusional and love it.  Guido especially.  He says the ladies will "pull their clothes off."  There are a thousand things to taste and no one knows how to make their own sushi.  BAD reviews all around.

Lezzie has a HUGE pot of something VERY yellow.  Jersey is all over the place, but she is focused on her lamb, which isn't really finishing on time and so it's SUPER rare.  Even when they start plating, it looks a bit rare to me.  Everyone pitches in and helps plate the food.

The description of this dish is impressive and everyone says the lamb is perfection.  The ladies are absolutely LOVING this plate of food.

No Name with Bad Hair and Smokey Voice is talking, but I'm not listening.  Other No Name isn't saying what everyone else is: these plates are bland and boring.

The No Names tell Fabio he has to talk in hopes that he will charm them.  His explanation manages to assuage any concerns about it not being "blue" enough.  Everyone agrees: the plate is underspiced, bland, boring, unchallenging.

Team New and Team Blue are going to be in the bottom of this.  Looks like, amazingly enough, Team Borrowed is going to win it. 

During this commercial break, I'm predicting that either Eugene or Guido is going home.  Guido may have effed up Bug Eyes' plate, but at least his dish (and hers) were complete.  Eugene's food was incomplete and no one got to experience it in any combination that he intended.  So, I'm afraid that Eugene is going to be going home.

I was right!  Old and Borrowed are the top two teams.  Everyone is absolutely swooning over the Lamb plate that Team Borrowed presented.  Clear winner.  But who was the single winner?



So, then the bottom two teams are sent in.

Guido was "unbelievably happy" with their dish, but Bug Eyes and Eugene both say they don't like it.  At least he owned up to sabataging Bug Eyes' salad with those horrid mushrooms.  Tom is exasperated with Guido's insistence that the plate was good.  Maybe Guido will go home for having such a messy public break-up with the facts of reality.

Tom says that Team Blue's plate was sad and boring.  Fabio tries to defend the plate but backs down.  The No Names say nothing.

And then the judges discuss the losers privately.

The Editor of Food & Wine says that each person made CATASTROPHIC errors.  Gail knows Bug Eyes was pissed.  Tom is just shocked at Guido.  Eugene's judgment is called into question.

73% of the audience who voted think that Stefan is a bully.  I just think they can't handle a real man.

Team Blue is sent out, so we know none of them are going home.

Team New is about to get fileted.

Eugene's rice and shrimp were both awful and overcooked.

Bug Eyes let too many errors slide.

Guido is out of his mind.

And Tom said he wanted to send all three home, but...



ZOMFG!!! MARTHA STEWART!  MARTHA MARTHA MARTHA!  MARTHA!  MARTHA IS COMING NEXT WEEK!

YAAAAAYYYYY!!!

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December 08, 2008

Ouchie Ouch!

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

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November 29, 2008

Yes, Please. I'll Take Two.

John David sent me this video this evening:



Hawt.

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November 27, 2008

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, Y'ALL!

I hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving.  I am going to spend most of the day in bed with my laptop in my lap and my teevee blaring in front of me.  But later on I'm heading into the city to have dinner and go to a movie with Johndavid and Miles.

Allegedly, Johndavid is going to make a dinner that conforms to my caveman diet, but he has already mentioned something containing Splenda.  I've been over this with him, (I don't know anything about the nutritional value of Splenda, but I know cavemen didn't eat it.) but I didn't mention it again because I really appreciate the effort.

So, I hope everyone is having a similarly wonderful day and celebrating the bounty of our productivity.

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November 24, 2008

Fun to be Gay

I love this song, but check out this guy doing the entire choreography.

Loves it!

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