July 2011 - Posts
OK. I am officially offended. My brethren among the national media have failed me.
How you ask? I'll tell you how…yesterday was National Milk Chocolate Day, and the media failed to report on it. Sure, we heard more coverage of the breakups between Hugh Hefner and that blonde chick, Kat Von D and Sandi Bullock's ex-husband, and that "The Hills" chick and the football player. But did anyone bother to report on the important stuff like chocolate? Nope. Not one. I found out today. Pssh. Too late to buy a Hershey bar now. The moment has passed.
People have been enjoying chocolate on this planet since about 1100 BC. Which is why I live my life in an eco-friendly kind of way. We must save the planet – it's the only one that has chocolate.
While it was seen as mostly a hot beverage in much of its history. cocoa eventually evolved into its yummy milkiest form when Daniel Peter of Switzerland mixed it with sugar and condensed milk in 1876 and soothed the PMS woes of women of the day. Then the Industrial Revolution happened, and factories began mass-producing the wonderful stuff in beautiful, shiny wrappers.
The reasons we all love chocolate? Well, aside from the fact that it's the only addiction you can't be arrested for, there's the fact that it comes in pretty boxes. It can cure a mood swing in a flash – pun intended. You can buy it en masse, or in bits small enough to smuggle, and often with yummy surprise fillings. If you run out, there are a multitude of places at which you can purchase it.
And on top of all of that, it is delicious, and makes the world a much better place.
Forget love. I want to fall into chocolate. And yes, I have marked my calendar for next year.
Like about a billion other people, I saw the final Harry Potter movie last weekend. I did not, however, dress up for the flick nor did I wait in line to see a midnight show. Just…so you know.
I was a bit apprehensive, thinking that the film might not be satisfying. You know, that it would leave us Pottheads wanting more…that perhaps it wouldn't end properly, and would leave true fans of the series pining away for a better, more complete ending. Geez, I'm such a nerd.
But I was wrong. Very wrong. The flick was, in a word, epic. I know that word is way over-used, but trust me. It is the only word that applies here. There was much pressure for the final film to be, well, magical, and it was that and much more.
For those who've been under a rock for oh, say, the past 11 years, the Harry Potter movies are based on the books by J.K. Rowling. The books are a coming of age tale about a young boy, Harry Potter, who finds out he's a wizard, and follows him as he enters wizarding school, makes friends, and faces off against bullies, a giant snake, soul-sucking ghouls and the king of all evil.
Just your standard reading.
This film is the second of two that are actually based on the last portion of the last book. It picks up where the first one left off, and continues to follow Harry and friends as they attempt to defeat and eliminate the evil Lord Voldemort once and for all.
The film builds to the final battle which is, to say the least, apocalyptic. It could mean the end of Harry's world if he loses, a fact that isn't lost on him or the audience. But the battle could play out as a bit cheesy if it weren't for the great performances by the three young actors who've played Harry and his best friends throughout the series. They've grown into mature young actors.
But the star of this film has to be Severus Snape who, as a professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, has shown an apparent dislike for Harry all along. In this film, we see the "real" Snape, and find out that his behavior has been nothing short of heroic, and that without him, Harry will never defeat Lord "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named."
This is indeed the film in which "The Boy Who Lived" became "The Boy Who Died," because it is through his sacrifice that all are saved.
The film was a thrill ride from start to finish. There were people from 4 years to 85 years old in the theater, and you could have heard a pin drop the entire time. That speaks volumes. It is a film that not only satisfies fans of the series with its conclusion, but leaves them walking out of the theater wearing silly grins and feeling happy…quite like a win for Gryffindor on the Quidditch pitch. Well done, Rowling and company.
Duchess Catherine has worn the same pair of jeans three times while in Canada. Call the Fashion Police!
During the past few days, every move made by Prince William and his Duchess during their visit to Canada has been chronicled. From where they've gone, to who they've seen, it's been all over the press.
But the latest bit of news takes the cake. Catherine is known for recycling her wardrobe – she is, after all, a sensible duchess. She was photographed sporting the same J Brand jeans three days in a row. Stop the presses!
The media covered this breaking news, even discussing what items she had paired with the jeans each time she wore them.
You know what? Big hairy deal. So Catherine does what the rest of the free world does when traveling – she packs a few key items and recycles them as she goes. So what?
If anything, this makes me like her more. She's a practical-minded girl. She does her own grocery shopping – that's been reported again and again, also. She stops to talk to everyone, not just the people who fit a certain mold. And she wears jeans a couple of times before she washes them. No doubt, she's trying to save the U.K. a few pounds on her laundry expenses.
So media, how about you get back to doing what you're supposed to be doing? Instead of digging around in a duchess' closet, how about you dig around in the closets of those who might actually have something in there besides a very well-worn pair of skinny jeans?
I was recently introduced to something that made, let's just say parts of me, pucker that shouldn't.
First, I have to say I like dill pickles. Love them. Especially those that come in the jars with the light green lids that are labeled "hamburger dill slices." That's some good eating.
I even like them battered and fried, dipped in what's called "come back sauce." The sauce is kind of tangy and horseradishy. Just right with a fried pickle slice.
But koolickles? You must be kidding.
At first glimpse, the pickles just looked, well, abnormal. Pickles are green. Everyone knows this. These pickles were red. Blood red. That is just wrong. I asked why they were red, and I was told, "They're not pickles. They're koolickles. Try one."
After some back-and-forth banter and several promises that these things wouldn't make me break out in boils, I bit into one. It was sweet and tangy, all at once. Not being a fan of sweet pickles, I didn't care for it, and I just assumed they were sweet pickles with red food coloring dropped into the pickle juice.
I was wrong. These were actually koolickles – Kool-Aid-marinated dill pickles. Yep, someone actually took dill pickles, poured of the normal juices they come packaged in, and poured in doubly sweet Kool-Aid. After marinating a while in the fridge, blood-red koolickles were born.
Apparently, this weird new thing was created in then Mississippi Delta. But their popularity has spread as far as Dallas and St. Louis. But in the Delta, where they were born, they have become big business.
In fact, there are those who are fighting over their right to sell them, as well as patent them.
Whatever. I just think it's weird.