The non-fussy eater

Where does he come from? Perhaps it requires a background like this:

There is, in fact, a frozen octopus in my freezer as I’m typing this.

Not everyone can say that, nor aspires to. But one just doesn’t wander into the store (and not just any store, either) and say, “You know, I probably need to stock up on octopus.” There has to be some history of this sort of thing, and of course in this case there is:

One of the first things that you learn as a Little Brother™ is that it is your duty to disgust and horrify your older siblings and their friends. And little sisters simply cannot do that as well as Little Brothers™ can.

Why? What’s one of the best ways to disgust anyone? The single best way I know is to be willing, no, eager, to put repulsive stuff into your mouth.

Which reminds me: I haven’t set anything out for dinner. Uh-oh.

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Junior G

Infiniti is showing off the new G25 — same old G, smaller engine, slightly smaller sticker price — and so far, Autoblog readers seem to hate it: the VQ25HR mill in US trim puts out a modest 218 hp.

Time for me to run a comparison:

  2011 G25 2000 I30
Base price $30,950 $29,995
Engine 2.5L DOHC V6 3.0L DOHC V6
BHP 218 @ 6800 rpm 227 @ 6400 rpm
Torque 187 @ 4800 rpm 217 @ 4400 rpm
0-60 (est.) 7.0 8.0
Transmission 7-speed auto 4-speed auto

Just about a wash, really. Still, a G25 with everything will run just about as much as a G37 with nothing — except that the G37 has half again as many ponies to call upon, and no G37 is exactly stripped. And I remain persuaded that the more displacement they scrape out of the VQ engine, the nastier it sounds. My three-liter version, despite its advanced age, is slicker than Monica Bellucci’s dressing-gown; the 3.7s I’ve heard have been just this side of graunchy. On this basis, the 2.5 ought to be exemplary.

Right now, though, a three-year-old G35 looks pretty good.

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Last will and trouser suit

There’s an old joke about the young bride who arrives at the altar with her hair in curlers: “I want to look nice for the reception.”

This isn’t the same dynamic, exactly, but somehow it reminded me of that old joke:

I want to be buried wearing knits.

I don’t wear knits. Knits make me look lumpy. Nothing screams, “OH LOOK! She had three kids!” like my wearing a knit ensemble. So I don’t.

But I decided, if I can get hold of the morticians before I die and give them my wishes, maybe I can have them cut away all the tummy fat that makes me look mommish, and give me the flat stomach I really never had. A good push up bra and I could have one helluva body.

I dunno. I know some women with industrial-strength muffin tops — we’re talking the full Otis Spunkmeyer here — who still register pretty strongly on the hawtness meter. Not that they’d believe me if I told them so.

Still, I’ve heard worse ideas for Last Requests. And let’s face it, having all this stuff done while you’re actually alive is much more expensive and much more likely to have unpleasant side effects.

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Drew unto others

Drew Barrymore in 60s vintageOne doesn’t generally think of Drew Barrymore, born in 1975, as being a throwback to the Sixties, but the Sixties, in this particular instance anyway, have been very good to her. At last week’s party for the Nylon/Express Denim Issue, Drew was sporting this ¾-sleeve Janine original, circa 1968, in some sort of metallic paisley, an Austin thrift-store find at the delightful price of $25.

The shoes — YSL’s ubiquitous Tribute pumps — are decidedly more up-to-date, and they’re priced to prove it: $760. But expenses notwithstanding, I’m having a hard time remembering Drew looking any better than this, despite there being a photo record of basically everything she’s done since she was six years old and working for Steven Spielberg. And I’m having almost as hard a time imagining someone else her age coming off this well with this look.

Disclosure of Double Secret Motivation: One reason to post this, beyond the hope of garnering a few Rule 5 hits, is to get Lisa’s call on this outfit, given her legendary resemblance to Drew: would she wear this dress?

(Via Fark. Side and back views available at Bitten and Bound.)

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Strange search-engine queries (237)

In case you haven’t been here before, this is one of those exercises in silliness wherein we sift through whatever log entries we have from the past week, separate the wheat from the chaff, and print the chaffiest. All applicable state and Federal regulations have been more or less (okay, mostly less) complied with.

“shave my legs” and “nearsighted”:  Then again, your legs aren’t that far away, unless you’re a supermodel.

List of “bands with seven members”:  Oddly enough, this includes Three Dog Night in their prime.

“What does it take to fire a public school teacher”:  Well, an act of Congress certainly won’t do it.

worst wheels ever:  The hexagonal ones created back when pi equaled three.

eternal server error:  This must be the otherwise unused HTTP status code 666.

why is my boat listing to one side:  It’s none of my business, but shouldn’t you be looking at the boat instead of the Internet?

could Ramen noodles cause me to break out in hives:  If you ate nothing else for seven days or so, you’d probably look forward to hives.

Squidward I Can Hear You Masturbating:  This is not the way I remember SpongeBob.

pics of nude women doing obstacle courses:  The real obstacle, I suspect, is the sudden accumulation of gawking men along the sidelines.

what does it feel like when transmission fails?  Like all the money has been sucked out of your wallet.

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The manlier arts

Out of this list of thirty proposed Irreducible Characteristics of Man, I manage to qualify on twenty-point-something. (Regarding #5, while I have definite carnivore tendencies and have been observed in public downing a brewski, I have never actually felt compelled to set foot in Hooters; I’m told that the experience is valued more highly than the food, which runs counter to my post-Molly Murphy’s idea of what a restaurant ought to be.)

That said, though, several of the items listed aren’t at all specific to the male of the species, nor should they be. As a practical matter, I know more women than men who have slogged their way through Atlas Shrugged (#23). And #27 perplexes me:

He keeps his opinion when everyone else agrees with it. He keeps it when just about everybody is disagreeing with it. He only abandons it when the evidence tells him he should.

So doing doesn’t make you male, or even masculine; it makes you sensible.

Note: I do not consider this exercise to be the equivalent of getting in touch with my feminine side. And trust me, I have good metrics for that.

(Suggested by Andrea Harris’ take on the same list.)

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Q&DPP II

Which technically stands for Quick and Dirty Position Paper, Part II. (Part I is here.)

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Adrift off Statin Island

This is not my idea of a Happy Meal:

Fast food outlets could provide statin drugs free of charge so that customers can neutralise the heart disease dangers of fatty food, researchers at Imperial College London suggest in a new study.

In a paper published in the American Journal of Cardiology, Dr Darrel Francis and colleagues calculate that the reduction in cardiovascular risk offered by a statin is enough to offset the increase in heart attack risk from eating a cheeseburger and a milkshake.

Tom Naughton, no fan of statins, doesn’t like this idea at all:

[A]pparently these researchers are convinced that saturated fat clogs your arteries the way tobacco stains your teeth: a little bit with every dose. Eat a burger, grow some plaque — unless, by gosh, you pop a statin immediately to halt the process.

If, heaven forbid, we start serving fast food with a side of statins, here’s what will happen: five or 10 years from now, you’ll see headlines about a new study that links fast-food consumption to muscle weakness, depression and memory loss. The blame, of course, will be assigned to the burgers. Michael Jacobson of CSPI will seek out the nearest TV camera and declare Quarter Pounders “Alzheimer’s in a bun.”

Apart from the fact that Jacobson, the Perez Hilton of health, is never far from a TV camera to begin with, Naughton’s prediction looks good, though really it’s pretty easy to see that fast food, if it’s still permitted to people outside the Federal government five or ten years from now, will be blamed for everything from crib death to the heartbreak of psoriasis.

(From Margi Lowry’s Facebook page. I think I owe her a McRib.)

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All we ever wanted

What, the First Family on holiday again? Kwitcher bitchin, says Ric Locke:

I am wholeheartedly and unreservedly in favor of politicians taking vacations whenever and wherever they like, with their families, staffers, hangers-on, and pets in attendance. There is no place on the planet where they can spend, in a week, one-tenth of what they toss in the toilet with single votes or pen-strokes while “on duty” (so to speak). If we could keep the entire Congress in Pago-Pago on a first-class expense account, we could balance the budget in six months.

Okay, maybe nine months. Who’s counting?

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Bell curves and flat heels

He who sells shoes occasionally muses about shoes:

The store I work at carries women’s shoes in sizes 6 through 11. I’ve noticed many black women cannot fit into a size 11 and are regulated to the men’s section. On the other side of the equation, I’ve noticed that many East Asian women cannot fit into a size 6 and must wear kids shoes. Retail stores in predominately white areas carry a shoe size selection that caters to white people. From personal experience, I know that the range of shoe sizes in East Asia is geared towards smaller sizes, but what about shoe stores in the ghetto? Do they carry shoes over size 11 for women? Foot Locker, you want to hire me as an analyst? R/K theory, rearing its ugly head once again, but highly useful for “targeted retail marketing strategy”. One thing is for sure, big shoe stores are racist, and it is imperative that representatives of the NAACP and Asian American organizations bring this issue up.

As long as we’re finding horrid inequalities here: How is it that the size-12 woman, relegated to the men’s section, can fit into a size eleven? (Worse yet, she wears a 10, maybe a 10½, in Britain.)

Oh, for the wisdom of Al Bundy.

I imagine a similar situation occurs in stores that sell bras, but I am not an expert on this subject, so don’t quote me on it.

I am so not going there.

Personal note: A former girlfriend wore a size four; she could literally stand in my hand.

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Downtown Octopus

You know, I always wondered about those bright lights; it would never have occurred to me to attribute them to cephalopods.

Mark Vidler does lots of this stuff.

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A bit short on begats

As life devolves into Short Attention Span Theater, I probably should have seen this coming: @biblesummary, a Twitter account which updates once a day with the next chapter, boiled down to standard tweet length.

And actually, this isn’t a bad idea when you think about it:

Will I really be able to do justice to all 176 verses of Psalm 119 in 140 characters? Probably not. But the challenge of being so brief will force me to engage with the text and understand the key themes. And that’s partly the point in the first place.

At the moment, @biblesummary has a couple thousand followers, including me. King James was not available for comment.

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A national Halleday

Well, okay, the Feds aren’t working any less this weekend, but it is Halle Berry’s birthday, in commemoration of which we have two photos, five years apart, both presumably Rule 5-worthy.

Halle Berry 2002

Above, from a 2002 magazine shoot (I seem to remember it was Marie Claire); below, on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, 2007.

Halle Berry 2007

Some other folks on the Walk of Fame in the same general vicinity (in front of the Kodak Theatre): Muhammad Ali, Burt Lancaster, Nathan Lane, Joanne Woodward and Kermit the Frog.

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Propped up

Proposition 8 is shelved for the moment, and Jenn gets a marriage proposal as a result:

His reasoning for asking now was that he thinks that the judge’s ruling on the stay means he is confident that his ruling on Prop. 8 will stand on appeal. I think it indicates just the opposite that the judge is not confident so he is try[ing] to force the 9th circuit and the Supreme Court into a corner by increasing the size of the pool of people who will be affected. I don’t want to get married and then have that yanked out from under my feet.

I’m not quite sure how, or technically whether, to respond. I figure the 9th Circuit will agree with the judge, and should the Supremes wind up with the case, it’s pretty much a matter of how Mr. Justice Kennedy is feeling. My first instinct is to counsel caution, although somewhere before the second — let’s call it Instinct 1.5 — I generally recommend that people pay no attention to me in matters of the heart or related organs.

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This ain’t my first rhodium

Discover’s Numbers section (September) gives 2500 as the number of dollars you’d have to pay for one ounce of rhodium, “the most expensive element on earth.” I assume that this means “among the elements of which you can actually buy an ounce,” since elsewhere in the piece is a reference to astatine, which, says Wikipedia, “is currently the rarest naturally occurring element, with less than 30g estimated to be contained in the entire Earth’s crust.”

To check this rhodium price — yes, boys and girls, I do occasionally check this stuff — I went to Kitco, which had a sidebar ad to the effect that “You can actually own rhodium?” Which apparently you can. The price was around $2300 an ounce at the time. (All these ounces, incidentally, are troy ounces.)

Not that I have any to sell. There might be a teensy bit in Gwendolyn’s emissions equipment, but I’m not messing with that. And I have a vintage-1968 glass-bead rosary — one bead has a fragment sheared off, and there’s a broken link “temporarily” replaced by a length of wire — with a rhodium-plated crucifix and Marian figure, a relic of my high-school days. I’m not about to give that up either.

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It’s the Chicago-suburb way

Libertyville (!), Illinois has apparently gotten its Governing Panties into an uncomfortable wad, what with this prodigious threat on the horizon:

Tuesday night the [village] board unanimously called for a moratorium on building permits and certificates of compliance for “personal service” businesses — which is what [Mark] Hoffmann and his building’s owner had thought the new business would fall under.

And what nefarious business was Mr Hoffmann planning? A tattoo parlor:

“It is my personal opinion that it is not a good idea to have a tattoo parlor downtown,” [Mayor Terry] Weppler said. “Two of my three kids have tattoos. I understand it is common among younger people and I was impressed with his presentation.”

Where did Weppler’s kids get their ink? Well, there are three other tattoo joints in Libertyville, but none of them are as horrifying to the board as Hoffmann’s. Said trustee Donna Johnson:

“Everyone might not carry your same moral fiber,” she said, “and that is what is driving my desire… I’m definitely not comfortable (with a tattoo shop) in downtown.”

This in a town with an annual Goose Dropping Festival.

(Via the Consumerist.)

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