The Devil Wears Prada

I saw the movie this weekend. I had medium expectations for the movie and they were not exceeded. I hadn't seen any previews or reviews, but I was aware that it was based on a well-liked book of the same name. One has to assume that the book develops the characters and the circumstances a little better. In the movie, it seemed that no sooner had poor little Andrea been hired by the boss from Hell, than she was off to Paris for the climax of the movie when she throws off the shackles of servitude by tossing her phone (with an incoming call from her boss) into a fountain. This would have been a more climactic moment had poor little Andrea actually fallen into the depths of depravity. Instead of the depths of depravity we have her rising desire to emulate the other chic women at the office, some missed social opportunities with her friends, and a boyfriend that is fed up with it all (huh? Develop this part better next time - he's a friggin' line chef how much free time can he have for her? Example cheesy line, "I don't care if you were pole-dancing, as long as you did it with some integrity!") and lays down the law just before her departure to Paris. Zzzzz. This limited the movie's weight and therefore its appeal. Positives were that it was cute, humorous, engaging with a stellar performance by Meryl Streep as the Boss.


Decadent quesadilla recipe

I made the world's best quesadilla tonight. Recipe: Working quickly, toast tortilla over an open flame until it is brown in spots, forms a few steamy bubbles, and warms through. You'll need to flip it a few times. Remove from flame. It will be delicious to eat at this point, but hold off for a moment. Add a slice of St Andre. Fold, wait a moment while the St Andre warms and melts a little bit. Consume!

Rinse. Repeat.


The haters are mobilized

My right wing friends often send me some of their emails which rally the loyal to one cause or another. I guess I inspire confidence that I'm "one of them". While the truth is I'm more sympathetic to conservative causes than I used to be, I still don't feel comfortable most of their politics. Usually I give a polite (in my opinion) non-response. Occasionally I fire back, pointing out the ridiculous and patently untrue claims. Here's one I received today from a "libertarian" friend, who actually fell for the claims in this email:


I did it!! This is disgusting....

If you don't live in CA, it'll just be a matter of time until it gets to your state if it passes. And, if you don't have kids in school now, what about your grandchildren....???

Don't let this immoral B.S. become doctrine.


All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

It only takes 30 seconds!

California legislators have passed a bill, SB1437, that indoctrinates
school children with the homosexual agenda.
The bill requires that all new text books (k-12) highlight homosexuals
and eliminate all references to "mom" and "dad."
Instead they will be referred to as "sperm donors" and "sperm
receivers." This bill is ridiculous, it's expensive and it singles out a
small special interest group. We don't need elementary school
children exposed to this nonsense.

The governor is doing a phone poll. Urge him to veto this bill. It's
very easy, you don't even have to talk to anyone...just follow the
instructions below: [instructions to vote^H^H^H^Hstuff the ballot box deleted]

I couldn't let this go by without comment so I researched SB1437 and found out that it doesn't do anything like this email claims. As I interpret it, SB1437 is either a toothless statement of inclusive principles, or a redundant waste of time. Nonetheless, I responded with a polite rebuttal and a link with more information. I doubt it will be read. Opinion has already been set because the haters got there first.

What's irksome is that emails like this are out there in apparently great number, on all sorts of issues, and people believe them! What's even more irksome is that the ONLY left wing response to these issues is the weekly Move On! email that shows up in my inbox. The last time I bothered to read that tripe, they had codified national liberal opinion into a set of four principles for the next Presidential election, one of which was "Bring back Democracy". For Christ's sake, lose the hubris and get a grip!

So on the right side I observe a highly effective, highly mobilized, groundswell of hater email, mostly similar to the one above. On the left side I see an ineffective, pie in the sky, infrequent crapfest of email.

Advice to the left side: Get your hate on, it seems to work!


Update: Beyond all reasonable expectation, my efforts were rewarded. Here's the email I got back after replying with a gentle correction:

Thanks for checking it out. I have to do more of that before forwarding.
I agree.


Shakespeare by the Sea

The Comedy of Errrors is on tap tonight at Shakespeare by the Sea. We'll see how my almost 8 year old fares with the 8PM start time.

EDIT- He did OK. It ended at 10PM, which was late, but he stayed interested until the very end. Try the 7PM performances at other venues later. Note to self: He's getting a bit too heavy to carry in from the car when sleeping.


LA Real Estate

The LA Times, writing about how some francophiles have built a small part of Provence in the LA area.

Seven years ago, Gilena and Gary Simons honeymooned for
a month in a charming cottage in the tiny village of
St. Antonin du Var, 30 minutes north of St. Tropez.
Surrounded by pine woods and vineyards set amid low
rolling hills and the chirping of cigales, they fell
in love again—this time with the languorous rhythms
of Provence.

When Gilena and Gary returned to Southern California,
they made up their minds to construct a French mas,
or farmhouse, just like those they had seen abroad.
Far from Provence in miles, but not in spirit, their
10,000-square-foot home in Hidden Hills—Maison du Paix—
feels deeply rooted in the land.

For those who don't know what a mas is, it's a modest, rustic, typically stone, farmhouse. It is NOT a 10,000 square foot monstrosity.



I'm now using the Juice media aggregator. I'm comfortable living a few generations behind the bleeding edge of technology so I've not bothered with all this new fangled RSS / pod cast stuff. Until now, simply downloading manually or streaming has been sufficient for my needs. However, I've decided that it is time to join the present.

For those who are new to this too, the idea is that Juice will hunt down the newest audio downloads from your favorite sites and store them on your computer, ready to use. The old way meant that you had to visit and download from each of the sites in which you had an interest.

Juice takes advantage of a thing called RSS which automates the process of letting your computer know when there's new content. Juice gets the new content on demand or on a preset schedule. No muss, no fuss.

Try it on the Joe Frank pod cast.