Archive for the 'That’s Not Natural!' Category


My eyes!

uglyshirt 1uglyshirt 2

No, please, just, no.

Also, why?



what’s wrong with this picture?

Ann Taylor Loft

Marisa fit — for women who are shaped like women

“Perfect fit if hips are proportionate to your waist.”



I can’t even look at them. It hurts my eyes.






what do they, we, really look like?

Makes me wonder sometimes if I even see myself when I look in the mirror.


good thing they have all those anti-oxidants

Many Celestial Seasonings Teas, despite their claims at being “all natural,” have been found to contain unacceptably high levels of pesticides.

celestialseasoningsOf course, this is reported by a company that has “shorted” the company that controls Celestial Seasonings, so their interests lie in Celestial Seasonings stock falling, so who knows if it’s even really mostly true.

Their disclaimer even includes this sentence: “This report and all statements contained therein are the opinion of Glaucus Research Group California LLC, and are not statements of fact.

Oh. I see. So maybe not even partially true.

How does a report quoting a violation of pesticide standards fall under “opinion”?

Caveat emptor all the way around I guess.


My Letter to Calvin Klein

Dear Calvin-

Can I call you Calvin? It seems that I know you, and you are always smiling in such a kind and generous way, with that flowing mane of white hair. Oh, wait. I think that’s Ralph Lauren. I’m not even sure I know what you look like. Hmmm. Awkward. . .


Well. You make beautiful clothes. I especially love your casual Tshirts and more dressy items like your jersey knit shells, tanks, and dressy shrugs. (Frankly I haven’t tried on a pair of your jeans since college, because they fit me then, and, well, you know.) Where was I? Oh, yes. The tops — the knits are so soft and drapey, the fit is always just right, the colors so richly hued and seem to hold their color through washing after washing.

But there is one problem, Calvin, dear.

The tags.

The tags in your shirts seem to be made of Kevlar. They are stiff, and scratchy, and seem to be attached to the garment with some kind of industrial-strength steel thread.

Victoria’s Secret has solved this problem; American Rag has solved this problem; for crying out loud, Hanes has solved this problem.

It’s called a stamp. Or, perhaps, you could use a fabric as soft as that of the garment. Or maybe, if the tag means so much to you, you could wear it.

Augh! Something's scratchy!

Augh! Something’s scratchy!

Just a suggestion.

Meanwhile, perhaps you could recommend a salve for this rash I now have on the back of my neck? I’d really appreciate it.



These two amazing people create beautiful works of art from the tons (I’m not exaggerating) of plastic they harvest from a small stretch of beach. They are completely aware of the irony.

“PLASTIC BEACH” Prepare To Be Amazed.

I will take this opportunity to reiterate a point I’ve made a few times before: don’t use plastic that you are going to throw away unless you can’t possibly help it. 

As they point out — the opposite of beauty isn’t ugly, it’s indifference.


Who knew?



Okay, on everything but that


Never thought I’d think there was something which would not taste better with bacon…but maybe…


who would *you* rather talk to?

Me, in my childhood and adolescence:

Now; and I interpolate, based on the “tone” of the commercials, supposedly to be seen as a perfectly suitable replacement:

Maybe it’s just me, but I would much rather talk to, OIdon’tknow, maybe an actual person, and walk around and get to know my neighborhood so as to find the perfect coffee bar/restaurant/bookstore/resale shop, or have Husband tell me that joke about the bear on the roof again (tell me if you’ve heard this one–the punch line goes: “And if for some reason the bear falls off the roof, shoot the dog.”)

Are we so far gone that an obviously-studied-and-manufactured-so-as-to-be-interesting-and-soothing-without-being-threatening BUT STILL A WORDICAN’TSAY ROBOTIC  voice is our new best friend?



am I the only one?

Not sure which I’m more creeped out by — her eyes, or the fact that her breasts seem to have completely disappeared.

Isn’t this supposed to be a photo? She looks like she’s been carved, poorly, out of wax.


supermodels and actresses, sometimes without makeup

I stumbled across this article recently because a friend had posted it on her facebook page.

(As an aside, I feel it necessary to point out that I, being of an older, more paranoid generation, went to the website myself, so that facebook wouldn’t feel compelled to tell the world that I had read the article. But that’s a topic for another day.)

Jennifer Lawrence without makeup

If you enter Jennifer Lawrence’s name into the Bing search engine,

(As an aside, I feel it necessary to point out that I, being of an older, more paranoid generation, no longer use Google, since Google seems to think it is perfectly acceptable not only to track my use of the internet, including the words I might write in an email message, but to use this use and these words to target advertising to me, AND remove my ability to stop it.)

you get page after page of beautiful images.

As you should; she’s a beautiful girl.

But if you enter “Jennifer Lawrence without makeup” you get page after page of snarky people, oh so happy to give her a hard time because she actually looks like a person.

Including this:

Now isn’t that charming.

(And clearly a man, although I didn’t dignify it by clicking on it, and I ask you not to either. Hence the lack of a link. If you can’t resist, well, you have your own conscience to face.)

Today someone had put this article, from “Yahoo! News” (now there’s an oxymoron if there ever was one): Supermodels without Photoshop.

(As an aside, I feel it necessary to point out that I, oh, never mind. . .)

This seemed related to the post that was percolating in my mind, so I went there to see more. Most of the pictures were of perfectly beautiful girls looking perfectly beautiful but without makeup. There was one picture of a trio of supermodels waiting for the Glamour photographer to snap his shot.

The one on the left is obviously anorexic, the one in the middle is a “plus-size” model, which probably just means that she can buy clothes off the rack, and her suit bottom seems to be a size too small, but she seems to have a perfectly beautiful, normal, womanly shape. The one on the right seems to have left her hips at home, but I’m sure once the photographer starts clicking she can jut one off to the side to make herself appear to have at least one.

Oh, look, she can. Good for her.

Aside: I’m always curious about this, as the majority of models have quite voluptuous breasts [without our knowing whether they are “real” or not] and no hips to speak of. Yet they always stand in hip-jutting poses, demonstrating clearly that having hips is desirable. Is the non-existent-yet-jutting hip somehow neater or sexier than the actual hip? Is there, for example, something wrong with her?

or do you remember when Kate Winslet was in Titanic, and people said she was “fat”?

Anyway, the “author” of the “article” poses this difficult and thought-provoking question:

Ya’ think?


which is scarier?

The model, the model’s haircut, or the outfit?



unforeseen consequences

"Nutrition" Information per Twinkie





This might be a problem for Hostess, but it can’t possibly be a problem for anyone else.



something you don’t want to eat every day

Encountered this “dish” recently:


We read the label. Not sure we’d ever seen this before:


(Sorry it’s sideways. My laptop’s in rehab so I’m doing this on my tablet, and I don’t know how to rotate pictures. I’ll try to fix it from the other computer.)

But note: 7 g. saturated fat per serving, and 101% of your RDA of cholesterol.

Gordon Food Service is unconscionable for selling this. It makes me wonder how much more of their food is actually “food.” Eating stuff like this can’t be good for you, even once.

Maybe they should change their name to Gordon “Food” Service.


is this giving up?


The pajama jean.

And these look better/are more flattering than sweat pants because?



“the” non-surgical approach to weight loss

There’s an ad much like this along the highway between my work and home (except it’s a really skinny girl with large breasts in a blue and white striped bikini, but I can’t find it online and I’m not inclined to take a picture with my cell phone while hurtling down the road at 70mph).

And I can never help but wonder about the OTHER non-invasive way to lose unwanted bulges — you know, eating healthfully and getting regular exercise?

Too much like work I guess.

Here are some of the before and after pictures:

Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t really see all that much difference, and certainly not enough to spend thousands of dollars on something I could accomplish by having one glass of wine with dinner instead of two and taking a 30 minute walk 5 days a week.

I certainly don’t see the miracle results implied by the billboard. I guess they don’t show a “before” so they’re not actually lying to us.

In my travels, I ran across this image, presumably of a woman before and after the coolsculpting (or some other plastic surgery) procedure.

Yeah, I’m totally convinced.


heard, at dinner, Halloween 2011

Only Daughter: So Willow Smith is famous and like totally shouldn’t be because she’s only 10 and wears really stupid clothes.

Me: Well, why do you suppose she’s famous?

OD: Her brother, Jaden, was in that Karate movie.

Me: Oh, so that’s Will Smith’s daughter. She’s famous because her parents are famous, and are apparently willing to allow her to make a spectacle of herself to exploit the publicity opportunities.

OD: Yeah, but she’s famous.

Me: There are better, more important things than being famous.

OD: Like money?

I’m so proud.

(When I harumphed, she said, “candy?”)(It is Halloween after all, and she did give me her [lone, miniature] Babe Ruth and [lone, but super size] Butterfinger. Such a good girl.)

In a related story, what’s up with this hairdo?

This has to fall under the “you don’t have to do it just because you can” category.



what are YOU lookin’ at? UPDATED

Conversation in the car today:

Husband: Why is that yo-yo driving so slowly?

Me: Probably talking on his cell phone. Oh, no, look, he’s getting into the left lane so he can turn into Hooter’s. Probably thinking about his “dinner.”

Husband: I ate at a Hooter’s once.

Me: Yeah, I know, I know, for their really good “hamburgers,” like people guys who “read” Playboy for the interviews.

Husband: No, really. I was on a tour with some hockey guys for a tournament and there was a big playoff game and this was the only restaurant that was showing the game on TV.

Me: So you stopped at a lot of restaurants and made inquiries, huh?

Husband: (dodging the question) You know, I didn’t really notice anything all that special. I guess the waitresses were pretty, and they wore really short, tight, shorts.

Me: And had really big boobs.

Husband: Well I guess some of them might have; they can’t really hire based on that can they? Wouldn’t that be discrimination?

Me: I think it’s not discrimination if they say it’s one of the job qualifications.

Husband: But do they have to be big to be “hooters”? I mean, you can have little “hooters” can’t you?

Me: (long silence while I decide how to respond to this ridiculous question)

Husband; Well, no, I guess you can’t. It doesn’t really matter, though, if you’ve seen one set you’ve seen them all. (UPDATED: Should have said this in the first place; this is one of the many reasons why I love him.)

Me: I imagine there might be one or two men in the world who might disagree; more of a “so many boobs, so little time” kind of a thing.

Husband: (awkward silence while he wonders if I’m going to blog about this)

Me: I am so blogging about this.


Looking for this:

Found this:


If you click on the picture you get a link to an article about discrimination suits being brought against Hooters, mainly by men (poor babies, they’re always treated so shabbily). But the next-to-last paragraph and the last sentence of the article just kill me every time I read them.

“Certainly they have made decisions on who is and who is not eligible for serving positions but that is the appeal of the restaurant. The food is at best mediocre so the main reason to go to the restaurant is, well, the boobs and without those the company will likely suffer a significant decline in their patronage, something which could be devastating in this economy,” said Scrape TV Legal analyst Gabe Hawthorne. “The issue for the courts though is whether or not they are employing prejudicial employment practices. If big breasts and nice legs constitute a significant part of their business model then they could end up with a win, but if they define themselves as a restaurant then they are going to run into trouble.” (Despite temptation, I have decided not to fix the punctuation problems from the above quote.)

Advocacy groups for ugly and fat women are reportedly also watching the proceedings very carefully.    

“Ugly and fat” women have “advocacy groups”? How humiliating do you suppose it is to petition for representation? It’s Hooters. The whole business model is based on the exploitation of pretty, well-endowed, young women. Are ugly, fat women wishing they could work there? Why would any woman want to work there? “Yes, please, sign me up to be gawked at, groped, and treated like an object.” Thanks but no thanks. For that matter, if men want a job, put them in short-shorts and subject them to weighing and measuring (relax, I meant pecs and waist, but okay, maybe that, too), stamp “I am a piece of meat” on their forehead and let them deliver all the hamburgers they want.

Just sayin’.


the latest fashions

Nowhere on the internets has a selection of absolutely hideous pants quite like shopbop.

I don’t know how they do it.

Here’s a snippet. (You might want to shield your eyes.)

Oh, it burns.

I like to go there every once in a while just so I can feel better about the crap hanging in my closet.

They seem to hit about 50/50 on the dresses, alternating between average, stunning, and whatweretheythinking?

To whit, and which I rank:

Quite stunning           Beautiful                   To-ga To-ga,                    Ugh. . .                  Hmmm. . .maybe?

I can’t help but wonder if they’re actually trying to sell clothes, or just posting random styles for our confusion and/or amusement.

Then there’s the maternity clothes page, modeled by a) women who are clearly not pregnant and b) badly misshapen men.

And let’s not forget anorexia corner the swimwear.

Now I’m just sad.




A blogger I follow recently posted this picture of Lindsay Lohan:

with the heading “If You’re Thinking of Tampering With Your Face”

What has happened to this girl? She looks 50. And hideous.

I always thought she was one of the most beautiful young actresses I had ever seen.

Look at her “then”

What is she thinking?

I can’t imagine it can merely be puffiness from her raucous lifestyle — what I want to know is how can the girl directly above look in a mirror and decide that she needs to do something to make herself prettier?

This is difficult for me, because I really want to have my neck fixed. I didn’t like my neck when I was in my 20s, and I really don’t like it now. And despite Nora Ephron’s advice, I don’t like turtlenecks; they make me feel like I’m being strangled, and I don’t think they actually help because they just push that little pooch of extra skin up so not only is it visible, but it looks even bigger than it actually is. But, as I’ve written before, I’m vehemently opposed to plastic surgery and everything it represents, especially the idea that we’re not supposed to end up looking like we’ve lived in our faces, or that there’s some ideal of “beauty” that we should !!! all aspire to.

I also worry because Only Daughter has just been accepted as “talent” at a local modeling agency, and she’s very excited. Except she, all 4’5″ 60 lbs of her, already thinks she has fat calves, wishes she had curly hair like mine (she’s Korean, I’m not, and my hair is just curly enough to be annoying) and obsesses over every pimple.

She’s beautiful, and I worry that throwing her into this world of models and clothes and the quest for “perfection” and eating disorders and body obsession and inadequacy is only going to play out badly. How does someone manage to grow up and look in the mirror and still see beautiful?

A lot of people speculate that Lindsay Lohan’s mother is behind a lot of her problems, as well as her sister Ali’s and her apparent eating disorder.

The radical difference shown above is reported to be a result of “natural” changes from adolescence, and Ali becoming taller and “slimmer.” Do they mean starving?

She’s so skinny. This just makes me so sad.

Anyway, I know it’s always easy to blame the mom, even though sometimes it probably is the mom’s fault. I always joke that I’m willing to take all of the credit and none of the blame, but that’s not really true. I take a lot of the blame, even when I probably shouldn’t.


how to eat more healthfully

PepsiCo is apparently on a mission to become the go-to guys for snacks AND nutrition (I’m not making this up) in the future. They are developing two lines: “Better for You” (well, duh, that shouldn’t be very difficult) and “Good for You.”


Does that mean we can expect substitutions such as






No, actually, (big surprise). The goal is to replace the fats, sugars, and salts in the snack foods and beverages that have contributed to rampant obesity in our country we have come to know and love with “flavor enhancers” that will just make us THINK that the potato chip is as salty as it used to be.

Oh, THAT kind of “better” for you.

More evidence that everything is, in fact, relative.


not just me, then

Husband and I had a debate recently, which prompted me to post this survey.

The tepid response has not helped resolve the debate, but I was encouraged when reading the New Yorker review of the movie Crazy, Stupid, Love.

“The young actress Emma Stone, playing a straitlaced law student, has a classic moment: going home with Jacob, she orders him to remove his shirt, which he does, revealing a chest so perfectly sculpted that she’s revolted. ‘Seriously? It’s like you’re Photoshopped.’ Men may be relieved to hear that at least some women find a gym body a little too close to narcissism to be a turn-on. . .”

As the bloggess would say,


but is it food?

Making pizza for dinner, but our children don’t like what we put on ours (olives, caramelized onions, sun dried tomatos, etc.) so we’re going to make them what they REALLY want: frozen.

Here’s the list of ingredients.

That can’t be good.

But we can get $15 off a ticket to Six Flags, and the pepperoni is “reduced fat.”

At least there’s that then.


Ralph Lauren and the incredible shrinking woman

From the spring 2011 collection:

One question, about the outfit on the right.


And then there’s this one:

My caption for the outfit on the left: Ado Annie meets Laura Ashley.

In my quest, I found these:

Apparently the version on the left isn’t thin enough, so they had to remove all evidence that she had internal organs or a ribcage.

And then we have Filipa Hamilton, before:

and after:

According to the site from which I obtained the above picture, when enough people complained to Ralph Lauren about how flipping deformed this woman looks, they claimed responsibility for their manipulation of her image, and apologized. Is it actually possible that no one noticed that she looks like a bobble-head doll until people complained? And look !!! at the first picture of her. Why are they manipulating her image? Is there supposedly something wrong with how she looks? Actually, the first image is from Ralph Lauren, also, so maybe nobody really knows what her body looks like. Has anyone seen her in person, taken a picture of her, and not photoshopped it?

Oh, look what I found:

Which one do YOU think is more attractive?



stupid people

Heard on NPR this morning:

1.  On a report regarding Obama’s recent tour through the country touting the need to balance the budget fairly and encouraging development of green energy technologies, an energy student comments to the NPR reporter:

“Gas prices just keep going up and up and up; when’s it going to stop?”

Okay, first of all, there are those who believe that these little spikes aren’t really all that significant unless we panic about them, and that the biggest reason they cause such widespread reaction is because these signs are big and lit up and we watch the numbers spin while we gas up our car. Do you know if the milk you bought last week is more expensive than it was the week before? How much do you think a gallon of beer costs? And which do you think is easier to produce and deliver?

While consistently and dramatically elevated gas prices do hit us harder — affecting the profit margins of energy-dependent manufacturers, for example, or causing airlines to raise their rates by 50% and charge astronomical fees for luggage (adjustments which were not seen in reverse when gas prices went back down ~ 25% a year or more ago) — this little spike is probably not one of them.

Secondly, it’s a finite resource, and we pay the least for gas of any developed country, and probably less than some less-developed countries, so yes, the law of supply and demand would probably dictate that, as it becomes more scarce and harder to get to, it’s going to get more expensive. Stop whining and take a bus.

Which reminds me, why doesn’t this country do more about creating and using reliable public transportation? Millions of Europeans rarely drive their cars, and they all get where they need to go. They are also probably more healthy because they walk more, and less stressed because they have time to read a book or the paper, play Spider Solitaire on their iPhones, or post pithy insightful observations on Twitter while taking the train to work.

BUT — when the consumer is duped into paying more for gas because oil speculators and companies like Exxon want to take advantage of Middle-East unrest, that’s a different matter. When’s somebody going to do something about THAT?

Commenting on the same story is a young woman bemoaning the fact that gas prices are different in one state than they are in another, followed by a statement that the President should do something about that. Does she really not realize that states are allowed to tax gas at THEIR OWN RATES?

2.   Regarding the upcoming, IN TWO YEARS (criminy), presidential election:  Donald Trump is everywhere, and Sarah Palin has half a million Twitter followers.

He’s everywhere? With the hair? How can a man with this much money have this bad of hair? And if he either doesn’t have the sense to listen to people who tell him otherwise or is so intimidating no one dares, how good of a president could this man be, really?


Half a million? That’s 499,992 too many (I’m allowing for her immediate family, because they have to). Maybe she sounds less stupid when she Tweets, but I doubt it. The only positive outcome of Sarah Palin’s running for president is it gives Tina Fey more material.


and the winner is:

Got this random catalog in the mail yesterday, and was flipping through when I encountered a 2-page spread displaying these treasures:

Having a hard time deciding which are the most hideous, so have decided to open it up to a vote. Click on individual pictures if you want to get a closer look, but if you have a weak stomach, I suggest shielding your eyes.

Extra credit to who among you can identify the pair fitting my husband’s description: “Achilles was wearing those when he killed Hector.”


beauty and the beast

Here is an example of everything that is good and “holy” in the world of shoes:

These, on the other hand, are evil incarnate: Well, maybe that’s overstating it a bit, but they certainly should not be allowed.

Of course, that’s just my opinion.


my letter to Calvin Klein

What are you trying to say when you design clothes to hang on women-as-hangers rather than women-as-women?

Never mind the clothes, this girl needs someone to make her a sandwich.


American influence spreads (get it? spreads?)

After a two-year loan to the United States, Michelangelo’s David is being returned to Italy.

His proud sponsors:

(Thanks K.B. — you’re always good for a laugh!)


cause, or effect?

What if all the stuff we put on our faces to cover imperfections — blemishes, blotches, etc. actually CAUSE these imperfections? Eye cream, face lotion, spot corrector, toner, (youth) serum, night cream, blemish concealer, under-eye concealer, foundation, face powder. Is all this stuff really necessary?

Here’s a picture of what I use on a daily basis.

I wonder how our skin would look if we all took a holiday from it all and just washed and moisturized. Of course it would have to be a long enough holiday for our skin to recover from years of “abuse” to find it’s true nature, and maybe none of us would have the stomach for it. I have noticed that if I go out into the world without makeup people tell me I look tired, but is that really so awful? I imagine I could look worse than “tired.”

Look at it this way — if I “had” to spend less time on “routine maintenance” I could probably sleep an extra half-hour every morning AND have time for a regular yoga practice. That could potentially solve the look-tired problem as well as helping me be in better shape physically; both could feasibly improve my overall appearance.

Then there’s all the money I could save!

Something to think about.


to smoke or not to smoke. . .

Apparently, as Americans learn that smoking is bad for you and they shouldn’t do it, cigarette companies are being forced to cast high and low for new markets.  These efforts include suing other countries for “excessive regulations.”

In a related story, Indonesia is resisting this anti-smoking tide, as it continues to refuse to sign a global tobacco treaty and targets women and children in their advertising.

The effects of this attitude are made manifest in a “viral” video of this chain-smoking toddler:

I’m not making this up.

His parents apparently started him smoking at the age of 18 months, although the report does not say why. One could speculate, I suppose:  calmed him down after a tough day in the sandbox, helped him develop those handy steering-the-toy-tractor-with-one-hand skills so crucial to child development. I guess, since he’s not wearing any clothes, it’s unlikely that he would set himself on fire, so that takes care of what would have been one of my main concerns.

You will all be relieved to note that the toddler has kicked the habit.

Now if only he could take care of his drinking and gambling addictions, he could get into that prestigious preschool.

Okay, that part I made up.


Versace II

I don’t get it.

I don’t get this either.

Maybe it’s just me.

This, on the other hand, makes perfect sense.


When your food isn’t actually food

Which is, if you eat in most of America’s mainstream restaurants or eat any quantity of packaged food at home, most of the time.

Just finished reading a very enlightening book, The End of Overeating. The book is targeted towards people who have real problems controlling their eating, to the point where all they really do all day is think about food.

Now any of you who follow this blog at all know that I’d like to weigh a little less, and that I really like food. Especially good food. I’ve got a chicken roasting in the oven right now, stuffed with lemons and rosemary, and a bowl of tabbouleh chillin’ in the fridge; I’m really looking forward to tonight’s meal with a nice glass of Beaujolais.

I digress.

I’m not obsessed with food; I eat 3 pretty healthful meals a day, and sometimes a snack late afternoon — usually an apple, a bowl of almonds, a chunk of cheese, something like that. I struggle with cravings for potato chips, pretzels and blue cheese dressing, cheetohs, but can usually resist, especially if I don’t have any in the house. I try to limit snacking in the evenings — have discovered homemade applesauce and plain yogurt, or  a frozen Yoplait, can substitute for ice cream or sorbet, which my husband enjoys.

I digress, again.

The book revealed a few things to me which I did not know before, and which may not be common knowledge.

1. Eating food that you enjoy triggers dopamine. Dopamine makes you feel happy.

2. Eating food as a comfort, especially if it accompanies another sort of comfort — a plate of warm cookies from mom when you get home from a hard day of school, a rich dinner prepared by your spouse at the end of a long day — triggers a memory/conditioning response so that our desire for that food is triggered by a need for a similar comfort.

3. The food industry has very carefully deduced the prime combination of sugar, fat, and salt that triggers the production of dopamine, and therefore the desire for MORE, and just as carefully manipulates these combinations in the foods it produces.

White flour has most of the germ, bran, and fiber removed.

Chicken is processed, shredded, and then reassembled with binders, “supplemented” with saline, and then fried before being flash-frozen so that it is cheap, tender, juicy, dissolves in our mouths quickly (more calories, less work), and is easily digested (more calories, less work). Healthful-sounding meals like quesadillas include chicken that has not only been fried at the stage of production, but again at the restaurant, and accompanied by vegetables that have been fried in oil, 4 servings’ worth of cheese, layered into two white-flour tortilla shells which are again fried on the grill, and then served with guacamole (with massive amounts of added salt and fat in the form of mayonnaise or sour cream), sour cream, (sweetened) salsa, and tortilla “crisps” — more tortilla shells which have been shredded and fried.

The author of this book calls it fat on sugar on fat on salt on fat on fat.

Sugar is omnipresent — not just in cereals and jams but in peanut butter, bread, jarred spaghetti sauce. Even cereals that seem to contain a reasonable amount of sugar per serving are, in fact, ~ 1/3 sweetener of one sort or another. All they’ve done is constructed it out of 5 or 6 different versions — sugar, dextrose, corn syrup, etc. so they can move each of them a little further down the label. Apparently there’s almost as much sugar in a McDonald’s hamburger bun as there is in a home-made cookie.

Don’t even get me started on the sugar on fat on sugar involved in a Krispy Kreme doughnut. (They do look yummy, don’t they?)

And have any of you looked at the percentage of RDA of sodium in anything packaged lately? Chicken broth — no msg, no added sugar, reduced sodium, still contains 25% of the RDA per serving. The compensation for poor ingredients is salt; at least then it tastes like something.

Even reading the label on the tray of sushi I bought today gave me pause — does there really need to be that many ingredients in it? When I make it, it’s a sheet of nori, some rice that’s been seasoned with some rice vinegar, fresh tuna, and some cucumber. Granted, mine doesn’t stay in those neat tight little rolls when I’m done, but at least I know what’s in it.

Coincidentally, a facebook friend posted this picture of the meat that has been scraped from bones to be reassembled into chicken nuggets.


If you read the article you’ll find out that the scraping of the bones is just the beginning: the meat is now awash with bacteria, so it’s treated with ammonia. Now it tastes terrible (as one could imagine), so artificial flavorings are added to mask the flavor. Because no one wants to eat chicken that’s the color of Play-Doh, it’s bleached/colored to look like chicken. Gives new meaning to the expression “tastes like chicken.”

The other thing to be suspicious of is restaurants who are packaging an “experience.” Watch out for the flashy menus with glossy pictures and publicized “ambiance” or “fun-loving atmosphere.” It’s not about the food anymore, but about the escape from your tedious, mundane existence.

The gist of it is, I’m now mostly eating at home, food that’s been purchased from the periphery of the grocery store. I’ll have to find my escape elsewhere — Scrabble anyone?



I was reading the New York Times after a particularly long day and I encountered a Versace ad that I wanted to post — 2 vacant-eyed women, apparently starving. Lacking even the strength to hold their mouths closed.

Alas, the ad is not to be found online, and I’m afraid if I try to scan it it won’t show up well, as it is in black and white.

(October 10: found it!):

I did find myself on a trip through the strangely-thematic surreal. Let me share some of the landmarks along the way.

Firstly, we have women disguising the fact that they are naked by hiding behind their voluminous handbags:

I think her handbag may weigh more than she does; she also looks as if she may be inside the handbag; then again, I may be wrong.

There also seems to be a theme where we are apparently supposed to be noticing the woman’s shoe as she is stepping into her clothing. This photo spread kills the proverbial two birds, by having her hide one of her (naked) legs behind her purse while stepping into her dress with the other leg. And look! she’s managed to accomplish her task, and is now fully clothed in the picture on the right. Good for her.

Now I don’t know about how models do it, but I tend to put my shoes on last, and have not usually picked up my purse until after the belt is on. Maybe it’s just me.

Then we have the group shots.

I’m not even going to presume what the women on the left are doing, but the one in the middle looks like she’s trying to work in her workout during the shoot, (poor lunging form, btw), Stephanie has longer legs than I am tall, and Claudia really needs to pee. Maybe we could take 5?

Now how about the men.

My son plays a game with pictures of his band on facebook called “what is ____ looking at?” Maybe there’s a giant spider on the floor or something. But do any of us know any men who would do this willingly? I guess they’re pretty well paid, but does that make them “prostitutes”? I can’t really figure out what market Versace is trying to reach with this one, but I guess that’s their marketing department’s problem.

Nothing wrong with this one; at least not as far as I can tell, although I’m not sure what we’re supposed to make of the hands in underwear/handcuffs. Hmmm. . .

Quite fine.

So what are we supposed to make of this?

This just makes me want to cry.

Men get to be strong, muscular, virile; women are wisps, hiding behind our handbags, not allowed to go to the bathroom.




It doesn’t matter if you stand with one leg bent and the other hip out to the side. The pants are all still ugly. Don’t even get me started on the shoes.

Is anyone buying this stuff? Is anyone wearing it?

How about these? Can it get any worse? 

Click here if you want to see more.


Cheetohs Cheese Puffs

Do these qualify as food? The first ingredient is enriched corn flour, and they do provide 6% of the RDA of Vitamin E, 4% of the RDA of Riboflavin and Thiamin, and 2% of the RDA of Vitamin B6, Iron, Niacin and Phosphorous. There are even 2 grams of protein per serving!

They are also both salty and crunchy, a quality important in most of the snack foods. The poofy kind, that dissolve,  are the best.

But are they food?


beautiful, beautiful me

Ran across this photo-project through a link on another blog today.

And the awards go to:

Most upsetting: 9- and 11- and 13- year old girls made up like dolls or losing weight they don’t need to lose at weight-loss camps.

Most stupid: a woman who has 3 toes shortened so she can wear the Jimmy Choo shoes she likes with the pointy toes.

Most frightening: people having painful surgery done to help them grow taller, even though it includes the risk that they will end up deformed.

Most ridiculous: Mr. Olympia, whose muscles boisterously bulge but who needs to be administered oxygen because the process has weakened him so considerably.

Most Machiavellian: the plastic surgeon married to Barbie so he can “play” with her. I would put her boobs* in either the most frightening or most ridiculous category. Maybe she doesn’t care that everyone can tell that they’re fake?

And the You’re-Not-Fooling-Anyone Award goes to the woman whose hands still look 80.

Is it really that difficult to be happy with ourselves? To eat well, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and look in the mirror and see beautiful?

Must be.

*My apologies for the word “boobs.” I usually insist that they be called breasts, but have now decided to reserve that distinction for those that fall into the “occur naturally” category. These are definitely boobs.

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