Category Archives: Food

I Get Pitches

When you blog, you eventually start to get emails from PR companies and folks that are just dying to offer you “fresh content” that “Google loves” and that will “titillate your readers”. Too bad it is all so ridiculous, because otherwise I’m sure my readers would love to be titillated…

Do you need to figure out how to get the opposite sex to notice you?

Do you need to figure out how to get the opposite sex to notice you?

Do you need an app that makes a miniature keychain book of your photographs?

Do you need an app that makes a miniature keychain book of your photographs?

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Do you need any assistance with hair below the neck?

Do you need anything from someone with the gmail handle celebritytweens@gmail.com?

Do you need anything from someone with the gmail handle celebritytweens@gmail.com?

Bah. It’s hard to convey to advertisers and PR folks that writing about beauty culture or the cult of celebrity does not mean you will write about their tween gossip or manscaping must-haves.

Related Post: Mixed messaging on the interwebz.

Related Post: Curve Appeal vs. American Apparel’s idiotic contest

 

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Filed under Advertising, Body Image, Food, Hollywood

Sunday Scraps 91

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1. Books: So, apparently McDonald’s is giving away 15million books instead of plastic crap. This seems like a good thing, no?

2. SCI-FI: Jim Hines, a fantasy author, illustrates some of the ridiculous lady-poses of sci-fi and fantasy covers with some creative posing.

3. MARRIAGE EQUALITY: The argument against marriage equality has taken a turn for the strange, in my opinion, with this emphasis on unintended pregnancy and accidental babies….

4. CHICAGO: I’m kind of obsessed with these little graphic illustrations of Liz Fosslien, especially her very accurate understanding of all things Chicago. See especially, the Board of Trade drink ratios.

5. CELEBRITY: God bless NYMag for the gift of 60 high school photos of celebrities, from Amy Poehler to Channing Tatum, Alec Baldwin to Zooey Deschanel.

6. TECH: Really fascinating piece from HuffPo on how Siri came to be and how she changed when she went Apple.

Related Post: Sunday 90 – Frida, Lindsay Lohan, James Deen, Zadie

Related Post:  Sunday 89 - Mr. Wright, Matt and Ben, avalanches

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Filed under Art, Body Image, Books, Chicago, Food, Gender, Hollywood, Media, Politics

Sunday Scraps 87

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1. SANDY HOOK: If you haven’t read it yet, drop everything and read Liza Long’s Gawker essay “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mom” on being the mother of a violent, dangerous child and how few options she has for his treatment.

2. PINTEREST: Some Pennsylvania police departments are using Pinterest to advertise their Most Wanted lists and increasing arrests by 57%.

3. MAPS: So freaking cool, map the gender variation across LA from age-group to age-group. Check out what happens after you clear age 45.

4. HEMPEL: One of my favorite short story writers, Amy Hempel (you can literally read everything she’s written if you buy her Collected Stories), is interviewed by Cafe Americain. 

5. BIZ: Sallie Krawcheck, former executive of Bank of America, writes a short and sweet piece on why women are more tired than men. Hint: make-up.

6. FOOD: Do you ever make Smitten Kitchen recipes? The kitcheness has just published her first actual cookbook and is defying all publishing expectations.

Related Post: Sunday 86: Emily Rapp, Anita Sarkeesian, Emily McCombs and instagram parodies.

Related Post: Sunday 85: Roxane Gay, the path to the NFL, painless for life?

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Gift Guide – Part 2

Last week, we did the Rosie Says Non-Denominational, Non-Seasonal Gift Guide Part 1. Still at a loss for that special someone/boring-co-worker/favorite aunt/least-favorite uncle? Search no further:

slotSparkly Things: Though much of my jewelry is a) my mother’s from the 80s or b) bought on a boardwalk shop in Virginia Beach in 2003, I like accessories as much as the next girl, especially necklaces with bookshelves, muffin tinssloths, T-rexes, or DNA base-pairs at the ends of them. For the wrists, what about a Chicago map cuff, or a delicate leaf bangle?

booksGeekery/Nerdery: Abraham Lincoln band-aids? Yes please. From Novel-T, get him a Gatsby tee, or a Hester Prynne version for her (or switch it up, gender norms are for losers). Do you like big books? Of course you do, be loud and proud with this tote. Everyone’s favorite comic artist, xkcd, also has a store with nifty stuff like the Map of Online Communities poster, or the “Science: It Works, Bitches” t-shirt.

coolieFoodie Winners: Make your own cheese! Or grow your own mushrooms! Figure out, finally, what molecular gastronomy means! Deb at Smitten Kitchen has a new cookbook out, and so does Coolio, so those are probably pretty much the same thing. And for the winos, there are always sippy cups.

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5 Steps

Step 1: Eat (Note the red tray in the middle, that’s “strawberry pretzel salad”)

Step 2: Eat pie (Note that this is 1/3 of the pie assortment)

Step 3: Digest. Get comfortable.

Step 4: Tell family stories and dig out old photos to match. That’s my grandfather in the top right, circa 1941.

Step 5: Bonfire

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Sunday Scraps 76

1.VOTING: Slate has a time lapsed map marking the last 100 years of presidential elections. Oooh, watch the pretty colors change!

2. SMARTS: Atlantic interview with Randall Munroe, creator of xkcd, about his uber famous comic and his new geeky science project, What If?

3. BOOKS: How to pair cocktails with book club books, a guide from Flavorwire. We’re reading Boss in my book club at the moment, which I think requires a Chicago beer that has been purchased in exchange for a couple of votes in a tricky precinct.

4. MAGS: The Daily Beast profiles Vice, a Brooklyn based online and print magazine that uses raunch humor, on-the-ground cheap reporting, and multi-media to try to make millennials care about the world.

5. FOOD: As nutritional labels hit McDonald’s, do consumers care if their lunch is 1,800 calories? Apparently not.

6. WRITING: Words of writerly wisdom from Zadie Smith, whose new book NW I’m very excited to read.

Related Post: Sunday 75: black moms-in-chief, library tattoos, Republican history of America

Related Post: Sunday 74: Emily Dickinson, the end of the Kournikova era, Junot Diaz

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Filed under Books, Food, Media, Politics, Really Good Writing by Other People

Sunday Scraps 70

1. LOUIE: My fictional love affair with Louis CK continues with this AV Club interview about his fan-friendly ticketing system, comedy innovation, etc.

2. GENDER: Another good, complex piece from the NYT about how parents react to young children who want to experiment with gender expression.

3. BOOKS: Top 100 teen books from NPR. I’ve read 39, you?

4. FOOD: Post-Chick-fil-A, the LA Times has mapped the political inclinations of chain restaurants and stores. Shockingly, Whole Foods patrons will be voting Obama.

5. OLYMPICS: Behind the scenes of the Olympics Village’s party scene, with more detail than just a condom count (ESPN).

6. PATRIOTISM: 30% of the U.S. women have medaled this Olympics, 15% of the men. If the U.S. women were their own country, they’d have the fifth most medals (Mother Jones).

Related Post: Sunday 69 – books and bikinis, diving faces, gun culture with Kiese Laymon.

Related Post: Sunday 68 – Being in your 20s, the POV of a condom, Jason Alexander.

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Filed under Books, Food, Gender, Hollywood, Media, Politics, Really Good Writing by Other People, Sports

How Chick-fil-A Learned about Trade-Offs

Mayor Menino

You’ve probably seen Boston Mayor Tom Menino’s letter to Chick-fil-A floating around the web today, declining the chain a location in Boston’s commercial landscape:

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“There is no place for discrimination on Boston’s Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it.”

There’s also a lot of squawking about free speech on behalf of Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy, who made the homophobic comments that kicked off the shit storm. Those people, the free-speechers, are right. He can voice his opinions and beliefs, and some might even say, as a business leader and community leader, he should.

But, and this harkens back to Daniel Tosh’ internet beating last week, being free to speak your mind is not the same as being free from criticism once you do so. Would I support Chick-fil-A protesters throwing rocks through the storefront window or threatening Cathy? No, of course not. Do I think they should have their licenses revoked due to his personal beliefs? Of course not. That said, say something bigoted, and people may choose to take their business elsewhere.

There are trade-offs to be made, here, right? Between supporting our values with our dollars and living a pragmatic, practical, convenient life. I struggle with clothes shopping for this reason, but we all have to make these decisions every day. How much and at what cost are you willing to compromise?

There’s a gender studies concept called the “patriarchal bargain” in which women (and men) play into gender stereotypes for the sake of their own personal advantage, undermining the overall cause of equality. If Kim Kardashian makes millions playing a hot ditz on television, who cares if she detracts from society’s perception of women and their value? We all make patriarchal bargains any time we choose to adhere to gender stereotypes to make life easier (shaving my armpits, wearing mascara, letting a man pay for my drink), it’s just of question a degrees.

The Chick-fil-A question asks us about our willingness to make a similar bargain, an “I’m-a-real-world-consumer bargain”. If I buy a sandwich at Subway instead of Chick-fil-A today, does it matter? What percentage of my purchase would be supporting, even in the vaguest sense, anti-gay advocacy? 3 cents? 8 cents? How much do I care to not drop 3 cents in an bigotry bucket?

On the other hand, the more successful Chick-fil-A becomes, the bigger platform we give Dan Cathy from which to voice his homophobic beliefs.

Related Post: More from MA: How I wish the Brown/Warren debate had gone down.

Related Post: Kelly Ripa on gendered dating assumptions.

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Filed under Food, Gender, Media, Politics

Sunday Scraps 63 (Wildly Behind the Times Due to Vacation)

1. CABRINI: Great (long) essay from Harpers about the infamous Chicago housing project Cabrini-Green. Unlike other things I’ve read in the wake of the project’s destruction, this one actually talks to residents. Imagine that.

2. POP CULTURE: Matthew O’Brien at the Atlantic compares lyrics from frothy pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen to the Euro crisis. It almost kinda sort works.

3. JENNER: Did you know Bruce Jenner was once an Olympic athlete? Add that to the list of boats I missed when the Kardashians took over the world. From the Wheaties box to stepdad to the “stars” in Esquire.

4. FOOD: The blog of a 9-year-old about the pitiful condition of her school lunch quickly embarrassed her community enough to generate change. Shame is a powerful thing (via Grist).

5. INTERVIEW: The Rumpus interviews former GOOD Magazine editor Ann Friedman about the future of magazines, and writing, and goodness, and stuff.

6. GENDER: There’s this book. It’s called The Gender Book, and it looks pretty sweet. Independently made, it purports to be a friendly, easy, colorful way to talk about the range of human gender expression. We should probably all buy it and send it to our grandparents. Kidding.

Related Post: Sunday 62 – Racism, writers in bathing suits, StoryCorps

Related Post: Sunday 61 – Diet quitters, white male privilege, Chicago’s 1871 space

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Filed under Art, Books, Chicago, Food, Gender, Media, Politics, Really Good Writing by Other People, Sports

The Soda Wars

Nothing like a little government overreaching to welcome me back to the world post-vacation! In a nutshell, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is proposing a ban of sugary beverages over 16 ounces from all of the city’s restaurants, movie theaters, etc:

“Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, ‘Oh, this is terrible.’ New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something. I think that’s what the public wants the mayor to do.”

Now, you might say, well good! Who in their right mind needs 16 ounces of high fructose, corn-enriched, syrupy, fizzy, deliciousness? And to that, I say, none of your business!

Look, I’m not discounting the dangers of childhood (or adult) obesity, and I’m not discounting that, because of health care costs, obesity is and should be a public concern. And I’m not disputing that soda etc. isn’t a prime culprit of the problem. But a ban? Really Bloomberg? You think the answer is telling people what’s right for them? Such a dictatorial approach! Is that really the precedent we want?

Do we ban cigarettes? No. We just tax the crap out of them, and then limit the places people can smoke them. In other words, make it difficult, expensive, and socially unacceptable for people to buy 16 oz beverages, but don’t tell them they can’t. You can’t tell people what to do to themselves (just ask people with idiot tattoos), but with decisions that affect the public well-being, you have to find away to incentivize the best behavior (why there should be higher taxes on hummers than priuses).

Disney has a better plan, believe it or not. The mega-advertiser just announced that food promoted on its kid-focused channels must adhere to a new set of nutritional regulations. Now that’s an incentive I can get behind. We, collectively, have to make it harder to create, package, market, and consume shitty food that makes people sick. We, collectively, have to make it easier to find, afford, purchase and eat healthy food. Individual corporations can take on some of that burden, but the government has a fair share of responsibility too. Banning an excessively large bucket of coke doesn’t even begin to touch the root of the problem.

But, my government should not be telling me what to purchase at the movies. My government should not be subsidizing king corn until the first 6 ingredients in any packaged good start with “corn.” My government should be passing legislation that prevents public schools from serving tater tots and ketchup and calling that two vegetables.  My government should be incentivizing, responsible, local businesses to make decisions that facilitate, but don’t mandate, healthier behaviors.

Chicago’s three biggest food deserts (via Chicago Magazine)

Chicago’s poorest neighborhood are also the ones with the fewest grocery stores, and not coincidentally, they are the ones with the shittiest schools, the highest violence rates, and the shortest life expectancies. Telling people they can’t by a tub of Dr. Pepper is not the same as providing people with the education, access, and tools they  need to keep their families safe and healthy.

Related Post: Obesity linked to lower paychecks.

Related Post: Lucky me, I have grocery stores nearby, so I can make things like this.

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