Fielder, 23, decided to make the switch over the winter after reading how cattle and chickens were treated and “was totally grossed out,” he said. His wife, Chanel, preferred a no-meat diet as it was, so he embraced a new approach.The article's worth reading if only for its tale of Fielder's trip through a chic Milwaukee restaurant's vegan offerings (The server heartily recommended the beet pasta salad, as in pasta fashioned from beets. “Ew — I’m not good on beets,” Fielder said. She kept raving about the dish, so not wanting to hurt her feelings, Fielder conceded, “All right, I’ll try it.”)
Fielder had been as carnivorous as your average puma — pushing 200 pounds since he was 12, he scarfed down a 48-ounce porterhouse as a teenager and had barely slowed down since.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
It would be unnatural in the extreme if I neglected to mention that the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa will, this weekend, first carefully thaw out the recently recovered Colossal Squid carcass they've been storing and, then, much to the excitement of cephalopod enthusiasts everywhere, dissect the big beastie live on the interwebs.
Friday, April 25, 2008
He is, fortunately, now cancer-free.
I wake up every morning in a bed that’s too small, drive my daughter to a school that’s too expensive, and then I go to work to a job for which I get paid too little, but on Pretzel Day ... well, I like Pretzel Day.
As for our other favorite office, Sepinwall mentioned that Kaling's episodes are more straightforward comedy than the ones written by the other writer-actors, and the New York half of the show was no exception. What was unexpected was the way that Kaling revisited a theme that has popped up occasionally since Jim returned to Scranton: there is a reason that Jim is stuck somewhere below middle management -- he is neither the perfect boss he imagines he would be nor the beloved goof that we saw for the first two seasons (remember how annoyed Toby and Oscar were at his antics during the Angela's Ashes book group?).
Is Toby really moving to Costa Rica?
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Shock, grief, anger, betrayal. Those, of course, were only the most immediate reactions of the audience to the premature departure of tall, fair, be-extensioned, impeccably-jawed Lauren from America’s Next Top Model. Other emotions following somewhat later, though not attributable with scientific certainty to the ouster, were melancholy, reverie, discontent, panic, arousal, that delicious combination of panic and arousal, ennui, mishegas, and discomfort at Yiddish proficiency. Lauren herself remained indifferent to the end, proudly overmedicated and possibly incapable of understanding the injustice visited upon her, but we, the audience, felt an additional emotion omitted from the above list: unbridled jubilation in knowing that for Lauren, whose illimitable talent in being tall and fair and impeccably-jawed has now – or at least after sequesterville – been loosed to the world, the journey is just beginning.
I am deeply sad (there’s another one!) that Lauren is dead. That death makes us reflect upon our own lives – our successes; our failures to reach the lofty goals we set; our tendency to lament the deaths of people who are still alive. And yet, this death is a call to arms. Other people should have died first – fake Whitney and Jerseyish Dominique, SLEEP WITH ONE EYE OPEN – and every minute that they remain alive is a minute that Lauren is not stomping clumsily around in our hearts, a more artfully-composed Frankenstein. “BLOOD,” the audience seemed to scream, at least in my house where I live alone, “WE DEMAND BLOOD.”
In the sleepless hours following this monstrous unfairness, my thoughts turned to who, aside from the other contestants, must be blamed, confronted, and killed. Covergirl, yes, for demanding that their spokesmodels be capable of speech and movement. The fashion industry, for demanding unrealistic levels of “ambulatory stability” from its catwalk-walkers. And Dr. Tyvorkian, the Angel of Death, for spreading her bat-wings and casting a shadow on our dead-eyed angel. We may debate for years who else is to blame, but for now, let us rejoice in our time with Lauren, however bitter and threatening our particular type of rejoicing may seem.
The narrative I constructed for myself of Lauren out of nothing but a handful of confessionals and my beauty-struck febrile imagination went something like this: Born, grew tall, liked punk rock, knew nothing of fashion, grew impeccable jaw, learned rudimentary communications skills sufficiently to express basic food and hygiene needs, developed “signature walk” so unique that it, coupled with Italianish dialogue, caused second-nicest girl in house to double over in laughter, and then, poof, snuffed out, like a flame or an elderly person with a fully-vested insurance policy. No other contestant’s story could match the depth and poignancy of this brave woman’s poetic (but Ginsburg- or maybe Plath-poetic, not like Frost or anything like that) struggle against punk-rock-affiliation – and I don’t want to hear it, miss female circumcision, you shut your yap. No one could match her intensity, diffused though it was, but we take comfort in knowing that the Lauren juggernaut will not be slowed, and like many before her who came to this show, even if they did not make it to the final-two ghost-themed fierce-off, her career will undoubtedly continue and we will see its fire again and again in the years ahead whenever Tyra brings models back to talk about their nonexistent success. And then Lauren will be elected the first weirdo punk-rocker President of the United States, and she will invent a car that runs on air and excretes clean drinking water, and she will win the Nobel Prize for modeling and politics.
Surely, this is not the greatest injustice from which our nation has had to heal. It is not even the third-greatest, because of the Dred Scott decision, the Carly Smithson debacle, and the estate tax. But we have survived each of those, except technically for the estate tax, and we will survive this. And so I close tonight with the following by the great poet Richard Rushfield: “The following things are awesome about you/Your courage/Height/Fairness/Impeccable jawline/And courage/Fly away, flightless bird.”
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
In the meantime, next week? Neil Diamond. Oh, predicting the song choices is going to be fun.
e.t.a. The LA Times' Ann Powers, on the other hand, is pissed:
e.t.a.2. Can you top that, Richard Rushfield?
Seriously, what is the “American Idol” constituency seeking? Another pop moppet prepped to fill the pages of gossip magazines and make adorable viral videos? Simpering Brooke White and half-baked Jason Castro (I like him, but come on, it’s a shtick) are sailing through because their images are cute; they’re more like sitcom stars than musical powerhouses.
Brooke’s particularly puzzling success, given her repeated flops in the spotlight, may be attributable to the 8-year-old girl market. For tween voters too young to fully crush out on the Davids, she plays the princess role, her deluxe locks and befuddled manner recall Amy Adams’ turn as Giselle in “Enchanted,” last year’s Disney hit. Brooke’s obvious discomfort at the end of tonight’s episode suggests that she knows she’s living on borrowed time. But heck, if I were to sponge a few extra weeks off anybody, I’d take it from pre-teens too. They have a lot to spare.
Every night she went up on the "Idol" stage, Carly projected both the sure hand of someone who had spent her life working for this moment, and the gratitude of one who has learned that life doesn’t owe her anything. Hers was the joy, not of a dream that she felt the world had an obligation to fulfill, but of a dream that had been forced to hide away until its flame was so tiny, it was this close to being blown out. And finally, when it seemed just about to disappear forever, to be allowed to shine once again! No other contestant’s story could match depth and poignancy to Carly’s euphoria at being given this chance once again, to paraphrase her countryman, W.B. Yeats, a lonely impulse of delight drove her to this tumult among the clouds, which is why I called her the most electrifying performer ever to take the "Idol" stage.
No one could match that intensity, but we take comfort in knowing that that flame now burning so, so brightly can no longer be extinguished, and like many before her who came to this stage, even if they did not make it to the final rung of this competition, her career will undoubtedly continue and we will see its fire again and again in the years ahead.
I believe that the consensus here at ALOTT5MA was that the worst thing about the spelling bee last year was the condescending, anti-intellectual commentary by ESPN's Mike & Mike. So the first good news here is that Mike & Mike have been fired. That will probably give us an extra hour, cumulatively, of time when Mike Golic won't be telling us a story about how he can't spell.
The other good news is that Erin Andrews is joining the coverage. I think Andrews is a good pick -- she's smart and professional, won't seem condescending to the kids, and has enough ESPN star power that she'll probably make a few kids feel like rock stars just because she's interviewing them. The boys in the Bee may have to work extra hard on their concentration, though. Focus, Gartke, FOCUS!
The bad news: Tom Bergeron. He's kind of the anti-Erin Andrews. Not that I have anything against Tom Bergeron (I have an irrationally deep love for home video clip shows), but if you're trying to make a Spelling Bee kid feel cool, get a restraining order on Tom Bergeron. Tom Bergeron is right between Chuck E. Cheese birthday parties and writing your name on your underwear in the list of things that are cool to a young adolescent.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Oh, and David Cook. David Cook! I am actually starting to get angry that the Mormon Tabernacle Fan Club may prevent him from winning. So happy that he sang the song straight, and so happy that he can hit the note. I know that the judges like to haul out that old saw about a good singer being able to sing the telephone book, but in this case it happens to be true. I just really enjoy hearing him sing, no matter what he sings. (And, just to make the point: can you imagine Chris Daughtry trying to sing Music of the Night?)
And then there's everyone else. Brookie, you get one false start per season, not two, and if you're going to declare a mulligan, you need to not spend the entire performance sitting there petrified that you're doing to drop another lyric. I personally enjoyed the muppet's version of the world's most overplayed and underinterpreted Broadway song, but his lower range couldn't handle it, and at this point I think we all know the full alphabet of what he's capable of, from A to B. (I was amused to hear ALW confirm my view that this is one dumb-as-a-brick muppet.)
Oh, and YDA. YDA. I think you all know how much I haaaaate him, but I really was all set to enjoy him tonight. The sweetness of his voice is just right for some of the nicer tenor ballads Webber has written, and so I was expecting him to do what Cook did. And instead, we got this weirdass non-melodic muzaked up rendering of a Sarah Brightman song? He might as well have sung Another Suitcase in Another Hall. In drag. (And I am irate at Randy for being unable or unwilling to recognize any of this.)
Monday, April 21, 2008
MySpace.com - Robin Sparkles - 29 - Female - Vancouver, British Columbia - www.myspace.com/robinsparkles
Of course, I have to go to the Comments to tell you what that word is.
As for this week, we've got Andrew Lloyd Webber on tap. Here are my own thoughts and suggestions for the final six, but my ALW repertoire is limited. Feel free to go deep.
Carly. Should sing: Buenos Aires. Will sing: Don't Cry For Me Argentina. In any event, doesn't it have to be a Patti LuPone song?
Syesha. Will sing, although she should consider something else: Memory.
Clifford the Crunchy Muppet. Any Dream Will Do (unless he wrestles Memory from Syesha and gives ADWD to Brooke out of sympathy).
YDA. Should, maybe even must, sing: High Flying Adored. Will sing: Music of the Night.
Brooke. I Don't Know How to Love Him. (I guess. This might be a really bad week for Brookie.)
David Cook. Superstar. (But who knows with him at this point -- for all I know, he'll tackle Angel of Music.)
Sunday, April 20, 2008
ETA: While I expect most discussion will be Galactica related, let's open this up to the other sci-fi programming of the weekend, including Doctor Who, which had a solid kickoff special for a new season, even if it's kinda awkward to see a Christmas-themed show several months later, and Torchwood, which wrapped up its series really well, with a penultimate episode borrowing the narrative structure from the beloved Firefly episode "Out of Gas" and a finale featuring not just major, and legitimate, "game changing" developments but also glorious scenery chewing from James Marsters.
The only other things I anticipate changing are playing with the alignments in that right-hand column, cleaning up and updating the blogroll, and figuring out what to do with Isaac's insistent demands that I change the whole blog to the Futura font.