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If you’ve been following either CNBC or “The Daily Show” — or basically if you’ve turned on your TV at all this week — then you know that Jim Cramer is in a sort of televised brawl with Jon Stewart. It all began with this “Daily Show” clip.

Cramer, in contrast to his sometimes tough and angry “Mad Money” persona, is actually quite a sensitive man, and he didn’t appreciate the criticism. A weeklong back-and-forth has ensued. It’s all pretty ridiculous (and entertaining), and I honestly don’t know how seriously Cramer is taking it. I have to imagine that he understands that by putting himself out there the way he does, he leaves himself open to criticism. And I have to assume that Jon Stewart gives him the benefit of the doubt, because no one, not even the financial experts, knew quite what the market was capable of before the market punched us all in the face with it.

It all comes to a head tonight with Cramer’s appearance on “The Daily Show,” and along with the rest of America, I will be watching.

What I take issue with is this. Gawker has chosen to bring Erin Burnett into this mess and lump her together with all of the other CNBC pundits when she quite clearly is in a class of her own. For example, today on “Morning Joe,” Erin was caught off-guard having a breakfast of Cheetos. It is the latest in a long list of adorable and charming things Erin has been filmed doing and saying.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images North America

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images North America

She handled herself capably on the Bill Maher show. She does her job in defending Cramer, and she does it as adorably as she does everything else. There is nothing loathsome about it. And Gawker failed to mention that on Monday’s “Stop Trading!” segment (the wrapup of which I write every day for work), Erin put up a good fight against Mr. Cramer, proving she is far from the network pawn Gawker would make her out to be.

Gawker also recently deigned to mock Ms. Burnett for this gem, a perfect example of why she deserves recognition as business news television’s Cutest Little Button. I have yet to verify her claim that the chocolate chip cookie was invented during the Great Depression, but just watch the way she throws back her head when Matt Lauer pokes some harmless fun at her!

And honestly, where would the world be without the chocolate chip cookie? You tell me! I know where I wouldn’t have been last week at this time: in my kitchen making chocolate chip cookies! And I know what wouldn’t be in my freezer right now: two batches of frozen leftover chocolate-chip-cookie dough!

Also, for the record, I have spent a full day in front of CNBC every weekday for the better part of two and a half years, and I’m here to tell you that it’s not that bad. And it’s not just because Erin Burnett’s so impossibly adorable.

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FYI.

In case you missed it, and because I haven’t mentioned it in my previous Shaq posts (and it really does deserve its very own post), Shaq’s Twitter bio is:

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I wrote the other day about my appreciation of Shaquille O’Neal and his Twitter activity. Then Chris told me that when Shaq can’t sleep, he goes to Wal-Mart, and when he checks out, he pays for the next 20 people behind him in line or something crazy-generous like that. Then I read this, and any doubts I had about THE_REAL_SHAQ actually being the real Shaq vanished!

It’s really him!

And he tips really well.  Apparently, the man’s got a heart of gold, officially making him my newest favorite celebrity.

I don’t care what my dad says about his spelling. The man’s enormous and typing his tweets on a tiny little cell phone, so let’s cut him some slack. And the whole point of my liking him on Twitter is that he’s funny, not that he’s insightful or literary.  And his tweets are funny mostly because they’re written by a very large, very rich, very famous person.

If you’re not convinced, here are his last two:

  • I had a nokia e90 but it fell n da toilet, now I have a shaqberry lol, I’m a toilet twitterer about 18 hours ago from txt

and

  • I hate leprekons lol about 20 hours ago from txt

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All a-twitter.

If you aren’t on Twitter, or, like me, if you rarely log in or post any udpates, consider this a favor: You have to follow Shaq. Yes, Shaquille O’Neal is actually on Twitter, and he updates frequently.

Some recent gems:

  • To all twitterers , if u c me n public come say hi, we r not the same we r from twitteronia, we connect 3:37 PM Feb 19th from txt
  • I feel twitterers around me, r there any twitterers in 5 n diner wit me, say somethin 3:33 PM Feb 19th from txt
  • Just leavn lebrons party, i have no voice, can u hear this , ………………. C i told u , no voice, lol 1:37 AM Feb 15th from txt
  • David stern said i dnt mind sounding trite, what does that word mean, any scholars out there 11:34 AM Feb 14th from txt
  • David stern just asked me if i twittered today, i love dat man, he understands, love u all, peace, shalom, and happiness 2 everyone 2:35 PM Feb 13th from txt
  • Hey brothers n sisters, wht upper, bout to dance against the jab a walkies 10:36 AM Feb 12th from txt
  • Ok i admit it i at performance enhancing frosted flakes 2 yrs ago, lol 3:18 AM Feb 10th from txt
  • Some rumors are planted for a reaction, i dnt react, i act , have u seen kazaam, i kno terrible, lol 3:13 PM Feb 8th from txt
  • TODAY WAS MY FIRST DAY IN COURT, I WAS NERVUS, TRAFFIC COURT, SLOW DOWN TWEEPLE 4:05 AM Feb 7th from web
  • Had to go to traffic court 4 tweeding slo down 11:08 PM Feb 6th from txt
  • Im lookn 4 the twitter office, n san fran cant find it, i was gonna by lunch 4 everyone 1, lol 3:50 PM Feb 4th from txt
  • I cant sleep gotta get 2 walmart 10:57 PM Jan 16th from txt
  • Dnt believe crappy websites such as mediatakeout.com If it doesnt come from me verbally or twitter wise, disregard The horse has spoken 5:12 PM Jan 16th from txt
  • For those who wanna know, i am getting my doctorate in human resource development Why Because im a people person 4:40 PM Jan 12th from txt

The man is priceless. First, he uses “LOL,” which I usually find annoying if not used ironically, but in this case, it just cracks me up every time. In fact, it makes me LOL. Second, in his traffic court (or, I should say, “twaffic court”) tweets, he twitterizes the words “speeding” and “people” by starting them with “tw.” Brilliant and hilarious!

Best of all, he loves Twitter. He apparently feels a real sense of community with other Twitter users. It’s refreshingly humble for someone who currently has more than 137,000 people following his tweets.

His username is The_Real_Shaq. It really is him.

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The power of prayer.

Abby’s had a particularly rough few days. I’m posting a video here taken from this post on her dad’s blog. It’s just about the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen.

It’s hard not to worry, though, while you watch it that Abby won’t make it to her next father-daughter dance.

There’s another video in that post that’s even harder to watch, but just as sweet, of Abby watching a collection of video messages sent to her by people across the country who have never met her but are praying for her to get better.

I wonder how many people are praying for this little girl, or, like me, thinking about her, and how much of a difference it is making. Remember this study? I’ve always been fascinated by that, filing it away in my mental folder of Things That Confuse Me.

For now, I hope it’s true, that a bunch of strangers praying for you can make you better. There’s just something about Abby that makes you desperate for her to get through this.

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via thisiswhyyourefat.com via jasongraphix

A co-worker just alerted me to the website This Is Why You’re Fat. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to do that with a box of Oreos; I think the most I ever put together between two ends of a cookie were three lard centers.  That stuff is so delicious!

I have fairly healthy body image, so I’m not going to say I’m fat.  I’m not.  But if I were fat, here would be the most-likely reasons why:

  1. Pasta, particularly with butter (or I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, which I can believe is not butter but still love the taste of) and a lot a lot a lot of cheese.
  2. Baking, especially when it involves frosting. Or batter. Or dough.  Or anything edible.
  3. Bread. I cannot resist a good bread basket, equally a fan of olive oil and salt on top as butter, and I just love a cheese plate that allows me another opportunity to slather brie onto a thinly sliced baguette.
  4. Chipotle. There was a period of time in grad school, during the semester when I was teaching, that I ate a Chiptole fajita burrito multiple times a week.  I don’t know how I ever got myself to stop doing that.  Or why.
  5. Street meat.  Those of you not lucky enough to live in a city that serves up street meat on nearly ever corner, I pity you. I think in an ideal world, I would alternate between Chipotle and chicken-over-rice from the plaza near work for lunch every day, and I’d have pasta with bread and cheese for dinner.  Is that gross?  I’d also find the time to bake every single day.

As for the first item on my list, we all know how much I love pasta. I should do a better job of defending this much-maligned staple of my diet. It started with Atkins, which had a snowball effect of many more low-carb and even no-carb diets. Those diets are ridiculous, and here is why.

One summer during college, or perhaps right before college, I spent a month or so at home.  All I did, all day long, was sew and watch movies.  I would emerge from the basement a couple of times a day to have a big bowl of plain pasta with butter and cheese, and I would retire to bed as my parents were waking up, usually around 6 in the morning.  A few things happened: I made a lot of dresses, most of which I never wore (and I even made one for Croquette, which she probably never wore, either). My dad took back his credit card, which he’d given me to rent movies with, when he discovered I’d rented more than 100 movies in a few weeks’ time. I also lost 15 pounds.

It was the best diet ever.

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Pork on pork. On pork.

The Times wrote the other day about a blog-food phenomenon: the Bacon Explosion. Apparently, a bizarre recipe of pork sausage stuffed with and wrapped in bacon has been passed around the Internets, mostly because it’s just such a ludicrous thing to make or eat.

It reminds me of Pig Roast 2008, when the morning after roasting our pig:

img_27691

we prepared this breakfast:

img_2844

That is a plate of pork, pork skin, the tail of our pig, some bacon and pork sausage. It was delicious, I swear.

Oink! Oink!

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